Submitting your Quadrennial Report
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Guidelines for NGOs in General and Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC

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Under ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, NGOs in general and special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council must submit to the Committee on NGOs, a brief report of their activities every 4 years, known as the quadrennial report, which includes information about contributions of the NGO to the work of the United Nations. To emphasize the need to abide strictly by this requirement, resolution 2008/4 stipulates measures that the Council has taken to suspend, and subsequently withdraw consultative status of organizations that fail to submit their reports on time.

The consultative relationship is a reciprocal one. NGOs are granted the privilege of participating in a wide variety of United Nations-sponsored meetings and activities. In return, they are expected to contribute, each in their own way, to support the development aims of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations at large.

Thus, the quadrennial review presents an opportunity for NGOs to inform Member States about the their activities in support of the United Nations, and at the same time, receive feedback on their programme of work as well as an official acknowledgement of their contribution as partners in development.

The quadrennial review exercise therefore serves as a critical tool in monitoring the relationship between the United Nations and the steadily growing number of NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

1. Who Needs to Submit?
Only NGOs in special or general consultative status are required to submit quadrennial reports. Organizations in Roster status are not required to submit this report. To search the status of an organization, please click here.
2. When to Submit
Quadrennial reports are due for submission according to the schedule detailed in the following table:

A report for the period Should be submitted by: By NGO's that received status in
2007 - 2010
1 June, 2011
1947, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007
2008 - 2011
1 June, 2012
1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
2009 - 2012
1 June, 2013
1949, 1953, 1957, 1961, 1965, 1969, 1973, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009
2010 - 2013
1 June, 2014
1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010
2011 - 2014
1 June, 2015
1951, 1955, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011

The reporting cycle begins in the year the organization was granted status. In the case of reclassification from the Roster to the Special category or from Special to the General category, the year of the reclassification marks the beginning of the new quadrennial reporting cycle.

As a rule, reports should be submitted no later than 1 June of the year following the last year of the reporting period. Therefore, a quadrennial report covering the years 2009-2012 should be submitted no later than 1 June 2013.

3. Getting Started

Use your organization’s login information and password to connect to the various applications on our website http://csonet.org. Both the login and password information are provided in the letter sent to your organization by the NGO Branch/DESA. Please note that by logging in to our system you will also be able to do several things: (i) update the contact information of your organization; (ii) review information about upcoming conferences and events at the United Nations that you are entitled to attend; (iii) preregister for many of ECOSOC’s functional commissions; and (iv) search other organizations that have similar interests to yours. For submitting quadrennial reports, please take the following steps:

  • Go to our website at http://csonet.org.
  • Click on the link for "login for the ICSO database"
  • Use your organization’s login information and password to connect to your organization’s profile.
  • Place your mouse over the "Consultative Status" tab and then click on "Quadrennial Reports" from the drop down menu.
  • This page allows you to look at your reports submitted for previous periods, as well as reports that are due for submission.
  • To submit a new report, click on “Submit Report”. A screen will appear with eight text fields for you to complete. You will be required to complete all the fields in order to complete your report.

    N.B. Your entire report should not exceed 700 words. If your report exceeds 700 words, the final version that will be generated for review by the Committee will include only the first 700 words, in order to comply with limitations for official Committee documents.

    The report must be completed either in English or French.

    The required fields as stated above are:
  • Field 1 – A short introduction to your organization;
  • Field 2 - The aims and purposes of your organization;
  • Field 3 - Any changes that had a significant impact on the work of your organization;
  • Field 4 – The contribution of your organization to the work of the United Nations;
  • Field 5 – The participation of your organization in meetings of the United Nations;
  • Field 6 – Cooperation of your organization with United Nations bodies;
  • Field 7 – Initiatives taken by your organization in support of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Field 8 – Any additional, relevant information you want to share with the Committee.

    Once you have correctly completed the above fields, your report will be ready for submission to the Committee on NGOs. In Field 3, if there are no significant changes to your bye laws, constitution, registration, affiliations, change of objectives and purpose, etc., please state “None.”

