Remarks at the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Aug. 30 – Sept. 10, 2021, Regular Session

Tony Bonville
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 30, 2021


Thank you, Chairperson.
We welcome our fellow Committee members, observer states, and civil society representatives to this resumed session and look forward to our work together in the coming days.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the vital importance of civil society organizations, as they serve as the collective eyes and ears on the ground and provide critical information and perspectives to advance the work of the UN.

The United States is committed to promoting civil society’s participation in the UN and working with fellow Committee members to ensure our work is open, transparent, and accessible to civil society around the globe. We must also protect civic space within the UN to ensure it is an enabling environment for civil society voices to hold governments accountable and push the international community to do better.

As we continue to tackle NGO application backlogs exacerbated by the lack of Committee meetings in 2020, we urge our fellow Committee members to conduct our work efficiently during this session. In addition, we again voice concern about the practice of deferring the quadrennial reports of NGOs and draw attention to the fact that several NGOs have quadrennial reports from multiple years pending before this Committee – a practice that unduly burdens NGOs and slows down our work. Relatedly, we are concerned by some Committee members’ misuse of the “no objection basis” for the politicization of NGO applications. We hope that all members will respect the criteria for invoking this basis, as set forth in Resolution 1996/31.

We collectively have a lot more work to do to increase civil society participation across the UN. The United States is committed to advancing the work of the NGO Committee and welcome measures to ensure this Committee and the United Nations are more accessible for civil society organizations.

We request that this statement be reflected in the report of the Committee.

Thank you, Chairperson.