Global Policy Forum

Open Letter to Foreign Ministers And Ambassadors


By Mark Ritchie

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

November 21, 2000

Proposed General Assembly NGO Resolution

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) hereby formally requests your support for the proposed Resolution on NGO participation in the United Nations General Assembly, which has been drafted by the International NGO Task Group on Legal and Institutional Matters. Adoption of the proposed resolution will reinforce the effective and positive relationship between the UN and NGOs that has aided in the development of sound and responsible international policy. A copy of the draft Resolution is attached for ease of reference.

Our own experience, as an NGO with ECOSOC consultative status, is that increased NGo access has assisted significantly the quality of intergovernmental deliberations. The injection of a wide range of independent data, analyses and recommendations can only promote the quality of government decision making, and enhance the subsequent public understanding of, and support for, new initiatives.

While extending limited consultative arrangements currently existing in relation to ECOSOC to the wider General Assembly structure, the proposed resolution is designed to formally recognize key elements from fifty/four years of existing practice of NGO participation in the work of the General Assembly. In functional terms, this would enable accredited NGOs to attend open UNGA meetings, receive documentation and circulate their own materials to delegates, as is regularly and successfully done at many UNGA meetings.

IATP shares the major objectives of the United Nations, including those of a peaceful and environmentally sustainable future and the promotion of resilient family farms. IATP looks forward to continued participation in UN activities, and we appeal to your government to support the draft resolution in hopes of improved and continued collaboration.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Ritchie


More Information on NGO and the General Assembly


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