    4. Completing your Report

    The information must be typed as running text. Information presented in frames, boxes, columns, tables or graphs cannot be processed. Also, please do not provide any annexes or attachments since the Committee will not review any appended material.

    Box 1 - Introduction

    A brief introductory statement should include information about your organization’s area of work, goals and geographical coverage.

    Box 2 - Aims and purposes of the organization and its course of action

    Enter a brief statement on the aims and purposes of your organization, and how you work to achieve those aims, including the main activities.

    Box 3 - Any change that may have had a significant impact

    Here you can list any changes in your organization’s orientation, programme, or scope of work. These changes might include:
  • an amendment to the constitution or by-laws;
  • an increase or significant change in the geographical distribution of the membership or funding;
  • any new organizational affiliations or mergers with programmatic, legal or other implications; or
  • need for reclassification of consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

    You do not need to include administrative changes through routine electoral processes. If there have been no significant changes, you can indicate “None.”

    Box 4 - Contribution to the work of the United Nations

    NGOs in consultative status are expected to undertake activities to advance the achievement of the development agenda of ECOSOC and the United Nations at large. Your report should therefore list your main activities over the past four years that are in support of that agenda.

    Box 5 - Participation in the fora of the United Nations

    NGOs are encouraged to take part in the appropriate intergovernmental fora so that the work of the Council, and the United Nations at large, can benefit from your input. Participation in the work of the Council and its subsidiary bodies might include: contributions to meetings and outcome documents or reports; oral and written statements; proposal of agenda items; and organization of parallel NGO meetings or side events, among others.

    Please be precise when you list your activities. Each reference to a conference or meeting attended or organized by the NGO should indicate the official title of the meeting (without acronyms and abbreviations), the United Nations body or office organizing the meeting, the venue (city and country) and the exact date of the meeting. Please indicate the nature of your participation and the title or theme of any document, contribution or statement presented by your organization at the event.

    For example:

    “Representatives attended the 61st session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for the review of Canada’s 3rd and 4th reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Geneva, Switzerland, 26-27 September 2012.”

    Box 6 – Cooperation with United Nations Bodies

    Cooperation with United Nations bodies or specialized agencies in the field or at Headquarters might include: preparation of, or contribution to, research papers and studies; joint sponsorship of meetings; humanitarian activities or operational projects; or financial assistance received from or given to the United Nations. For example:

    “Implemented a project in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to create meeting points and contexts which promote adolescent education in Bolivia, Paraguay and Perú, 2006-2007.”

    Or,

    “Signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to enhance environmental governance in Africa through capacity building for law enforcement agencies in 2012.”

    Box 7 – Initiatives taken in support of the MDGs

    In this section you can list all initiatives undertaken by your organization in support of internationally agreed development goals, in particular, the Millennium Development Goals, which form the basis of the United Nations global peace and development agenda. (For additional information about the MDGs, please go to: www.un.org/millenniumgoals).

    For example:

    “The organization contributed to MDGs 4 and 5 in Madagascar, Benin and Gambia by providing nutritional care to 162,079 children and prenatal care to 7,950 expectant mothers during the reporting period.”

    You can also list your activities in support of global principles such as:

    “The organization observed the World AIDS Day each year on 1 December. It also commemorated the 2009 World AIDS Day at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, resulting in a turnout of several thousand people and web-cast globally via the Kaiser Foundation network website.”

    If your organization did not undertake any specific activities you could state, for example:

    “Our organization‘s activities did not focus on specific initiatives in fulfilment of the MDGs, but rather on supporting the overall development agenda through advocacy and outreach.”

    Box 8 – Additional information

    Here you can enter any additional information that you would like to share with the Committee on NGOs. You can leave it blank if you have nothing of any relevance to report on.

    5. Saying it Right - Editorial Guidelines

    Quadrennial reports are expected to observe strict editorial guidelines before they can be considered ready for submission. If reports are improperly drafted and fail to follow the correct format, style and content, they may be refused.

