Election for Committee on NGOs raises concerns
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard speaking at the 63rd Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee
On April 16, the Member States of ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) will elect the members of the Committee on NGOs for the 2019-2022 term. Civil society organizations have asked States to commit to electing members with a positive record of working with NGOs.
They said that given the importance of the tasks of the Committee, it is essential that members uphold the highest standards in regard to fulfilling the Committee’s mandate in a fair and apolitical manner. The Committee on NGOs has been the target of much criticism and has been accused of using its power to keep some organizations, particularly human rights NGOs, out of the UN.
The organizations believe that “the upcoming elections for the Committee on NGOs are an opportunity for States to put into practice a genuine commitment to promoting the access and participation of civil society in the UN”. They said they hope that the change in membership will also lead to a change in the practices of the Committee.
The open letter was released on March 14 and sent to the Member States of ECOSOC. It is signed by Conectas, Amnesty International, Civicus, Freedom Now, Human Rights Watch, the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights and the International Service for Human Rights.
• Click here to read the letter in full.