UN committee grants CPJ accreditation

New York, July 25, 2016– The United Nations Economic Social Council (ECOSOC) today voted to grant consultative status to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The step will allow the independent nonprofit organization to access U.N. bodies and processes, such as the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where accredited NGOs can deliver a counter-narrative to states.

“The council’s vote today recognizes the important role that CPJ has played and continues to play at the U.N. by providing expert knowledge and analysis on press freedom related issues,” said Joel Simon, executive director of CPJ. “While we are grateful that the vote finally grants CPJ accreditation, we remain disheartened at the politicized process for gaining accreditation and hope that the fact that our application took so long and was so contentious is a wakeup call for the bodies that ensure NGOs are able to access the United Nations.”

The decision to grant CPJ consultative status culminates a four-year process that included seven deferrals based on arcane U.N. procedure. On May 26, CPJ’s application was denied by a vote of the NGO committee. Today’s vote by the full 54-member council overrides that rejection.

At today’s vote, 40 members voted in favor of CPJ’s application, five voted against, six members abstained, and three were not present. The full list of votes is below.

CPJ’s application had the support of many journalists and press freedom organizations around the world.

Members of the ECOSOC council voted as follows:

In favor: 40
Against: 5
Abstained: 6
Not present: 3

Afghanistan – yes
Algeria – abstain
Antigua and Barbuda – yes
Argentina – yes
Australia – yes
Bangladesh – abstain
Belgium – yes
Botswana – not present
Brazil – yes
Burkina Faso – abstain
Chile – yes
China – no
Congo – yes
Czech Republic – yes
Democratic Republic of the Congo – not present
Estonia – yes
Finland – yes
France – yes
Georgia – yes
Germany – yes
Ghana- yes
Greece – yes
Guatemala – yes
Guyana – yes
Honduras – yes
India – abstain
Iraq – yes
Ireland – yes
Italy – yes
Japan – yes
Kazakhstan – yes
Lebanon – yes
Mauritania – yes
Moldova – yes
Nigeria – yes
Pakistan – abstain
Panama – yes
Peru – yes
Portugal – yes
Russia – no
Rwanda – no
Serbia – yes
Somalia – not present
South Africa – yes
South Korea – yes
Sweden – yes
Switzerland – yes
Togo – yes
Trinidad and Tobago – yes
Uganda – abstain
UK – yes
USA – yes
Vietnam – no
Zimbabwe – no