    On Style: Please observe the following points.

  • The report should be drafted in the third person. For example, use phrases such as “The organization attended…” not “I attended…” Please avoid the use of proper names and titles of people from your organization who attended.
  • References to United Nations documents or publications should cite both the title and indicate the relevant symbols. Quotations should be referenced.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms (words formed from the initial letters of other words, e.g. UNESCO) should always be spelt out. As is good practice everywhere, the name or title should be written out in full the first time it occurs in a document, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.
  • “United Nations” should not be abbreviated in English. The form “ONU” is acceptable in French.
  • In United Nations style, abbreviations and acronyms are written without periods, such as: UNDP, not U.N.D.P.

    Do Not Use Acronyms. Do not use any acronyms for the following and write them in full:

  • Principal organs and major offices of the United Nations: General Assembly, Security Council,
  • Economic and Social Council; United Nations Office at Geneva/Vienna/Nairobi;
  • Titles of senior officials: Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of the Secretary-General;
  • United Nations conventions, treaties, plans or programmes of action;
  • Funds, programmes and agencies;
  • Names of Member States;
  • The World Tourism Organization and the World Trade Organization, to avoid confusion (but International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO);
  • The International Criminal Court (to avoid confusion with organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce);
  • The International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and other courts and tribunals;
  • Military or police forces, and military terms, such as: ASZ (air safety zone), GSZ (ground safety zone), EAF (Entity Armed Forces), JSF (Joint Security Forces), or DDR (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration);
  • Obscure titles or names mentioned only once or twice in a document.

    Names of Member States and correct UN terminology when referring to certain territories.

    It is very important that all documents must adhere to the accepted United Nations terminology with respect to the names of Member State countries and territories.

    Please note the correct terminology for the following countries and territories:

  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela [Venezuela]
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea]
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC or RDC]*
  • Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China [Hong Kong SAR of China]*
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Kosovo (should be referred as a territory, not a country) **
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Libya
  • Macau, Special Administrative Region of China [Macau SAR of China]*
  • Myanmar [Burma or Birmania]
  • Occupied Syrian Golan **
  • Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation [Chechnya]
  • Republic of Congo [Congo Brazzaville or Congo]
  • Republic of Korea [South Korea]
  • South Sudan
  • State of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, or Kashmir
  • State of Palestine (Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem or Palestine when referring to the geographical area of the Palestinian territory) **
  • Sudan (Republic of the Sudan, which refers to the North)
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [The FYR of Macedonia]*
  • Tibet, Autonomous Region of China
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Notes: *The short form is also acceptable. ** Territories.

    For more information, visit the following websites: http://unterm.un.org or http://www.un.org/en/members/.

    The above list is a quick reference guide to the most frequently used terms, and should not be considered a comprehensive list of all geographic areas or territories. It also must be checked against the latest information available in the terminology database.

    Short Titles: A short title may be used to replace a name or title that occurs several times in a document, provided that the full name is used the first time it occurs and that there is no risk of ambiguity; the Assembly (the United Nations General Assembly), the Council (the Economic and Social Council), the Committee (The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations), the United Kingdom (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the United States (the United States of America).

    Dates: The day should always be followed by the month and year such as: 21 April 2004. The months must not be abbreviated, but written in full.

    6. Saving and completing your report

    Once you have satisfactorily completed the online reporting form, you can save it by clicking on the “Save” button at the bottom of the page. After that, please click on the “Submit” button. If you fail to click on the "submit" button, the report will not reach us.

    Once you have submitted the report, you will receive an automated response that acknowledges receipt of your report.

    Our staff will review your report before deciding to submit it to the Committee. If we have questions or concerns on your report, we will contact you. Under normal circumstances, your report will be reviewed by the Committee on NGOs during one of its two annual sessions, either in January or in May each year. In order to check the status of your quadrennial report, please log in to our website with your user name and password.