Resumed session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations: Concluding remarks by Belgian delegation

date: 07 June 2013

Mr Chair,

We thank you for your able leadership and we would like to express our appreciation for the constructive cooperation among Committee Members throughout the resumed session.

We acknowledge that the Committee has made some progress, particularly by recommending status to a few organizations whose applications had been deferred for a long time. We also welcome the historic decision of the Committee to recommend special consultative status to two LGBT organizations. The Committee has given a strong message that the voices of organizations which are committed to addressing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity deserve to be heard at the UN.

However, the Belgian delegation deeply regrets that the Committee has deferred a total of 219 applications for further consideration. In fact, the number of deferred applications is much larger than the number of NGOs which have been recommended status.

Sadly, many human rights organizations have again been blocked by numerous and repetitive questions, often unrelated to the criteria for consultative status. The Belgian delegation is particularly concerned that the Committee deferred numerous organizations working in the following three important fields:

• sexual and reproductive rights
• women’s rights and gender equality
• freedom of expression and protection of journalists

We also note with regret that the Committee once again blocked the applications of several secular and humanist organizations. We believe that the Committee should take in the account the full diversity of non governmental organizations as stated in ECOSOC resolution 1996/31.

Thank you Mr Chair