ADHRB: the UN ECOSOC committee in dire need for reforms

On 30 September 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 45 during interactive debate under item 6.


Mr. President,

We express concern about the NGOs ability to obtain consultative status, which provides NGOs with access not only to the UN Economic and Social Council, but also to its many subsidiary bodies and mechanisms that are an integral and essential part to the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide.

Currently, the UN Committee on NGOs is tasked with reviewing applications for consultative status. Yet, ironically, it may be made up of member states who do NOT even permit NGOs to operate on their own territories. Committee members may be repressive states with interest in stonewalling NGOs that champion causes opposed to their political position. These often include civil and political liberties, women’s rights, reproductive rights, minority rights, as well as sensitive country-specific issues.

Although the Committee on NGOs does not decide on applications, it does have the ability to recommend, object and pose questions that unduly delay, for long periods of time often years, the granting of consultative status to an NGO. As a result, the Committee’s recommendations are often politicized seeking to block or impede the accreditation of legitimate NGOs.