Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations ECOSOC: Non-governmental organizations

New York, 17/04/2018 - 15:41, UNIQUE ID: 180418_8
Statements on behalf of the EU

17 April 2018, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Ms. Asya Tsvetanova, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations, at the ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting on Item 17: Non-governmental organizations

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Mr. President,

I have the honour to intervene on behalf of the European Union. 

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.

 

The EU attaches great importance to the fairness and effectiveness of the work of the NGO Committee, in its pivotal role as the gateway to ECOSOC accreditation for civil society. We recognise the substantial workload that membership of the NGO Committee entails and the demands that are placed on all those who contribute to its functioning.

The EU welcomes the steps that have been agreed to date to improve the functioning of the NGO Committee and to make it more receptive to the voices of civil society, including the introduction of webcasting and the forthcoming consultation with NGOs on 20th June – the first of its kind -  in compliance with paragraph 61 (a) of resolution 1996/31. In a world that is increasingly hostile to NGOs – manifested through legal or political steps to stifle the work of civil society or through direct, and even fatal, attacks on human rights defenders – it is all the more incumbent upon the UN and its members to facilitate NGO access and participation at the UN.

Mr. President,

The EU has underlined in its statements before the NGO Committee the importance of applying fair and reasonable treatment to all applicants for accreditation. Scrutiny of applications for ECOSOC accreditation is an indispensable part of the process – but legitimate organisations should receive accreditation in a timely fashion and should only be required to answer questions that are properly motivated and that are fully in line with the letter and spirit of ECOSOC 1996/31. Where this approach is not taken, we may decide to bring those cases to ECOSOC for consideration. With this in mind, EU Member States are lending their support to the draft decisions placed before ECOSOC to accredit the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, following the repeated deferral of their applications by the NGO Committee.

 

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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