What is ECOSOC status

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution allows civil society participation in the work of the UN. The Committee on NGOs oversees its implementation and processes all applications by civil society organisations for ECOSOC status.

The status allows NGOs to participate fully in the UN system. Without it, they are confined to the sidelines - unable to submit questions, attend UN sessions or hold side events in their own name.

The Committee on NGOs reviews applications for ECOSOC status twice a year. 

The number of deferred applications is high and many NGOs get deferred for several times, by what we believe are tactics employed by some States to deny access to NGOs critical of governments and select their own jury at the UN.

This impression is shared by others like the Human Rights House Foundation, that called ECOSOC the “21st century censorship bureau” in an article from May 2014 on the Index on Censorship. States who are committee members are controlling the review process to defer applications, such as asking (often repetitive) questions that go beyond the scope of what  NGOs are required to submit with their applications.


Visit ECOSOC's website

The Committee on NGOs site shows the latest developments, including news on NGOs application status 

Read ISHR's summary of ECOSOC's NGO Committee