OIC statement on the report of the NGO Committee

Statement by

the representative of Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, at the Economic and Social Council, on the “report of the NGO Committee”

Geneva, 28 July 1999


Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the member states of the OIC. The OIC member states appreciate the contribution of responsible civil society organizations in the promotion and protection of the cause of human rights throughout the world. The majority of NGOs work hard to bring to the attention of ECOSOC and its functional commissions, situations of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Many endeavour to lend a voice to peoples under colonial rule and foreign occupation.

Unfortunately some NGOs have mis-used their consultative status by violating the procedures and the rules governing their participation in the activities of ECOSOC and its functional commissions as laid down in Resolution 1966/31.

Some accredited NGOs and government organized and sponsored NGOs continue to offer their banner to individuals, organizations and governments for purposes not concerned with genuine human rights issues but which aim at targeting other countries and for propaganda purposes. Their objective is not to work for the promotion and protection of human rights. They allow themselves to be used as foreign policy tools of certain governments. This defeats the purpose of effective participation of NGOs in the UN work and undermines the positive contribution which the majority of NGOs make to the work of the Commission on Human Rights.

At the last session of the Commission on Human Rights, one NGO, the CSI, accredited an individual who identified himself to be the Commander of a rebel group that has taken up arms against the legitimately constituted government of a member state of the UN. The NGO Committee after detailed deliberations reached a decision recommending withdrawal of its consultative status, to the ECOSOC. The OIC members believe that the privilege accorded to NGOs to participate in the work of the ECOSOC and its functional commissions entails certain responsibilities. Abuse of this privilege needs to be viewed seriously.

The OIC members also remain deeply concerned that some NGOs have chosen to deliberately mis-represent Islam in the Commission and the Sub-Commission. They reiterate their rejection of all such attempts and in this connection wish to draw the ECOSOC’s attention to Commission Resolution 1999/82 entitled defamation of religions.

I thank you.