The United Nations has conferred Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NGO designation with special consultative status with the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) means the NAACP may serve as an advisor and consultant to foreign governments and the Secretariat of the U.N. on human relations matters.
NAACP President & CEO Kweisi Mfume said: "NGO designation gives the NAACP its proper standing and status for participating in international relations and with foreign delegations. Whether monitoring elections in Zimbabwe or promoting human rights and trade as we did during a recent trip to Cuba, the NAACP is poised now to become even more effective as an advocate for international justice and third world development."
Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors, said: "This recognition reconnects the NAACP to the United Nations and adds our strong voice for justice and equity to international discussions. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship."
NAACP Board member Nancy Lane said the NGO status "will provide opportunities for the Association to work with other human rights organizations whose missions and goals are compatible to ours." She added: "Our outreach will be enhanced as we join with other NGOs whose constituencies are people of color."
Currently there are more than 1,600 NGOs from all regions of the world. They contribute valuable information and ideas and advocate for positive change in the international community. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has frequently referred to NGOs as "indispensable partners" of the U.N.
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