The Economic and Social Council Resolution 1996/31 encourages participation from non-governmental organizations in Consultative Status with ECOSOC to submit statements during Council meetings. Statements can be submitted to the Council in two formats: written statements, circulated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the members of the Council; and oral presentations, given during Council meetings.
The 2013 High Level Segment (HLS) was held on 1 - 4 July 2013 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The HLS included a session on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) with the theme of “Science, technology and innovation (STI), and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs”.
In order to solicit statements from NGOs on the theme of the AMR, the NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs announced an Open Call for oral and written statements for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. NGOs responded in unprecedented numbers as compared to the previous ECOSOC High Level Segment editions, as 76 requests to be heard by the Council were submitted to the NGO Branch. However, in order to maximize the participation of NGOs in the work of ECOSOC, the NGO Committee decided for the first time to recommend NGOs to speak at other agenda items during the General Segment.
50 NGOs were recommended by the NGO Committee to speak at the ECOSOC HLS, and 26 NGOs were recommended to speak at the ECOSOC General Segment. 147 NGOs submitted written statements that were included in the official ECOSOC documentation. This constituted a 22.5% increase compared to 2012 when 120 NGOs submitted written statements. Also, NGOs participation increased during the event itself with 21 NGOs presenting oral statements compared to 19 NGOs in 2012.