Thanks, Josh :-)
* Actually, it’s worse than I thought … I had previously written:
Meanwhile the United Nations continues adding branches and shrubbery to its merry maze, spawning acronymic panels, working groups, committees and cultivating and enabling the influence of Non-governmental organizations (NGO)s – whom they call “civil society”. I’m not sure where that leaves the rest of us whose organizational affiliations might not lead to membership in one of the “chosen” (?!) groups. Indeed, one might well ask: “What am I, chopped liver?”
I was speaking of the “NGO Branch” of the UN’s Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]. But there’s another group of 1,300 NGOs whose channel seems to run through a different branch of the maze: The Department of Public Information (DPI).
According to ECOSOC’s “Basic Facts about ECOSOC Status“, those in the DPI NGO “Cluster” are a different class of organization:
ECOSOC accreditation is separate and distinct from NGOs who are associated the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). These organizations generally have far fewer privileges to participate in intergovernmental meetings of the United Nations. See list of DPI-associated NGOs as of September 2011 here. See website here. [links in original and emphasis added -hro]
I’ve just briefly scanned the DPI list, and (Peter willing!) at some point I’ll see if there’s any cross-pollination! [Please see UPDATE below] In the meantime, for your edification, here’s what the DPI has to say about this “Cluster”:
The NGO Relations Cluster is the link to approximately 1,300 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) associated with the Department of Public Information and supports their efforts to interact effectively with the United Nations in their areas of expertise.
The Cluster is also responsible for facilitating the exchange of information and developing partnerships with civil society. It plays a coordinating role within the UN Secretariat to reach out to civil society partners around the world and enhance their interaction with, and understanding of, the work of the UN.
The Cluster proactively reaches out to representatives of civil society who seek information about the UN and look for opportunities to support the Organization at the international, regional, national and community levels. [emphasis added -hro]
And be sure to check out the “home away from home” for this Cluster of NGOs. This page indicates only 1,200 NGOs in the Cluster – proving once again that about the only consistency one might expect to find within the UN is … “inconsistency”.
a-MAZE-ing. Simply amazing!
UPDATE 03/13/2012 11:48 AM PDT Yes, there is cross-pollination of NGOs. Of the 1297 organizations that Peter extracted from the DPI list, 182 are also accredited by ECOSOC. Data is available here.