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Encyclopedia > Consultative Status

Consultative Status is a phrase whose use can be traced to the founding of the United Nations and is used within the UN community to refer to "Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council." The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization which is not a part of a government. ...

Contents

Defining documents

United Nations Charter

Consultative Status has its foundation in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter [1] (http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapt10.htm):

"The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the Member of the United Nations concerned."

In 1948, shortly after the founding of the United Nations, there were 45 NGOs in Consultative Status, mostly large international organizations. Currently there are 2418 NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and some 400 NGOs accredited to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) [2]  (http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/faq.htm). 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


1296 (XLIV)

ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV) (http://habitat.igc.org/ngo-rev/1296.html) in 1968 had defined the criteria and rights associated with Consultative Status for almost forty years, during which time there was a substantial growth in the number of NGOs.


The primary impetus for the 1996 revision of the arrangements was the unprecedented level of NGO participation, especially from national NGOs, in the preparations for UNCED - the 1993 Earth Summit. The use of ICT - mostly in the form of electronic conferences on the Institute for Global Communications network, and electronic mail - had played a major role. See. e.g. [3] (http://habitat.igc.org/docs/cc-unced.htm) & [4] (http://habitat.igc.org/docs/otl-1.htm). The Earth Summit (in Portuguese: Eco 92) is the informal and best-known name for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). ... The Earth Summit (in Portuguese: Eco 92) is the informal and best-known name for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). ... The initialism ICT has several meanings: A British computer industry company, the International Computers and Tabulators Company, was called ICT. It later became ICL. ICT is also a general term for Information and Communications Technology. ... The Institute for Global Communications or IGC Internet is an institution that provides Internet presence for groups deemed progressive for example, the Andrea Dworkin archive. ...


1996/31

The criteria for NGO accreditation to Consultative Status have been revised several times, most recently in 1996 in ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31  (http://www.un.org/documents/ecosoc/res/1996/eres1996-31.htm), following an extensive United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on the Review of Arrangements for Consultation with Non-Government Organizations.


From a Wikipedian perspective, perhaps the most significant section of 1996/31 was the following paragraph: Wikipedians are the people who write and edit articles for Wikipedia. ...

"69. The Secretary-General is requested to make every effort to enhance and streamline as appropriate Secretariat support arrangements, and to improve practical arrangements on such matters as greater use of modern information and communication technology, the establishment of an integrated database of non-governmental organizations, wide and timely dissemination of information on meetings, distribution of documentation, provision of access and transparent, simple and streamlined procedures for the attendance of non-governmental organizations in United Nations meetings, and to facilitate their broad-based participation."

Categories of Consultative Status

There are three classes of Consultative Status defined by 1996/31, General, Special & Roster. These classes were the equivalent of Category I, Category II & Roster status that were defined in 1296 (XLIV). Below are the current definitions - paragraph numbers are from 1996/31.


1996/31 grants different rights for participation in ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies (http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/sub_bodies.htm) - principally ECOSOC's Functional Commissions - including rights to United Nations passes, to speak at designated meetings, and to have documents translated and circulated as official UN documents - e.g. Information Technology, Public Participation & Global Agreements (http://habitat.igc.org/socdev/ngo10.htm) submitted to the Commission on Social Development (http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/) in 1998. 1998 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


General

"22. Organizations that are concerned with most of the activities of the Council and its subsidiary bodies and can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that they have substantive and sustained contributions to make to the achievement of the objectives of the United Nations in fields set out in paragraph 1 above, and are closely involved with the economic and social life of the peoples of the areas they represent and whose membership, which should be considerable, is broadly representative of major segments of society in a large number of countries in different regions of the world shall be known as organizations in general consultative status."

Special

"23. Organizations that have a special competence in, and are concerned specifically with, only a few of the fields of activity covered by the Council and its subsidiary bodies, and that are known within the fields for which they have or seek consultative status shall be known as organizations in special consultative status."

Roster

"24. Other organizations that do not have general or special consultative status but that the Council, or the Secretary-General of the United Nations in consultation with the Council or its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, considers can make occasional and useful contributions to the work of the Council or its subsidiary bodies or other United Nations bodies within their competence shall be included in a list (to be known as the Roster). This list may also include organizations in consultative status or a similar relationship with a specialized agency or a United Nations body. These organizations shall be available for consultation at the request of the Council or its subsidiary bodies. The fact that an organization is on the Roster shall not in itself be regarded as a qualification for general or special consultative status should an organization seek such status."

The three sub-categories of Roster Status - see below - have been supplemented by a fourth category, the definition of whose rights remains somewhat fuzzy, namely "NGOs accredited to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD (http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd.htm))": Fuzzy logic is a superset of boolean logic dealing with the concept of partial truth. ...


ECOSOC Roster

The primary form of Roster Status, for NGOs with a focus on one or two of the areas of competence of ECOSOC.


Secretary-General's Roster

There are special provisions in 1996/31, and before that in 1296 (XLIV) for the UN Secretary-General to recommend NGOs for the Roster.


Agency Roster

The Agency Roster refers to accreditation to the Roster of United Nations specialized agencies such - e.g. UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO, ITU, etc. UNICEF logo The United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ... UNESCO logo The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, commonly known as UNESCO, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system established in 1946. ... For other meanings of the ILO abbreviation, see ILO (disambiguation). ... The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an international organization established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications. ...


CSD Roster

Although not defined in 1996/31, a fourth category of NGOs accredited to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by ECODSOC decision 1996/302  (http://www.un.org/documents/ecosoc/dec/1996/edec1996-302.htm). There are currently approximately 400 NGOs in this status.


For more information see FAQs on NGO Consultative Status (http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/faq.htm)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Consultative Status - definition of Consultative Status in Encyclopedia (715 words)
Consultative Status is a phrase whose use can be traced to the founding of the United Nations and is used within the UN community to refer to "Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council."
ECOSOC Reolution 1296 (XLIV) (http://habitat.igc.org/ngo-rev/1296.html) in 1968 had defined the criteria and rights associated with Consultative Status for almost forty years, during which time there was a substantial growth in the number of NGOs.
The primary impetus for the 1996 revision of the arrangements was the unprecedented level of NGO participation, especially from national NGOs, in the preparations for UNCED - the 1993 Earth Summit.
UN-NGLS Publications: Go Between (878 words)
Consultative relationships may be established with international, regional, subregional and national organizations, including the national affiliates of international organizations already in status, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
NGOs already in consultative status or on the roster will as a rule be accredited for participation to UN conferences on request, while other NGOs must apply and submit information on the competence of their organization and the relevance of its activities to the work of the specific conference.
NGOs in consultative status may consult with staff officers "on matters in which there is mutual interest or mutual concern" and may arrange informal discussions on matters of special interest to groups or organizations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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