The World Igbo Congress (WIC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has been admitted into the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Dr. Acho Orabuchi, Media Director of WIC, announced this in a statement made available in New York on Tuesday. The statement said WIC’s admission took place during a regular session of the world body in Geneva on Tuesday.
“The world body unanimously voted to ratify the admission of WIC into the ECOSOC of the UN on a Special Consultative Status,’’ it said. Article 71 of the UN Charter opened the door, providing for suitable arrangements for consultation with NGOs.
To be eligible for consultative status, an NGO must have been in existence for at least two years and must have an established headquarters. Being in existence means being officially registered with the appropriate government authorities as an NGO or non-profit body.
Also, for an NGO to gain this status, it must have, among others, a democratically-adopted constitution and authority to speak for its members. It must also have a representative structure, appropriate mechanisms of accountability and democratic and transparent decision-making processes.
The basic resources of the organisation must be derived, in the main part, from contributions of the national affiliates or other components or from individual members.
“With the status, the body now has the opportunity to take advantage of the economic development programmes of several UN agencies that partner with NGOs under the ECOSOC arrangement,’ WIC said in the statement.
It added that WIC would utilise the resources of the UN organs that deal with social issues, which would help the group deal with Igbo social and economic issues.
The statement said the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) had in February recommended the admission of WIC. It stated Dr. Anthony Ejiofor, the Executive Director of WIC, received calls on the admission of WIC from both Geneva and New York.
According to it, leaders of the Committee on NGO indicated in the calls that they had been monitoring WIC activities. It added that the callers to Ejiofor assured WIC that they would help the organisation make the most use of its new status. The statement also quoted the Chairman of WIC, Mazi Joe Eto, as describing the admission as “definitely a rare feat’’.