1 June 2013 is the last day for non-governmental organizations to apply for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status in order to have an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, procedures for the withdrawal or suspension of consultative status, the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is comprised of 19 Member States.
Who is eligible for applying?
Consultative relationships may be established with international, regional, sub regional and national non-governmental, non-profit public or voluntary organizations. NGOs affiliated to an international organization already in status may be admitted provided that they can demonstrate that their programme of work is of direct relevance to the aims and purposes of the United Nations. In the case of national organizations consultation with the Member State concerned is required.
To be eligible for consultative status, an NGO must have been in existence (officially registered with the appropriate government authorities as an NGO/non-profit) for at least two years, must have an established headquarters, a democratically adopted constitution, authority to speak for its members, a representative structure, appropriate mechanisms of accountability and democratic and transparent decision-making processes. The basic resources of the organization must be derived in the main part from contributions of the national affiliates or other components or from individual members.
What is the benefit for NGOs?
NGOs that are accredited with ECOSOC can participate in a number of events, including, but not limited to regular sessions of ECOSOC, its functional commissions and its other subsidiary bodies. NGOs may:
- Attend official meetings;
- Submit written statements prior to sessions;
- Make oral statements;
- Meet official government delegations and other NGO representatives;
- Organize and attend parallel events that take place during the session;
- Participate in debates, interactive dialogues, panel discussions and informal meetings.