Press Release: UN Committee Blocks Qualified American NGOs, Protects Iran and North Korea Human Rights Abuses

February 5, 2018


The UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) has voted against granting consultative status for two qualified American NGOs. Both the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) and the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) are leading NGOs in their fields. The IHRDC works on establishing a comprehensive and objective historical record of the human rights situation in Iran, while HRNK works on promoting human rights in North Korea through research and advocacy. Both NGOs have a long track record of success and have amply demonstrated that they would add value to the UN system.

“It’s a shameful day at the UN when Iranian and North Korean human rights violations are protected. A UN committee that is supposed to give a voice to those who most need it is instead being steamrolled by countries with terrible human rights records themselves. The United States stands with human rights defenders and will continue to fight for access for qualified NGOs to the United Nations system,” said Ambassador Haley.

The decision for accreditation can be reconsidered and potentially reversed by the UN Economic and Social Council as early as April 2018. Members of the NGO Committee who voted against the accreditation of HRNK and IHRDC include Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, and Venezuela.