On 29 September, ADHRB delivered an intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 54 under item 5 during the General debate. ADHRB called on UN to grant NGO consultative status free from political or economic influence.
We express dismay with the process NGOs go through to get consultative status, a status that gives NGOs access to U.N. mechanisms that are essential to the protection of human rights worldwide. As it stands, the Committee on NGOs can be made up of member states that not only prohibit NGOs from operating in their territory but also trade human rights for a fleeting short term political or economic interest. Committee members may be states that illegally occupy other people’s lands, militarily attack other states without a U.N. mandate, intentionally starve entire nations for military objectives that cannot be achieved, or they can be those who target and kill innocent civilians including women and children. The Committee can be made up of states who seek to indefinitely delay the granting of consultancy status in order to secure billion-dollar trade deals, million-dollar projects, labor contracts and non-interest loans, among other reasons. This is the state of affairs within the NGO Committee where the judge is the criminal. We call on the Council to consider this apparent paradox and develop procedures that address it.