The Commitee on NGOs
Gift of the Ford Foundation to the United Nations

Latest news on the Committee

26 May - 3 June 2015: 2015 Resumed Session

26 January - 3 February 2015: 2015 Regular Session

19-28 May 2014: 2014 Resumed Session
NEW: Official Report of the 2014 Resumed Session | Information Note
Meetings coverage: 21 May | 22 May | 23 May | 27 May | 28 May | 6 June

21-30 January 2014: 2014 Regular Session
Official report | Information Note
Meetings coverage: 21 Jan | 22 Jan | 23 Jan | 24 Jan | 27 Jan | 28 Jan | 29 Jan | 30 Jan

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Click here to see the official reports of the Committee from 1993 to 2013.

What is the Committee on NGOs?

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations is a standing committee of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), established by the Council in 1946. It reports directly to ECOSOC, and the two reports of its annual regular session (usually at the end of January) and resumed session (in May) include draft resolutions or decisions on matters calling for action by the Council.

The Committee has 19 members who are elected on the basis of equitable geographical representation:

  • 5 members from African States;
  • 4 members from Asian States;
  • 2 members from Eastern European States;
  • 4 members from Latin American and Caribbean States; and
  • 4 members from Western European and other States.
The term of office of its members is four years. The current terms of reference of the Committee are set out in Resolution 1996/31. In its proceedings the Committee is guided by the rules of procedure of the Council.

Members of the NGO Committee for the period 2011-2014 are the following: Belgium (Vice-Chair), Bulgaria (Vice-Chair), Burundi, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan (Chair), Peru (Vice-Chair and Rapporteur), Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan (Vice-Chair), Turkey, United States of America, and Venezuela (Bolivarian Rep.)

The main tasks of the Committee are:

  • The consideration of applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by NGOs;
  • The consideration of quadrennial reports submitted by NGOs in General and Special categories;
  • The implementation of the provisions of Council resolution 1996/31 and the monitoring of the consultative relationship;
  • Any other issues which the ECOSOC may request the Committee to consider.
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The Committee's decisions are considered recommendations, in the form of draft decisions calling for action by the Council. These recommendations are reflected in Part I of the Committee's reports. Once an application from an NGO has been reviewed and approved by the Committee it is only considered recommended for consultative status. At its next meeting, usually in July of the same year, the Economic and Social Council reviews these recommendations, takes note of the Committe's report and makes the decisions final. It is only after the recommendation becomes an ECOSOC decision that the NGO is granted the consultative status.

The work programme of the Committee on NGOs is supported and facilitated through a document and record management and retrieval system, called the Paperless Committee. Recognized with a UN 21 Award in 2008, in the area of process re-engineering, the system allows secure access to member delegations to review information on the current and past sessions of the Committee through laptops provided by the Secretariat or through other mobile devices.