ECOSOC reviews NGO Committee recommendations at its July Coordination and Management Session
On 20 July, during its July 2015 Coordination and Management session, the Economic and Social Council adopted eight decisions recommended by the NGO Committee (contained in its 2015 Resumed Session report E/2015/32 (Part II)). Among them, it decided to grant consultative status to 160 organizations. In addition, it decide to grant special consultative status to the organization Freedom Now by a recorded vote of 29 in favour to 9 against with 11 abstentions. Freedom Now is a US-based non-partisan NGO that works to free individual prisoners of conscience through legal, political, and public relations advocacy efforts. Freedom Now had originally submitted its application for consultative status with ECOSOC in 2010. The vote overturned the recommendation made by the NGO Committee - also by vote - at its 2015 Resumed Session. The last time the Council overturned a recommendation of the Committee was in 2012.

Additionally, the Council voted down a draft decision tabled not to grant the organization Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) special consultative status by a vote of 13 in favour to 16 against with 18 abstentions. This followed a recommendation by vote by the Committee to grant status to PRC.

At the session, the representative of the European Union and that of Mexico, speaking also on behalf of Chile and Uruguay, expressed strong concerns about the recent politicization of the work of the Committee, in which some of its members used procedural ways to block certain organizations from being granted consultative status.

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