We are excited to announce that Woodenfish Foundation has been granted special consultative status with the United Nations through ECOSOC. It's a big step as we continue to internationalize and diversify the activities of Woodenfish. What does this mean?
It means that Woodenfish's work over the past 10+ years has been recognized as contributing to the overall goals of the United Nations, and as an NGO member with the one body that engages civil society at the UN, we will be able to leverage a much larger network of NGOs to broaden the scope and impact of the work we do. Woodenfish and its representatives will be able to contribute to the dialogue around the sustainable development goals, enlarge our knowledge base, collaborate with like-minded NGOs, and overall get better and what we do to further the mission of Woodenfish and contribute to a more peaceful and compassionate global society. This builds on a long history that Venerable Yifa has had participating in United Nations conferences. With broader access privileges to the grounds of the United Nations, it is quite fortuitous that Woodenfish continues to build its US base in the New York area. We anticipate hosting additional programs to visit the UN, especially surrounding larger conferences and assemblies that are of relevance.
If you are curious, below is a brief primer on what this status means in more detail--
ECOSOC remains the only main UN body with a formal framework for NGO participation. This accreditation framework benefits both the United Nations and the NGOs. As stated by resolution 1996/31 on the “Consultative relationship between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations,”
“... Consultative arrangements are to be made, on the one hand, for the purpose of enabling the Council or one of its bodies to secure expert information or advice from organizations having special competence in the subjects for which consultative arrangements are made, and, on the other hand, to enable international, regional, sub-regional and national organizations that represent important elements of public opinion to express their views.” — ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, part II, paragraph 20
While ECOSOC has the opportunity to avail itself of valuable and expert advice from NGOs, the NGOs in turn also have the opportunity of expressing their views and influencing the work of the Council. NGOs have specialized competence, hands-on experience and flexibility that is of great value to the UN.
For instance, by having consultative status, an NGO could:
» Provide expert analysis on issues directly from its experience in the field;
» Serve as an early warning agent;
» Help monitor and implement international agreements;
» Help raise public awareness of relevant issues;
» Play a major role in advancing United Nations goals and objectives;
» Contribute with essential information at organization events.
On the other hand, ECOSOC provides NGOs the opportunity to be heard by a truly global audience and contribute to its agenda. An NGO with consultative status can:
» Attend international conferences and events;
» Make written and oral statements at these events;
» Organize side events;
» Enter United Nations premises;
» Have opportunities to network and lobby
For more information, this information and more is available from the UN Brochure on Working with ECOSOC, An NGOs Guide to Consultative Status.