By Coptic Solidarity –
Christian News Wire – (Washington, DC) December 8, 2022
Yesterday, December 7, Member States of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) voted for nine non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gain consultative status with the United Nations, including Coptic Solidarity. This vote opens many more opportunities to Coptic Solidarity to advocate for equal citizenship rights for the indigenous Coptic Christians of Egypt and other religious minorities in international fora, such as the UN Human Rights Council.
Coptic Solidarity applied for consultative status with the UN in April 2015, but the application was deferred in every biannual review by the UN Committee on NGOs since that time. The current application process allows member states of the committee to directly, or indirectly through collaboration with countries who are not members of the committee, block the applications of organizations that engage in advocacy work which exposes human rights violations those states prefer to keep hidden or not address.
The Egyptian Mission to the UN was able to work with member countries to indefinitely defer Coptic Solidarity’s application for more than seven years in this way. Within the application process, a single question by a single state means a 6-month deferral. Coptic Solidarity received a question every six months. When our staff attended some sessions to answer questions in person, in hopes of avoiding further deferrals, a common tactic was utilized, requesting the response in writing. Merely by refusing to accept Coptic Solidarity’s verbal response, a single state was able to prevent Coptic Solidarity’s application from being accepted. There are endless versions of this stratagem used to block NGO’s applications. Ironically, more “docile” NGOs found their applications approved virtually upon applying.
In September 2022, the US Mission to the UN utilized a procedural maneuver to force a vote on the application of Coptic Solidarity and a few other NGOs amongst the larger ECOSOC body. In this way, the Committee on NGO’s could no longer play the game of indefinite deferrals. Through the vote which took place on December 7th, Coptic Solidarity finally received consultative status along with eight other NGOs, one of which held the record for longest deferral, 15 years!
Coptic Solidarity president, Mrs. Caroline Doss, JD responded to the news, “We are grateful to the staff of the US Mission to the UN who enabled the vote providing us with consultative status. Yet, we recognize that hundreds of other legitimate NGOs are languishing in the same indefinite deferral process due to the abuse by NGO Committee member states. It is imperative that the UN restructure the accreditation process so that member states can no longer politicize NGO applications and limit which legitimate organizations have access to UN grounds and are able to participate in UN initiatives.”
Coptic Solidarity anticipates utilizing consultative status with the UN to pursue new opportunities for collaboration, creating awareness, and advocating for Coptic equality in Egypt.
Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts of Egypt. We support those in Egypt working for democracy, freedom, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens, and advocate in cooperation with the affiliated organizations in Canada and in Europe (Solidarité Copte). For more information, contact Lindsay Rodriguez at 801-512-1713 or firstname.lastname@example.org