In his address to the Human Rights Council, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, raised concern over the “repeated deferrals and apparent lack of transparency amounting to a de facto rejection on the granting of IDSN’s UN consultative status.”
His comments came as part of his oral presentation to the Human Rights Council on 19 September 2018, covering the report of the Secretary-General on cooperation with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights.
Mr. Gilmour also voiced disappointment that he had not seen improvement in the area of reprisals over the past year on a situation he had called, “frankly nothing short of abhorrent that, year after year, we are compelled to present cases to you, the UN membership, of intimidation and reprisals carried out against people whose crime – in the eyes of their respective Governments – was to cooperate with the UN institutions and mechanisms whose mandate of course derives from you, the UN membership.”
Specifically Mr. Gilmour commented:
“In light of this trend, the Secretary-General in the report called on “the Committee to apply the criteria for assessing organizations in a fair and transparent manner … the repeated deferrals and apparent lack of transparency in decisions on consultative status by the NGO Committee has in some cases amounted to de facto rejections for human rights organizations, such as in the case of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN).”
IDSN’s application for UN consultative status (ECOSOC) has been unjustly deferred for 10 years and is the longest pending application in the history of the NGO committee. For more information please see the IDSN factsheet detailing the process. Concern over IDSN’s case specifically has also been raised by other UN officials in the past including the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly.