[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The member states of the United Nations (UN) Committee on NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) have granted to The Episcopal Church special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations.
ECOSOC is one of the five main UN organs and addresses economic and social development issues. Eighty percent of the UN’s work happens in ECOSOC, and it is also the agency by which non-governmental organizations have official affiliation and relationships with the UN and its various agencies.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori commented, “The granting to The Episcopal Church of ‘special consultative status’ to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations by its member states will make the Church’s advocacy efforts more effective and increase our participation in shaping global development efforts. The latter is especially significant as the Millennium Development Goals initiative shifts toward a post-2015 development agenda. The effort to gain ECOSOC status has taken more than a year, and has been ably shepherded by Lynnaia Main of the Global Partnerships team.”
This designation will enhance The Episcopal Church’s three-pronged ministry of presence, hospitality and advocacy at the UN by allowing greater access and opportunities for advocacy, explained Main, Episcopal Church Global Relations Officer. In addition to attending events open only to ECOSOC NGOs, The Episcopal Church now will be able to send official representatives to up to 11 annual Commissions (such as the Status of Women, Indigenous Issues, Sustainable Development, Social Development and Human Rights Council) whose recommendations often become General Assembly resolutions debated and voted on by member states. Also, The Episcopal Church will be eligible to submit written statements and offer oral interventions to those Commissions, and offer its expertise through other unique opportunities granted to ECOSOC NGOs.
The Executive Council, at its February 2014 meeting, approved a resolution that recognized this significant step and, among other resolves, “affirm(s) that advocacy and networking at the United Nations forms an intrinsic part of The Episcopal Church’s comprehensive strategies for advocacy and public witness that both informs, and is informed by, those comprehensive strategies;” and “affirm(s) its commitment to working closely with the Anglican Communion in the development of its ministries at the United Nations, for the further enhancement and strengthening of our collective Anglican and Episcopal voices there.”
The ECOSOC status took effect in May.
For more information contact Main at firstname.lastname@example.org.