In a European Union Statement delivered by Mr. Christophe Forax, First Counsellor, at the 75th United Nations General Assembly Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations 2021 Resumed Session, the EU called for ending the unjust deferrals of applications for UN ECOSOC status, naming five organisations, including the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)
IDSN’s application for UN consultative status has been deferred by the committee for over a decade. IDSN has received 100 written questions, to which IDSN has always provided full, transparent and timely responses. During the process, no objections have been made to IDSN’s application on technical or procedural grounds. All written questions have reportedly been posed by one member of the Committee, resulting in continuous deferral of the application by the Committee. Many of the questions contained similar content, had answers that were readily available on the IDSN website or were responded to in the application or in previous replies.
UN officials including the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and the Chair of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures have all called for ending the unjust deferral of IDSN’s application.
The statement by the EU delivered by Mr. Forax included the following remarks:
“The wrongful practice of repetitive and meaningless questioning, which leads to unjustified delays to applications, disproportionately affecting NGOs working on specific issues, including human rights, as we have witnessed once again during the May 2021 session, tarnishes the reputation of the NGO Committee. We ask once again members of the Committee to end this dilatory practice.”
“For the current session, where the Committee will consider 650 new and deferred applications, the European Union sees no justification to delay further a number of applications that have been pending for a very long time, including Non c’è pace senza giustizia, Associazione Luca Coscioni, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, the Inimõiguste Instituut and the International Dalit Solidarity Network.”
The statement furthermore calls on the committee to ensure the possibility for NGOs to answer live Q&A sessions online rather than only in person in New York. In May 2021 the EU delegation also made a statement on this issue calling for action stating, “The EU also reminds the role of ECOSOC to review and if necessary reverse erroneous decisions taken by the NGO Committee.”
IDSN has issued a factsheet and a detailed note including the 100 questions and answers. IDSN welcomes the support from the EU and hope that others will also join in ending these deferrals and ensuring that the NGO Committee’s purpose is to foster participation of legitimate NGOs and not to block them.