Article 71 of the Charter of UN:


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.



Under the Charter, the Economic and Social Council consults with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned with matters within its competence. Over 1,600 NGOs have consultative status with the Council. The Council recognizes that these organizations should have the opportunity to express their views, and that they possess special experience or technical knowledge of value to its work.

The Council classifies NGOs into three categories:


  • Organizations in General Consultative Status are those concerned with most of the Council's activities;
  • Organizations in Special Consultative Status organizations have special competence in specific areas;
  • Roster Consultative Status organizations that can occasionally contribute to the Council are placed on a roster for ad hoc consultations.


NGOs with consultative status may send observers to meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies and may submit written statements relevant to its work.

They may also consult with the United Nations Secretariat on matters of mutual concern.


Over the years, the relationship between the United Nations and affiliated NGOs has developed significantly.

Increasingly, NGOs around the world, in increasing numbers, are working daily with the United Nations community to help achieve the objectives of the Charter.

Sources: Basic Facts About the United Nations, Sales No.E.00.I.21. -- Press Release GA/9785, 12 October 2000
Last updated on 10 August 2001