After a lengthy application and approval process, BCIU is excited to announce that our organization is now formally accredited as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) through special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The approval process includes a review of an organization’s work, history and ability to support the missions of ECOSOC and the UN. We will defend our status every four years through a quadrennial report.

What is ECOSOC?

One of the six principal organs of the UN, ECOSOC consists of 54 member states elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. The Council serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, such as gender equality, disarmament, population and development, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system.

ECOSOC works to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals, including the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits.

What is consultative status?

As part of its coordination role within the UN system, ECOSOC is a gateway for UN partnerships and participation by the rest of the world. It offers a unique global meeting point for productive dialogues among policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, foundations, businesses, youth and more than 6,000 current registered NGOs.

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The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the Member of the United Nations concerned.

- United Nations Charter, Chapter X, Article 71

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While NGOs have been actively engaged with the UN since its inception in 1945, ECOSOC is the only main UN body with a formal framework for NGO participation. ECOSOC benefits from the valuable and expert advice from NGOs, and NGOs, in turn, have the opportunity to express their views and influence the work of the Council. The UN greatly values the specialized competence, hands-on experience and flexibility of NGOs.

What does this mean for BCIU?

An NGO with consultative status can provide expert analysis on issues directly from its experience in the field, play a role in advancing UN goals and objectives, raise awareness of relevant events, and contribute essential information at organization gatherings. This status provides NGOs with access not only to ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, the various human rights mechanisms of the UN, and ad-hoc processes on small arms, as well as special events organized by the president of the General Assembly.

ECOSOC provides NGOs the opportunity to be heard by a truly global audience and to contribute to its agenda. As an NGO with consultative status, BCIU and our membership will experience direct impact, access and exposure throughout the full life cycle of many UN gatherings and initiatives, from ideation and planning to delivery and follow-up.

We have full rights to attend UN-affiliated events and programs, provide oral or written statements to the Council, and engage Permanent Missions, Observer Missions and UN-affiliated institutions. This position will give us the opportunity to consult with UN officials for expertise during program development, to express our views and, most importantly, to enhance our network.

What is on the agenda for 2023?

Each year, the Council determines a theme to guide its subsidiary bodies in policy-setting and coordination. The issue-based approach for 2023 is “Accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.”

The agenda for 2023 is wide-ranging and ambitious, reflecting the Council’s commitment to working with all stakeholders to address modern challenges. Key events for this year include:

  • Conference on Disarmament (CD): a multilateral disarmament forum that seeks to achieve nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The 2023 CD was held from January through June in Geneva.
  • Commission on the Status of Women: a UN body that promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women. Its 65th session was held from March 6-17 in New York.
  • Commission on Population and Development: a UN body that focuses on population and development policies. The 2023 session was held from April 10-19 in New York.
  • ECOSOC Youth Forum: a platform for young people to engage with Member States and other stakeholders on issues related to sustainable development. It was held this year from April 25-27 in New York.
  • High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): an annual review of progress on the UN sustainable development goals. The HLPF will be held from July 5-15 in New York.

In addition to the above events, the Council holds a number of meetings and events throughout the year that serve as spaces for Member States and other stakeholders to discuss and debate a wide range of issues. BCIU is committed to fostering new opportunities for our members and is looking forward to this next step in our work with the UN. For questions or more information about BCIU’s special consultancy status, please contact

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