ECOSOC and NGOs
“… 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
The Sir William Beveridge Foundation was granted special consultative status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in July 2012. This enables the Foundation to take part in UN consultations by submitting papers and taking part in consultation sessions which are held on-line as well as in meetings convened across the world. These include sessions of ECOSOC, its functional commissions and subsidiary bodies.
This special status also means that the Foundation is part of the civil society activities of the UN within the NGO Branch that is a part of ECOSOC. Non-governmental organisations have been actively engaged with the United Nations since its inception in 1945 originally under Article 71 of the UN Charter and currently by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31. They are able to work with the UN Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in various ways, including in consultation with member states. NGOs contribute to a number of activites including information dissemination, awareness raising, development education, policy advocacy, joint operational projects, participation in intergovernmental processes and in the contribution of services and technical expertise. The number of NGOs in consultative status has grown from 41 in 1946 to over 700 in 1992 and more than 3,400 organisations today.
While NGOs in consultative status can offer expert advice to ECOSOC on their specialised, hands-on experience in their areas of activity and do so to a global audience, they can also express their views and influence the work of the Council. This is achieved through providing expert analysis on issues directly from its experience in the field; help with monitoring and implementing international agreements; help to raise public awareness of relevant issues and play a major role in advancing UN goals and objectives.