Several high-profile members of the European Parliament have sent a letter to the EU High-Representative for Foreign Affairs, Frederica Mogherini, asking the EU to take action to support IDSN’s 10-year quest for UN accreditation, at the upcoming May meeting of the UN NGO Committee.
The letter from the MEP’s states:
“This continued and deliberate obstruction of the granting of ECOSOC consultative status to IDSN, on no legitimate grounds whatsoever, amounts to exclusion and reprisal against a civil society organization hindering its legitimate work with the UN. Given the EU’s stated support for civil society and commitment to address caste discrimination , it is imperative that the EU stands behind organisations such as IDSN and proactively supports their access to multilateral fora.”
The signatories to the letter include, Heidi Hautala, Reinhard Butikofer, Ana Gomes, Barbara Lochbihler and David Martin. They write that,
“IDSN is a key actor in bringing the plight of Dalits, suffering from caste discrimination worldwide, to the attention of the UN as well as at the EU level. We therefore find it unacceptable that the organisation’s application has now been unjustly deferred on spurious and repetitive grounds by the UN NGO Committee for over 10 years. Blocking accreditation is a clear attempt to silence the voices of the Dalit community on the international stage.”
The MEP’s also specifically urge the High Representative, “to instruct the European External Action Service, in coordination with EU member states, to actively support IDSN’s accreditation when it is considered once again in May 2019.”
IDSN’s application for UN consultative status (known as ECOSOC accreditation) has been delayed for over 10 years. The accreditation is needed to participate fully in UN fora including at the UN Human Rights Council. IDSN has documented the process and repetitive questioning, as well as the support to IDSN from high-level UN officials and others. Details of this can be found in the IDSN ECOSOC Factsheet and all the questions posed over the years are documented in the IDSN Detailed ECOSOC note.
“IDSN welcomes the support from the MEPs as we strongly believe that Dalit voices should under no circumstances be blocked from UN for a, and we sincerely hope that the May session of the NGO Committee will finally result in IDSN being granted the long-awaited ECOSOC accreditation,” says IDSN Director, Meena Varma.