Information for NGO participation

[ download the practical guide for NGO participants ]

 

How to participate in a session of the Commissions?
NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can be accredited to participate in the sessions of the Commissions as observers.
As observers, NGOs are able, among other things, to:

  • Attend and observe all proceedings of the Commissions with the exception of informal meetings for Member States only
  • Submit written statements to the Commissions
  • Make oral interventions at the sessions of the Commissions
  • Participate in special events and panel discussions
  • Organize side events and exhibitions on issues relevant to the work of the Commissions

The Commissions broadcast some of the sessions live via webcast. While UN TV is unfortunately not (yet) available, the Secretariat streams the general debates of the sessions to the webpages of the Commissions.

 

Accreditation
An NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC planning to attend a session of the Commissions must send a letter of request for accreditation, signed by the head of the organization, to the Secretariat. The letter should be sent well in advance of the relevant session - latest one week before the start of the session.
The letter must contain the following elements:

  • Submitted on the official letterhead of the organization;
  • State the title and duration of the session the organization wishes to attend, e.g. "[Name of NGO], in consultative status with ECSOOC, wishes to send the following members to attend the Xth session of the Commission (dates of session) …";
  • Up to 10 people maximum can be accredited to the session per NGO;
  • List the name/s (FAMILY NAME, First name) of the person/s who will represent the organization at the session and their respective email-addresses. Names of persons must appear exactly as they appear in their passports.
  • The letter must be signed by the President or Chief Executive Officer of the organization.

Representatives will receive a message to the email-address provided asking them to upload their photo. Once the photo is uploaded, the badge can be pre-printed and made available for pick-up.
Please also fill out the registration form provided on http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/registration.html to facilitate registration and help avoid mistakes.
Please send the letter of request for accreditation in pdf format and the registration form in word format by email to unodc-sgb[at]un.org .

More information on the consultative status with ECOSOC is available from DESA: Basic facts about ECOSOC status

 

Attending the Session
The Commissions meet for their annual regular sessions in the M-building of the Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria.
NGO representatives must obtain a photo identity bade upon arrival at the United Nations and before attending the session at Gate 1 of the Vienna International Centre.
Representatives accredited to the session as described above can pick-up their badges in person, upon presentation of an identity document (i.e. passport) and a copy of the letter of request for accreditation from the concerned NGO.
NGO representatives in possession of an annual grounds pass for the Vienna International Centre and valid for the duration of the session, will have access to the conference rooms, but will not be included in the list of participants unless accredited to the session. To be included in the list of participants, representatives must be registered and get a pass for the duration of the meeting.
All travel-related expenses, accommodation and medical insurance are the responsibility of the NGO or its representatives.
NGO representatives accredited to the session can attend the plenary meetings, the meetings of the Committee of the Whole and side events. At the plenary meetings, the Commissions discuss the issues that are contained in the provisional agendas (the agenda is contained in document number 1 of the session, please see the documentation sections of the Commissions' websites). In order to examine draft decisions, draft resolutions and specific technical issues, a Committee of the Whole is convened in parallel with the plenary meetings of the Commission. NGO representatives can participate in the Committee of the whole as observers, but cannot take the floor. Informal consultations conducted by Member States are not open to NGO participation. Audio and video recordings of sessions and live transmissions of the meetings are not permitted, except for accredited media.

 

Submitting Written Statements
NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC may submit written statements to the Commissions.
NGOs in general consultative status may submit written statements of up to 2,000 words. NGOs in special consultative status may submit written statements of up to 1,500 words.
A written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) as received (English, French or Spanish) from the submitting NGO. NGOs assume full responsibility for the content of their statements, which should fully uphold UN standards and avoid abusive language.
The deadline for written statements is normally two weeks prior to the session. Please submit to unodc-sgb[at]un.org.
Checklist for inclusion in the submission:

  • Contact information for the representative submitting written statements (name, mobile, email)
  • Standing agenda item number of statement
  • NGO's name as it appears in the ECOSOC NGO database, indicating consultative status in brackets (general, special), names of co-sponsoring ECOSOC NGOs
  • List all non-ECOSOC NGOs supporting the statement (which will appear as a footnote to the statement title)
  • Statement to be in MS WORD document format (Font Times New Roman 10 point)
  • All submissions are final, no changes will be made afterwards

 

