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IN THE CORRIDORS

On Monday morning, Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai stressed the important role of NGOs and their networks, which have contributed so much to the UNCED process. Yet, at the same time, the UN Secretariat has recently taken an administrative decision restricting the access and participation of CSD-accredited NGOs, based on its own interpretation of a 1993 ECOSOC decision. In this decision, ECOSOC granted Roster status to CSD NGOs, promising that they would be treated like other ECOSOC-accredited NGOs. However, this does not seem to be the case. NGOs are urging the CSD to continue to allow NGOs to be placed on the ECOSOC Roster, according to UNCED accreditation procedures. NGOs argue that they have strived to serve as a conduit between local and international efforts for UNCED follow-up and sustainable development over the past three years. However, NGOs warn that without access to the various UNCED follow-up processes within the UN, this important link will be lost.