Skip to main content

India "blocking" international Dalit body's UN consultative status, says UN official, backed by US, Norway

By Our Representative
In an unusual development, a senior UN official has taken strong exception to India “arbitrarily blocking” high-profile NGO operating from Copenhagen, International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), from obtaining UN consultative status. Calling Indian move “clearly unacceptable, wrong and unfair”, UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai has said, reprisals were an area of the gravest concern and some states were repeatedly targeting organizations, “thus obstructing legitimate civil society participation.”
Kiai’s statement, made on October 28 in an address to a UN General Assembly meeting, found strong support from several countries, including the United States and Norway. Echoing Kiai’s concern, the American representative insisted that there was a need to reform the UN Committee on NGOs, which decides on the NGOs to be called as consultants in order to “prevent member states from blocking accreditation applications by posing perpetual questions and blocking consensus”.
The Norwegian representative specifically referred to the “continued deferral for seven years of the IDSN’s application for accreditation as an NGO with the UN”, saying this was “unacceptable and the situation should be rectified.” Earlier, suggesting the urgent need to “reform” of the NGO Committee, Maina Kiai said that this was necessary so that “unjustified blocks of legitimate human rights organisations such as IDSN did not occur.”
Though the UN meeting took place on October 28, the critique, apparently, went unnoticed. In its statement, the IDSN said how Kiai “highlighted” the way in which the NGO Committee had been “politicized”, blocking UN consultative status to NGOs, “deliberately” and “arbitrarily” applications of such bodies like IDSN. It quoted Kiai to say, “Since 2008, this NGO (IDSN) that focuses on caste-based discrimination has received 64 written questions from the committee, all raised by India.” And this was perhaps “the longest pending application before the NGO Committee.”
This NGO Committee is composed of 19 member-states: five from Africa, four from Asia, two from Eastern Europe, four from Latin America and the Caribbean, and four from Western Europe. Apart from India, three countries – known for poor human rights records – Russia, China and Bahrain – seemed not very happy with the UN special rapporteur’s views. Russia wanted that the issues should be resolved through “constructive cooperation with governments” as some NGOs had a “negative impact”.
Other areas of grave concern noted by Maina Kai included reprisals against human rights defenders participating in UN events and processes, the lack of adequate funding for the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the increasingly shrinking space for civil society nationally and internationally.
As an example of this shrinking space the special rapporteur warned, “The demands of the Financial Action Task Force to regulate NGOs to prevent abuse of such organizations for the financing of terrorism have been followed by a wave of new restrictions worldwide on funding for civil society, many of which do nothing to legitimately advance the fight against money laundering and terrorism.”

Comments

Raju Charles said…
Thanks a million to Norway!

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.