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May 18 Memorial Foundation Granted Special Consultative Status with the UN Committeeon Non-Governmental Organizations
Date : 2021-11-02     Hit : 299

May 18 Memorial Foundation Granted Special Consultative Status with the UN Committeeon Non-Governmental Organizations

 

-Globalizing the May 18 Spirit on the UN stage



On October 4, the May 18 MemorialFoundation was granted special consultative status by the Committee onNon-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations Economic and SocialCouncil. This creates an opportunity for the foundation to speak at the UnitedNations on issues related to democracy and human rights globally and to engageactively with the United Nations in the name of the May 18 Democratic Uprising.In addition, it is now possible for the foundation to attend meetings hosted bythe United Nations and present written or oral presentations on the submittedagenda. The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, a standing committeeof the Economic and Social Council, comprises 19 member states on the principleof equitable geographic distribution. Three types of consultative status aregranted through screening, and NGOs’ rights and duties vary depending on thetype.

 

 

The May 18 Memorial Foundation has beenpreparing an application since 2019 and submitted it in 2020 to acquire specialconsultative status with the UN NGO committee. At the end of May of this year,the qualification was recognized at a regular session in New York, which wasreviewed in September, resulting in the foundation receiving specialconsultative status.

 

This special consultative status enablesthe May 18 Memorial Foundation to further promote the value and meaning of theMay 18 spirit through participation in international organizations such as theUnited Nations and to play a more important role in international fora for activelyenhancing democracy and human rights.

 

These achievements resulted from the May 18Memorial Foundation’s solidarity activities for human rights and democracyglobally, conducted with concern as to how to share the May 18 spirit with theworld beyond South Korea. It has supported human rights activities worldwidefor more than two decades through the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. It canalso be said that the status is the product of such activities in responding toissues related to democracy and human rights by domestic and internationalactivists through the Gwangju Democracy Forum.

 

The status was also the result of thefoundation’s actual and direct solidarity activities in proposing universalstandards for human rights in Asia as well as international human rights normsby enacting the Asian Human Rights Charter, and its prompt responses to therecent threats to democracy in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Myanmar.

 

The foundation having acquired specialconsultative status is meaningful because it has been officially recognized bythe international community for its activities. In the future, the May 18Memorial Foundation will continue the movement to designate May 18 as aUN-designated day for preventing militarism and authoritarianism, using its activitiesas a stepping stone, and acting with swift solidarity in global human rightsissues. In particular, we will continue to support the internationally agreedSustainable Development Goals, which form the basis of the United Nations’agenda for peace and development.

 

 

Attachment 1) Introduction of the Economicand Social Council and Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

Attachment 2) Official letter of approvalof special consultative status (in English)

 

 

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

 The Economic and Social Council is oneof the six major institutions of the United Nations and was established by theUN Charter in 1945.

 It consists of 54 member states electedby the UN General Assembly.

 ECOSOC coordinates the economic, social,and related work of 14 UN specialized agencies, functional committees, and fiveregional committees.

 

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

 The Committee on Non-GovernmentalOrganizations is a standing committee of the Economic and Social Council andwas established by the Council in 1946.

 The Committee reports directly to theEconomic and Social Council and decides on resolutions to issues that requireaction by the Council at the annual regular meeting (usually at the end ofJanuary) and the reopened meeting (in May).

 It grants consultative status based onthe recommendation of the Committee, which comprises 19 member states.

 

Regarding the Consultative Statuses with the UN Economic and Social Council

 Consultative status: 5,593 (as of April2021)

 Types of consultative status: Three(general, special, and roster)

- The rights and duties of NGOs varydepending on the type of status they are granted.

- General and special-status NGOs areobliged to submit reports every four years.

 General consultative status: A fairlylarge and well-established international NGO with a wide geographic concern,covering most of ECOSOC’s agenda as an area of activity.

 Special consultative status: Granted toNGOs that are specially related and are active in some of the areas of activitycovered by ECOSOC.

 Roster consultative status: NGOs thathave applied for consultative status but do not fall into the above categories.

 

Privileges and Benefits of Special Consultative Status

 Attendance at meetings and access to theUnited Nations

 Ability to submit written statements atthe Economic and Social Council

 Ability to make oral presentations atthe Economic and Social Council

 Ability to consult with the Economic andSocial Council and its subsidiary bodies

 Use of United Nations facilities

 

 

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