Remarks during consideration of NGO participants at the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Ageing

Sofija Korac
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 29, 2021


Thank you, Madam chair. The United States champions an open and enabling environment and open civic space and the invaluable work civil society and calls attention to the invaluable work of civil society and human rights defenders, including through their participation in the UN. Civil society are our eyes and ears on the ground and give us invaluable reporting at the grassroots level on a variety of human rights issues, including promoting and protecting the human rights of older persons.

Today’s example is another misuse of the “no objection” basis by some member states to thwart civil society participation in the UN. The international community should not accept these clearly politically-motivated attempts to block credible NGOs working on important issues on the ground.

We must continue to ensure accountability for challenges to civil society participation across UN bodies and meetings by bringing any attempts to block NGOs to the full membership for a vote, as we are doing so today. To this end, the United States will be voting in favor of granting this NGO SEMA status to participate in this year’s working group.

Thank you, Madam chair.