Global Policy Forum

Problematic NGOs at the UN


Some NGOs are highly problematic in their conduct, funding, connection to governments, program mission and methods of work. Reverend Moon front groups, weapons promoters and corporate lobby associations are among the UN's most dubious NGO participants. Some of these NGOs already have accreditation, and several more continue to push for access to and participation in the UN. The discrepancies between NGOs cause UN officials to be more critical of all outside organizations and raise questions on the process of NGO participation and status at the UN.

Key Documents


Rev. Moon and the United Nations: A Challenge for the NGO Community (November 2001)

According to WEED, three Moon front groups operate as accredited NGOs at the UN and more have applied for NGO status. This paper raises questions about who should qualify for NGO status and what protections should be developed against well-financed charlatans.


Conservatives Step Up Activities Overseas (January 14, 2006)

The influence of US-based conservative NGOs' has increased dramatically, this Associated Press article reports. US groups are attempting to influence UN conferences and persuade Washington to implement foreign aid restrictions. The groups are trying to block aid to UN funds, agencies or groups that allegedly support abortion. Progressive activists have criticized the US-based groups, claiming their influence results from political ties rather than expertise.

The Rev. Moon's Last Stand? (June 2, 2004)

Controversial religious leader Sun Myung Moon revived his interest in the UN after a period of silence. After futile efforts to encourage the UN to form a "religious assembly," Moon organized the Inaugural Assembly of the Interreligious International Peace Council, a "body on the level of a new United Nations." Calling for a faith-based approach to world peace the assembly attracted influential political figures and triggered the Bush administration's interest. (WorkingForChange)

For Faith and Family: Christian Right Advocacy at the United Nations (Fall 2002)

A new era of collaboration across faith organizations begins as the conservative wings of religious groups define a common agenda on the death penalty and abortion.(Public Eye)

"New Sheriff in Town": The Christian Right Shapes US Agenda at the United Nations (Summer 2002)

With blessings from the Bush Administration, the Christian Right has begun to aggressively manipulate the UN agenda. Author Jennifer Butler shows how in recent years, many "pro-family" NGOs have managed to attain consultative status at the UN, allowing them to lobby against "women's rights, abortion, homosexuality, and children's rights." (The Public Eye)

The Religious Right at the Beijing+5 PrepCom (updated June, 2000)

Analysis by Jennifer Butler of "pro-family" religious groups and how they tried to influence negotiations leading to the five year review of the Beijing Women's Conference.

Right-Wing Anti-Feminist Groups at the United Nations (May 2000)

This research report prepared by Anick Druelle of the Université du Québec à Montréal, is part of a larger research project designed to analyse the discourse and strategies of a number of national governments and groups that claim religion as their authority when they address the rights of women at the United Nations.



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