Activist countries

India and six other countries vote against UN accreditation of rights groups!

India, along with six other countries, voted against a draft resolution presented by the United States, which recommended that six human rights organizations, blocked for years in the United Nations NGO Committee , are granted special consultative status with the United Nations Economic Commission. and Social Council. The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended 203 groups for special consultative status at the meeting of the 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Six other non-governmental organizations, including the foundation that runs Wikipedia, were added to the list in a draft proposed by the United States, prompting the UN to call for a recorded vote. According to a report on the UN website, the draft resolution presented by the United States delegate on the list of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council “caused a brief stir”.

The draft resolution, sponsored by 36 countries, adds six other non-governmental organizations to the list proposed by the Committee. It was approved with 23 votes for, 23 votes against and 18 abstentions from China, India, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Russia and Zimbabwe. Diakonia, Inimoiguste Instituut, National Human Rights Civic Association ‘Belarusian Helsinki Committee’, Non Ce Pace Senza Giustizia, Syrian American Medical Society Foundation and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. have all been granted special consultative status with the Council.

The delegate of the United States noted that these organizations had been waiting for years for non-governmental organization status and had repeatedly responded to questions from members of the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations. Supporters of the amended resolution defended the right of the six organizations to be heard at the United Nations. Others pointed to organizations with political affiliations or, as the delegate from Israel said, even terrorists, according to the report.

Several Member States criticized the approach of submitting the request directly to the Council as a ruse to avoid the Committee. According to the report, the representative of India underlined the key role of the Committee, which has a clear mandate, to explain the position after the vote. He said the procedure is transparent and cautioned against any deviation from it. Human Rights Watch applauded ECOSOC’s decision to grant UN accreditation to six human rights organizations “which had been stuck for years in the UN NGO Committee “.

Human Rights Watch’s UN director Louis Charbonneau said in a statement that granting UN accreditation to six human rights organizations is a step in the right direction. . However, this is just a small sample of the hundreds of organizations whose applications have been unfairly denied for years by Russia, China and other oppressive governments. Human rights-respecting countries should push for an urgent overhaul of the UN accreditation process for non-governmental organizations, and efforts to silence human rights activists at the UN should be halted.