GONG‘s activities and efforts in the civil society sphere have been awarded with the prestigious ECOSOC consultative status. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.
GONG’s application for ECOSOC consultative status got approved on the very first day of the 2011 resumed session of the Committee on NGOs (May 16-24), a standing committee of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
This status enables GONG to advocate for its mission on an international level, by allowing attendance of its authorized representatives to sit as observers at public meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, as well as by allowing submission of written statements on subjects in which it holds special competence. For example, it will serve to induce a more active participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on assessment of human rights standards in Croatia in front of the Human Rights Council. Access to sessions held within relevant United Nations bodies given to GONG is of great significance for wider civil society initiatives that seek support on the international level.
The precondition for the awarding of this status is a thorough, often lenghty application process during which the organization needs to prove that its aim and purspose in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, relevant to the work of ECOSOC and of significance beyond national borders. Since the introduction of this status in 1968, only around 3,300 organizations have obtained it. Following B.A.B.E. and the Legal Service Coalition, GONG, whose application got support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia, will be the third Croatian awardee.
GONG will acquire ECOSOC consultative status only upon adoption of the recommendations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, that will take place at the ECOSOC Geneva meeting in late July