Committee on NGOs opens its 2016 Regular Session on 25 January
At the start of the meeting, the Committee adopted its agenda (document E/C.2/2016/1) and programme of work. It re-elected by acclamation Jorge Dotta (Uruguay), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States as its Chair; and Elif Çaliskan (Turkey), on behalf of the Western European and other States Group, Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan), on behalf of the Eastern European States Group, and Hacen Eleyatt (Mauritania), on behalf of the African States Group, as Vice-Chairs. It postponed the election of its remaining Vice-Chair from the Asian Group. The Committee also decided that Mr. Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan) would continue to serve as Rapporteur.

At the Opening session of the Committee, Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA, said that with the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, the focus of the sustainable development goals has turned to their implementation, which is also aligned with the 2016 theme of the Economic and Social Council, "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results." Over the years, non-governmental organizations have increasingly become a part of the process through their participation in consultations, high-level meetings, thematic debates or briefings. An increase in the applications and reports this year was a direct reflection of the level of interest that the organizations were showing in the work of the United Nations.

In 2016, the Committee will consider 275 new applications, in addition to 200 applications deferred from previous sessions, 404 quadrennial reports of NGOs in general and special consultative status and 47 quadrennial reports deferred from earlier sessions. These numbers indicate a sharp growth in the workload over past years. Alberto Padova, Acting Chief of the NGO Branch of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, expressed his team's continuing support to the Committee toward the successful implementation of its mandate.

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