Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
December 7, 2022
Thank you, Chair.
Civil society plays an essential role informing our work and helping to translate that work into action on the ground. NGOs are critical as implementing partners in delivering humanitarian assistance, keeping the public informed, and pressing us, as governments, to respect the rights of our people. They help to uphold our commitments to advance the UN’s work across its three pillars: human rights, development, and peace and security.
The United States is proud to be a main sponsor, together with more than 30 cross-regional co-sponsors of a decision to grant consultative status for these nine NGOs. There may be times that some do not agree with their view, but we must respect their rights to voice them and not punish them by withholding accreditation.
We regret that the Committee on NGOs has unfortunately failed to fulfill its mandate as set forth by 1996/31. The NGO Committee should be working to accredit legitimate NGOs, not defer them because some member states disagree with their work. What we are doing today is not new. We have used this well-established procedure since 1995, most recently in July when we approved six NGOs.
We have developed a set of criteria to recommend accreditation of NGOs deferred by the NGO Committee for consideration by all ECOSOC member states. We circulated this criteria ahead of today’s vote. In summary, our criteria includes: 1) NGOs that have been deferred for at least four years and have responded to the Committee’s questions satisfactorily; 2) NGOs who meet the standards outlined in Part I of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31; 3) NGOs with cross regional representation that cover a wide variety of issues; and 4) NGOs who have asked to be brought forward to a vote in ECOSOC.
The NGO Committee has deferred a large number of NGOs, so today’s vote is only the first step, but that is a vital step to welcome more and diverse NGOs into consultative status. We all talk about the importance of NGOs. Today we can turn our words into action. We urge all ECOSOC members present today to vote yes.