Making an oral statement during the plenary sessions
NGOs can inscribe an accredited member of their delegation to the speaker's list to deliver a statement on behalf of their organization on any of the agenda items.
Prior to the opening of the Commission NGOs wishing to inscribe on the list of speakers are asked to send the name of the organization as well as the name (FAMILY NAME, First name) and function of their speaker as well as the item under which they wish to speak to the Secretariat to the Governing Bodies at unodc-sgb[at]un.org .
During the meeting speakers need to register to the speaker's list in the plenary room at the conference officer's desk before the item which they wish to address closes.
The list of speakers for the general debate has an application period. The application period is decided by the Bureau of the Commission and it is usually open a month before the meeting and it closes in the week before the meeting.
The list of speakers is established on a first-come, first-served basis. NGOs take the floor after Member States, United Nations entities and Intergovernmental Organizations.
A speaking time of maximum 5 minutes (or 500 words) is allotted to all speakers. Speakers are requested to provide a copy of their statement to the Conference Officers in the plenary room and also adjust the speed of the delivery of their statement in order to facilitate the work of the interpreters.

 

Remote participation by video statement
NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC which are not present in Vienna and which do not have individuals accredited to the relevant session of the Commissions may participate in some meetings by submitting a pre-recorded video statement.
To enable the Secretariat to duly verify the credentials of the NGOs and the identity of individuals delivering a video message, please submit the following:

  • Letter on the NGO's official letterhead and signed by its President or Chief Executive Officer
  • Indication of the session concerned, agenda item and specific segment of the programme of work in which the oral statement through video-messaging will be made;
  • Indication of the full name (FAMILY NAME, First name) of the person who will deliver the statement as a designated representative. A telephone number at which a representative of the NGO may be reached at the time of the oral statement by video message should also be included;
  • Colour copy of the passport or of formal identity document of the person who will deliver the statement

Rules regarding content and technical specifications

 

Organizing a side event
NGOs in consultative statues with ECOSOC may organize a side event of relevance to the work of the Commissions. Side events can be organized in accordance with the guidelines for side events for the respective session of the Commission.
The guidelines are published on http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CND-and-CCPCJ_Side-Events.html in November each year.
The indicative application period is in January for the CND (session in March) and in March for the CCPCJ (session in May). Please refer to the guidelines for more specific information.

Organizing an exhibition
Information on exhibitions will be added once it becomes available.

 

Documentation and Resources
Copies of all official documents issued as pre-session or in-session documentation for the sessions of the Commissions, including reports, annotated agenda, journals, draft resolutions etc. are published through the United Nations documents system (ODS): http://www.un.org/en/documents/index.html
For ease of reference and as a service to delegations, the Secretariat posts those documents also on the websites of the Commissions:
CND: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CND/session/cnd-documents-index.html
CCPCJ: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CCPCJ/session/index.html
During the sessions of the Commissions, the documents and the daily journal are also available at the documentation counter, which is usually located just outside the entrance to the plenary hall.

 

Contacts
UNODC Secretariat to the Governing Bodies: unodc-sgb[at]un.org
UNODC Civil Society Team: unodc-ngounit[at]un.org
Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs: info[at]vngoc.org
Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: prevention[at]cpcjalliance.org

 

Use of UN emblem and Commissions logos

Use of the United Nations emblem and the logos of the Commissions on non-official documents and publications, including NGO material is expressly prohibited.

The United Nations flag may not be displayed in meeting rooms where NGOs organize events.

 

Rules regarding content and technical specifications for video messages

Oral statements delivered by video message are subject to the same rules as oral statements delivered in person, as laid out in ECOSOC resolution 1996/31. The video messages are subject to the same time limits as, and should mirror as closely as possible, the oral statements delivered in person.

A transcript of the video statement must be submitted in advance.

In particular, the following rules must be strictly observed:

1. The video statement must consist of a single shot of one individual delivering a statement, seated against a neutral, monochrome background;

2. The camera should be focused on the person's face, and should not move during the shot;

3. No symbols, flags, banners or other images are permitted in the shot, either in the background or on the clothing of the person delivering the statement. The minimum technical specifications for the video are as follows:

- Video resolution min 640x480, frame rate 30 fps

- Audio resolution 44100 Hz, 16 bits, stereo

- AVI/WMV/MOV/MPEG with standard coding formats

4. The sound must be properly recorded, in a quiet environment and at appropriate sound levels.

5. Professional interpretation requires above average acoustics to allow for speaking, processing content and listening at the same time. Remote participants should be in an indoor facility; to reduce noise, doors and windows should be closed, air-conditioning switched off. Interpretation services will determine whether the sound provided is suitable for interpretation.

The video statement will be projected in the room under the same conditions as an oral statement delivered in the room.

The rules of procedure and practices of the Commissions apply in the same manner to video statements as to all other statements.

The transcript of the video message will be posted on the Commissions websites upon request along with other oral statements.