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 2011 High Level Segment (HLS) was held on 4 July-7 July 2011 at Le Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The HLS included a session on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) with the theme of “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education.”
In order to solicit statements from NGOs on this theme of 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 which speak for themselves. 55 NGOs were recommended by the NGO Committee to speak at the ECOSOC HLS, representing a total increase of 25% from last year’s HLS. 136 NGOs submitted written statements that were distributed among all participants of the substantive session of ECOSOC and available online as part of the official ECOSOC documentation. This constituted a 51% increase compared to 2010. But NGOs participation increased during the event itself with 23 NGOs presenting oral statements compared to only 16 NGOs in 2010, an increase of 25%.