The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has been granted consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) upon the recommendation of the Non-Governmental Organizations Committee, which comprises 19 member states. The authority to accept or reject this status lies solely with the Council, in accordance with ECOSOC Resolution No. 31/1996. This resolution provides consultative status to organizations that demonstrate a direct alignment of their work programs with the goals and objectives of the United Nations.
CFJ attributes its achievement in obtaining consultative status to its effective communication processes with various UN mechanisms. These efforts have amplified the voices of numerous victims worldwide and have contributed to rectifying injustices experienced by some of them.
In 2015, CFJ acquired the status of a non-governmental organization from the municipality of Geneva, Switzerland. Subsequently, in June 2016, it became recognized as a non-profit association by the Swiss Ministry of Finance.
Article 71 of the United Nations Charter empowers ECOSOC to establish suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations. The article states, “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.”
In 1945, the Economic and Social Council initially granted consultative status to 41 non-governmental organizations. Over the years, the number of NGOs obtaining this status has steadily increased. By 1992, over 700 NGOs worldwide had achieved consultative status, and today, that number has grown to over 5,000 organizations.
Ahmed Mefreh, the Executive Director of CFJ, expressed his views on obtaining this status, stating, “Securing consultative status is the outcome of collective efforts within our institution to give voice to the oppressed in the areas covered by CFJ through engagement with UN mechanisms. It is a significant achievement resulting from a long and challenging journey that aimed to demonstrate the NGO’s credibility and commitment to human rights without discrimination. This success places a new responsibility on our shoulders, demanding effective engagement with the United Nations mechanisms to alleviate the suffering of victims.”
As a result of attaining consultative status, CFJ can now attend and observe all proceedings of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Moreover, CFJ has the privilege to make written and oral statements before the Council, participate in expert discussions, and engage in informal meetings, utilizing its advisory capacity.
This advisory capacity also empowers CFJ to organize parallel activities on issues related to the Human Rights Council’s work, which align with the institution’s core objectives. CFJ believes that this consultative status will enhance its work in developing civic space, supporting freedom of opinion and expression, and facilitating access to information in Egypt and the regions it
operates in. Additionally, it emphasizes the institution’s commitment to conveying the voices of numerous human rights defenders and connecting them with United Nations mechanisms.
The consultative status provides CFJ with additional means and mechanisms to effectively communicate with international bodies and navigate the procedures of the Human Rights Council in a prompt and efficient manner. This will contribute to providing greater relief and justice to the victims CFJ represents.