A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens' concerns to Governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement
international agreements. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, the environment or health. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations System differs depending on their goals, their venue and their
Over 1,500 NGOs with strong information programmes on issues of concern to the United Nations are associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI), giving the United Nations valuable links to people around the world. DPI helps those NGOs gain access to and disseminate information about the range of issues in which the United Nations is involved, to enable the public to understand better the aims and objectives of the World Organization.
Twenty NGOs from Pakistan are currently associated with DPI, a figure that is gradually increasing. These NGOs are working in diverse areas such as education, the environment, human rights, health care and women's rights, and naturally advocate the goals of the United Nations.
NGOs can carry out co-operation with the United Nations system in the following ways:
1) NGOs may receive accreditation for a conference, summit or other event organised by the United Nations. Such accreditation is issued through the Secretariat preparing the event and expires upon the completion of the event. It entitles NGOs to participate in the preparation process and in the event itself, thus contributing to its outcome.
2) NGOs may establish working relations with particular Departments, Programmes or Specialised Agencies of the United Nations system, based on shared fields of interest and potential for joint activities complementing the work of the United Nations office in a particular area.
3) International NGOs active in the field of economic and social development may seek to obtain consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). For requirements concerning consultative status with ECOSOC, please contact the NGO Section of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the following address:
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
One United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
U. S. A.
ASSOCIATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION (DPI)
NGOs with effective information programmes on issues of concern to the United Nations may apply for association with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI). There are currently more than 1,500 NGOs associated with DPI. The Department helps NGOs gain access to and disseminate information about the range of issues in which the United Nations is involved, so as to enable the public to understand better the aims and objectives of the World Organization.
Interested NGOs are requested to send to the DPI/NGO Section an official letter of request for such association, accompanied by at least six different samples of UN-related information materials. The NGO Section will determine if the formal application process for association can proceed. The United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad provides assistance to Pakistani NGOs wishing to be associated with DPI. They are encouraged to contact:
United Nations Information Centre
P. O. Box 1107
CRITERIA FOR ASSOCIATION WITH DPI
NGOs applying for association with DPI should satisfy the following requirements:
The NGO must support and respect the principles of the Charter of the United Nations;
The NGO must be of recognized national or international standing;
The NGO should operate solely on a non-for-profit basis and have tax-exempt status;
The NGO must have the commitment and the means to conduct effective information programmes with its constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities by publishing newsletters, bulletins and pamphlets; organising conferences, seminars and round tables; or enlisting the attention of the media;
The NGO should have an established record of continuity of work for a minimum of three years and should show promise of sustained activity in the future;
The NGO should have a satisfactory record of collaboration with UN Information Centres/Services or other parts of the UN System prior to association;
The NGO should provide an audited annual financial statement, conducted by a qualified independent accountant;
The NGO should have statutes/bylaws providing for a transparent process of taking decisions, elections of officers and members of the Board of Directors.