26 June 2023

Flags from countries all over the world fly in front of the United Nations Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations) in Geneva.

In February 2023, RightsTech Women and a number of other nongovernmental organizations were recommended, by ECOSOC’s Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, for ECOSOC special consultative status, after applying for this status. ‘ECOSOC’ is the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It has what are called subsidiary bodies, like committees or other UN bodies formed under the auspices of ECOSOC. One of those subsidiary bodies is one that considers applications from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for ECOSOC consultative status: the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. That Committee is comprised of elected Member States of the United Nations (governments).

RTW went through the EOCOSOC status application process, with a positive result after being considered by the Committee on NGOs over this last year. After its last meeting in February 2023, the Committee on NGOs proposed two draft decisions for adoption by its ‘parent’ body, ECOSOC, contained in Chapter 1 of the Committee’s report on its 2022 regular session (document E/2023/32 (Part II)). One decision was “Applications for consultative status and quadrennial reports received from non-governmental organizations” and the other one was “Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2023 regular session”. The decisions were adopted without a vote by ECOSOC at its Management Committee on 7 June 2023, in New York.

What this means in practice is that RightsTech Women will be able to participate in certain processes at the United Nations that require this status of participating NGOs, such as some intergovernmental processes. Having ECOSOC consultative status will allow for increased engagement by RightsTech Women and partners with UN entities, governments, civil society and other stakeholders in a range of intergovernmental mechanisms in the UN system., in particular, some human rights mechanisms that fall under the aegis of ECOSOC. Many of these take place in Geneva.

RightsTech Women celebrates this milestone in its institutional development and looks forward to fruitful engagement with stakeholders in a range of UN mechanisms, as it calls for equal representation of girls and women in STEM education and employment by 2030.

See United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2023 regular session (14 February 2023), available from https://undocs.org/E/2023/32%20(Part%20II)

For more information, please see: United Nations, Meetings Coverage, Opening 2023 Management Segment, Economic and Social Council Adopts 22 Draft Texts Proposed by Subsidiary Bodies, ECOSOC/7130, 7 June 2023, available at https://press.un.org/en/2023/ecosoc7130.doc.htm.