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Introduction to ECOSOC Consultative Status
Who is Eligible?Consultative relationships may be established with international, regional, sub regionalandnational non-governmental, non-profit public or voluntary organizations. NGOs affiliated toan international organization already in status may be admitted provided that they can demonstratethat their programme of work is of direct relevance to the aims and purposes of the United Nations.In the case of national organizations consultation with the Member State concerned is required.To be eligible for consultative status, an NGO must have been in existence (officially registeredwith the appropriate government authorities as an NGO/non-profit) for at least two years, musthave an established headquarters, a democratically adopted constitution, authority to speak forits members, a representative structure, appropriate mechanisms of accountability and democraticand transparent decision-making processes. The basic resources of the organization must bederived in the main part from contributions of the national affiliates or other components orfrom individual members.Organizations established by governments or intergovernmental agreements are not considered NGOs.
General, Special and Roster statusThere are three categories of status: General consultative status, Special consultative status andRoster status.General consultative status is reserved for large international NGOs whose area of work coversmost of the issues on the agenda of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies. These tend to be fairly large,established international NGOs with a broad geographical reach.Special consultative status is granted to NGOs which have a special competence in, and areconcerned specifically with, only a few of the fields of activity covered by the ECOSOC.These NGOs tend to be smaller and more recently established.Organizations that apply for consultative status but do not fit in any of the other categoriesare usually included in the Roster. These NGOs tend to have a rather narrow and/or technical focus.NGOs that have formal status with other UN bodies or specialized agencies (FAO, ILO, UNCTAD,UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO and others), can be included on the ECOSOC Roster. The roster lists NGOsthat ECOSOC or the UN Secretary-General considers can make "occasional and useful contributionsto the work of the Council or its subsidiary bodies."
Participation in International ConferencesNon-governmental organizations in general consultative status, special consultative status and onthe Roster, that express their wish to attend the relevant international conferences convened bythe United Nations and the meetings of the preparatory bodies of the said conferences shall asa rule be accredited for participation. Other non-governmental organizations wishing to beaccredited may apply to the secretariat of the conference for this purpose.