• November 10, 2011

`Use it or lose it’ – that is the message of the General Secretary of the Celtic League (to the AGM of the League held in Falkirk today) about our recently awarded NGO roster status with the United Nations.

He records that whilst some issues could be out-with our overall remit or logistical capabilities many areas where the League could make a contribution existed. He cites the recent meeting of the Human rights Council to which we could have contributed had it not occurred so soon after we were granted official status and finding a delegate(s) to attend was problematic.

He said that going forward we must ensure we contribute to the UN and justify the faith of the NGO committee in granting our request for participation.

The General Secretary’s comments are set out below:

“United Nations Roster Status

We have now been a NGO with Roster consultative status with the UN for over a year, but to date we have not yet participated in UN activities as an organisation. Many of the activities that the UN contact us about are beyond our resource capabilities, such as being invited to attend meetings in New York and/or our field of immediate interest as an organisation, such as taking part in activities relating to empowering young people with disabilities for example. Even though these activities could be interesting, we have enough to do to keep abreast of what is going on within our immediate remit.

However there are some annual activities that are of more relevance to us, including the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the universal periodic sessions of the Human Rights Council. The most interesting activities for us as an organisation seem to take place in Le Palais des Nations, Geneva.

In February this year had plans to attend one of the meetings of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, but unfortunately could not get the time off work in the end. Cathal O Luain and Bernard Moffatt were not free either to attend unfortunately, so this opportunity was passed over. With the UN activities it is not a matter of just turning up to events it seems. Rather there is a specific process for every event that normally involves registering an expression of interest and then gaining accreditation. There are also a number of restrictions involved depending on what your consultative status is. None of this is particularly easy to navigate as a novice.

In May 2011 undertook a questionnaire that was sent to me by the UN from a doctoral student who was interested in organisations like the Celtic League. The questionnaire was about how the League was structured and how it functioned specifically.

In general this year has been a time to assess what is available for us to access as an organisation with consultative status within the UN and I hope that in the coming year we take part in some activities. Consultative status is reviewed periodically and if it is deemed that your organisation has not taken an active interest in UN events, your status can be removed. It is therefore within our interests in this sense to be involved with the work of the UN.”

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666


The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.



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