Freemuse: Grounds pass to the United Nations

30 January 2012
The United Nations has granted a ‘Special consultative status’ to Freemuse

“We welcome the opportunity to work with you and will be happy to facilitate your participation in the work of the United Nations, in particular ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, in the future,” wrote Andrei Abramov, Chief of UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs NGO Branch, in a letter to Freemuse on 27 July 2012.

At its Substantive Session of July 2012, the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, adopted a recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations to grant a so-called ‘Special consultative status’ to Freemuse – The World Forum on Music and Censorship.

Consultative status for an organisation enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of ways. The status provides both privileges and obligations.

Access and participation
First of all, the status entitles Freemuse to designate official representatives to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna. Freemuse’s representatives will be able to register for and participate in events, conferences and activities of the United Nations, and Freemuse may designate authorized representatives to sit as observers at public meetings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, General Assembly, Human Rights Council and other United Nations intergovernmental decision-making bodies.

Freemuse is granted access to United Nations press documentation services, and is able to submit written statements relevant to the work of the Council on subjects in which Freemuse has a special competence, music and censorship. These statements may be circulated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the members of the Council.

Consultancy work and facilities
Commissions and other subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC may consult with Freemuse, and such consultations may be arranged at the request of Freemuse. A commission of ECOSOC may recommend that Freemuse undertake studies or investigations, or prepare papers for the commission. Freemuse shall also be able to consult officers of the appropriate offices of the Secretariat on matters of mutual interest or concern.

Because of the consultative status, the Secretary-General is authorized to offer United Nations facilities to Freemuse, which includes accommodation for conferences or smaller meetings related to the work of ECOSOC, appropriate seating arrangements and facilities for obtaining documents during public meetings of the General Assembly that deal with matters in the economic and social and related fields, arrangement of informal discussions on matters of special interest to groups or organisations, prompt and efficient distribution of documents related to ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies as the Secretary-General deems appropriate, and use of United Nations libraries.

Among the responsibilities of an NGO in consultative status is to submit a report on the activities of their organisations once every four years, known as quadrennial reports.

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