DESA NGO News - May 2012

WELCOME to the May 2012 edition of DESA NGO News, a monthly service of the DESA NGO Branch of the United Nations, to keep you informed about news and upcoming UN events, and to be of service to your organization in ECOSOC consultative status. Visit us at for latest updates. Version française | Versión en Español


30 April: Information Note on the Committee on NGOs
The 2012 resumed session of the Committee on NGOs will take place from 21 to 30 May 2012. The session is expected to consider over 100 new applications for status by NGOs as well as 162 applications deferred from earlier sessions. It will also review more than 120 quadrennial reports of NGOs in general or special consultative status and will take action on suspension, reinstatement and withdrawal of NGOs in accordance with ECOSOC resolution 2008/4. The Committee is expected to meet again on 8 June 2012 to adopt its report of the session. Also this session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in July of 2012.  

25 April: Restrictions on NGOs worldwide undermining human rights, says UN senior official
Recent moves in a number of countries to limit the freedom of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously undermining human rights, a United Nations senior official said today, urging governments to revise proposed laws that would restrict their capacity to operate independently and effectively. “Civil society – including NGOs, trade unions, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, bloggers and others – plays an absolutely crucial role in ensuring that human rights are protected in individual states,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. “A dynamic and autonomous civil society, able to operate freely, is one of the fundamental checks and balances necessary for building a healthy society, and one of the key bridges between governments and their people. It is therefore crucial that NGOs are able to function properly in countries in transition, as well as in established democracies,” she added.

23 April: "This Is Your United Nations," SG Tells Youth Representatives at Population Commission Opening

Acknowledging the unusually large attendance at the forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development, which opened today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the turnout told only part of the story; the real message was the energy of the session and the presence of so many young people. “Welcome,” he said to the youth delegations. “This is your United Nations”. Recalling the events in Tunisia last year, he said “youth are more than a demographic force; they are a force for progress.” With “eyes wide open”, today’s young people were connected and engaged in the events around them, he said. However, no matter where he travelled in the world, he said, young people always asked him the same two questions: “Why isn’t the UN doing more to help the suffering?” and “What can I do to help the world?”

23 April: Rio+20 Negotiations to Energize Sustainable Development Agenda
Representatives from Governments and civil society started a new round of negotiations that will shape the outcome of “Rio+20”, a major global conference that will have a significant impact on how the world will address key challenges affecting economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection in the years ahead. The two-week session for Rio+20 — formally the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — began in New York on Monday, 23 April, and will continue through 4 May. In a statement addressed to the Conference ahead of the upcoming round of talks, leaders from across the United Nations system called on Rio+20 to “provide the road map to the future we want — a future with peace, dynamic economic and social development, universal social well-being, and a healthy and equitable environment for present and future generations where women and men, boys and girls, equally contribute to and benefit from development.”

20 April: Programmes for ECOSOC substantive session in July announced
The 2012 Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC, to be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, will focus on the theme “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”. Decent work and promoting productive capacity are central to poverty eradication, the achievement of the MDGs and equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The global economic and financial crisis exacerbated pre-existing challenges to the achievement of full employment and decent work in both developing and developed countries. Therefore, the 2012 AMR provides an important opportunity for ECOSOC to put a spotlight on economic growth models that promote job creation, are sustainable, inclusive and equitable and can be tailored to the particular needs of countries, while promoting also social protection and rights at work. Nine countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, Mauritius, Qatar, Russia, Senegal and Ukraine - will make National Voluntary Presentations (NVPs) during the 2012 AMR session. Programmes of the four segments of the ECOSOC substantive session are posted in the link below.


30 April - 18 May: 48th session, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Geneva
The Committee will consider the following State reports during the session: Ethiopia, New Zealand, Peru, Slovakia and Spain. Registration is from the link below.

4 May: Youth ECOSOC Conference on “Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities”
Young people continue to be the hardest hit by the jobs crisis. In both developed and developing countries, youth unemployment and underemployment rates have reached alarming levels. In July this year, ECOSOC will address the challenge of increasing productive capacity and promoting employment and decent work. In preparation, on 4 May, The UN Department of Public Information and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs will organize a youth conference on “Creating a Sustainable Future: Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities”, which will be attended by youth representatives from diverse backgrounds. The primary target audience is young men and women (15 – 32 years old). Representatives of the private sector, the academic community, and civil society engaged in youth issues will be invited to participate. This event will be open to NGO representatives with valid access passes only. No event passes will be issued for this half-day event. For information contact See background note below for additional information on the event.

