U.S. Mission to the United Nations: Statement on the Decision by ECOSOC to Accredit Freedom Now
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
New York, NY
July 20, 2015
I applaud today’s decision by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to grant consultative status to Freedom Now, providing Freedom Now its rightful position as an accredited United Nations non-governmental organization (NGO).
For dozens of prisoners of conscience around the world, Freedom Now’s dedicated lawyers provide a glimmer of hope when the regimes that imprison their clients try to strip that hope away. Freedom Now fills a vital need internationally, giving political prisoners a fighting chance when the odds against them are stacked as high as the walls that imprison them.
Freedom Now is anathema to certain member states because its lawyers work to try to free those unjustly imprisoned on the basis of their political, religious or other beliefs. The organization had been waiting more than five years to secure accreditation from the NGO Committee, which is why the United States finally pushed for a vote to put an end to the inexcusable attempt to deny Freedom Now’s official NGO status.
Members of ECOSOC are mandated to ensure that NGOs accredited to the UN are dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with the UN Charter. I applaud the diverse, cross-regional group of ECOSOC member states that stood up for the vital voices of civil society today.
Freedom Now’s work in providing legal assistance to prisoners of conscience around the world not only meets the UN standards for accreditation, but its work exemplifies those standards. We hope and expect that Freedom Now’s long overdue accreditation to the United Nations will increase its ability to free those unjustly detained or imprisoned around the world.