4 NGOs Join 237 Others For A Special Role In UNCTAD

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Human Action for Integrated Development in Senegal (AHDIS), the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), the National Association for Consumer Protection of Bulgaria (NACP) and the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) have joined 237 other Non-Governmental Organisations that play a special role in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) policy discussions and debates.

UNCTAD member countries granted observer status to these four NGOs on Wednesday, October 2, during the 68th executive session of the organisation’s governing body, the Trade and Development Board.

Only organisations with observer status do take the floor during certain UNCTAD meetings. This is the case for the Trade and Development Board and for the ministerial conferences, which gather every four years to set the organisation’s work programme.

Addressing the board, the World Assembly of Youth’s Secretary-General, Ediola Pashollari, said: ‘’WAY is looking forward to working hand-in-hand with UNCTAD through various platforms, including awareness activities, policy and strategy dialogues, and participation at WAY’s events and programmes’’, adding, ‘’I would like to thank UNCTAD for being an inclusive platform and for recognising young people as partners, and owners of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.’’

Headquartered in Malaysia, the World Assembly of Youth is the international coordinating body of 140 national youth councils and organisations from all continents.

Founded in 1949, WAY works to promote youth and youth organisations in areas such as youth employment, environment, human rights, democracy, population, health, drugs, community development and leadership training.

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) is a UK-based charity organisation that supports coastal fisheries, including the people, communities, businesses and seas connected with them.

Established in 2012, the foundation promotes ‘’one-by-one’’ tuna fisheries – tuna caught with one hook and line, one fish at a time. Its membership includes 65 organisations from across the globe involved in the one-by-one tuna supply chain.

The Dakar-based Human Action for Integrated Development in Senegal (Action humaine pour le développement intégré au Sénégal) is a grassroots association created in 1988 that works on social and economic issues affecting communities in the West African nation.

These include microfinance, health, sanitation and nutrition, technical capacity building and agriculture production.

Established in Sofia in 2015, the National Association for Consumer Protection is a self-governing, non-profit association working to protect the rights and interests of Bulgarian consumers.

The association’s work focuses on two areas: unfair trading practices and dispute resolution. The organisation is qualified to defend consumers in court in Bulgaria or to seek legal action against businesses whose commercial practices are against their collective interest.

Non-governmental organisations, trade unions, business associations and other civil society organizations that are not yet part of UNCTAD’s family are encouraged to apply for observer status.

The status grants the organisations access to UNCTAD’s public meetings, including its quadrennial ministerial conferences, whose next edition will take place in 2020 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The eligibility criteria is set by the Trade and Development Board and includes the organisations’ involvement in issues relevant to UNCTAD’s work. Member states have the final word on whether an organisation meets these requirements.

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