7-18 May: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 11th session
The 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held in New York from 7 to 18 May. pre-registration is now OPEN. The special theme is "The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)". 

18 May: Enhanced cooperation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, Geneva
The Chair of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is convening a one-day open, inclusive and interactive meeting to identify a shared understanding about enhanced cooperation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. The meeting is organized in response to General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/184 on “Information and communications technologies for development. The meeting will be held during and at the same venue of the WSIS Forum. WSIS forum registration is here.

21-25 May: 15th Session, Commission on Science and Technology for Development
The Commission will review progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes at the regional and international levels, including on improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Commission will address the following priority themes: (1) Innovation, research, technology transfer for mutual advantage, entrepreneurship and collaborative development in the information society. (2) Open access, virtual science libraries, geospatial analysis and other complementary information and communications technology and science, technology, engineering and mathematics assets. In addition, the Commission will hear presentations on national science, technology and innovation policy reviews.

21-30 May: 2012 Resumed Session, Committee on NGOs
See news item above.

29 May - 15 June: 60th session, Committee on the Rights of the Child, Geneva
The Committee will consider the following State reports during the session: Algeria, Australia, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Vietnam. It will also review by reports on Australia, Greece and Nepal under its Optional Protocols. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, in reviewing reports submitted by States Parties, accepts submissions by non-governmental organisations on the implementation of the Convention and the Optional Protocols on reporting States. See link below for details on this procedure.

20-22 June: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
Organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, the Conference will include Heads of State and Government to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236). IMPORTANT: REQUIRED pre-registration of accredited groups is open until 20 May 2012. Click the link below to start the required pre-registration

9-27 July: 52nd session, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
The 52nd session of CEDAW will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in Conference Room 3 NLB (North Lawn Building). The Comittee will review reports on the following States parties: Bahamas, Bulgaria, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand and Samoa. All observers wishing to attend the session must be duly registered. Representatives of non-governmental organizations wishing to attend the session should register online and follow the instructions from the page below.

9-27 July: 105th session, Human Rights Committee, Geneva
The Committee will consider the following reports and country situations during the session: Armenia, Iceland, Kenya, Lithuania, Maldives. Country Report Task Forces will consider and adopt list of issues on Angola, China-Macao, Germany, Haiti and Peru. Task Forces will consider and adopt list of issues on reports submitted by Afghanistan, Croatia, Israel, New Zealand and San Marino. Representatives of non-governmental organizations wishing to attend the session should register online and follow the instructions for registration and for obtaining a ground pass from the page below.

24 September: High-Level GA Meeting on the Rule of Law
The High-level meeting of the 67th Session of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 24 September 2012. This is a unique occasion for all Member States, NGOs and civil society represented at the highest level, to discuss and agree a forward-looking agenda on strengthening the rule of law. The President of the General Assembly is compiling a list of NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, as well as a list of civil society organizations, active in the field of the rule of law, who wish to participate in the high-level meeting. In addition, a limited number of representatives of NGOs active in the field of rule of law will be invited to speak. The President of the General Assembly is therefore requesting that any NGOs in consultative status with the ECOSOC, and any civil society organizations, active in the field of the rule of law, which may wish to participate or speak at the high-level meeting on the rule of law. The closing date is 9 July 2012.


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The DESA NGO Branch is located at One United Nations Plaza , 14th floor, DC1-1480, New York , NY 10017 , USA . Tel: 1-212-963-8652, Fax: 1-212-963-9248. Our NEW opening hours are from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Monday to Friday. Please DO NOT respond to this message for questions. If you have a question about your organization's status, please see the links "At Your Service" above or the "Contact Us" at our website, . We will respond within 48 hours to your query. At your service: in New York: Andrei Abramov, Joop Theunissen, Nahleen Ahmed, Diego Rumiany, Maria Marchione-Novoa, Erdwine Antoine, Irma Perez, Carlos Gusukuma, Yeasin Arafat. In Geneva : Ricardo Espinosa, Adriana Fuentes, Nathalie Dérudet

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