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The statement of Ms. Rena Tasuja, Counsellor of the Mission of ESTONIA to the UN at the resumed session of the NGO Committee, 21 May 2018

21.05.2018

Thank you Mr. Chair,
 
Civil societies and non-governmental organisations are vital partners to the governments in the international system. Their involvement is a crucial aspect in the work of the United Nations. The Secretary General has frequently affirmed that the role of the civil society organisations is more important than ever in helping the UN reach its goals. For these reasons and beyond, it is imperative that the UN, in particular the NGO Committee explores means to widen and make its processes more accessible and meaningful to the civil society organisations. In this regard, we commend the Committee’s step to hold its first consultations with NGOs on the 22nd of June. This helps to strengthen the framework laid down in the Economic and Social Council Resolution of 1996/31.

Estonia is pleased having been elected to the 2019 – 2022 term of the NGO Committee. We hope that our wide experience of the cooperation with the civil society in the UN and elsewhere in the international arena allows us to bring in an extra value to the Committee. We strongly support the aspirations of the consultative status of the NGOs that have an established record of activities in devotion to the goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We find it is important that civil society organizations with consultative status are able to participate and address members during the session of the Committee. Ultimately, this would reflect commitment of the Committee to the spirit, principles and aspirations of the UN Charta.

As a soon joining member of the Committee, Estonia strongly supports the improvement of the working methods of the NGO Committee, so that it can fulfill its core duty in its entirety. We should not forget that in processes of deliberation, policy formation and policy execution, NGOs can offer data, insight and consultation that could otherwise be overlooked. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the Committee lives up to its responsibility of making decisions as effectively, quickly and responsively as possible, that way increasing the number of the organisations accredited.

Mr Chair,

We urge the Committee to always defend and uphold the guiding principles agreed by all of us in Resolution 1996/31. We look forward to have constructive cooperation with the members of this Committee, and colleagues in the NGO Branch at the beginning of the next year.

Finally, I would like to ask this statement to be made part of the official record of the resumed session of the Committee.  

I thank you.
 

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