The ISJC and the UN
The Salvation Army itself has been an affiliated non-governmental organization with the United Nations since 1947.
As one of the founding NGOs, The Salvation Army has held ‘good standing,’ or ‘consultative status,’ at the UN since that year.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The Salvation Army may formally contribute to the work of the UN because of their granted consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This work is done alongside other non-governmental, non-profit, public or voluntary organizations, and faith-based organizations with similar status.
ISJC members may participate in meetings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, including the functional commissions at the United Nations, in accordance with the rules of procedure of those bodies.
WHAT DOES THE ECOSOC DO?
The Economic and Social Council is a group of UN member countries, or ‘states,’ that assist the General Assembly (the principle organ of the UN) in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development.
The ECOSOC is represented by members from 54 countries, each of whom is elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term.
The Council’s specific functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations. Final decisions and resolutions are usually restricted to government delegates.
The ECOSOC also provides policy coherence to and coordinates the overlapping functions of its subsidiary bodies, such as the Commission on Population and Development and the Commission Sustainable Development. These roles are most definitive of the Council.
There are currently over 3,000 NGOs who hold consultative status with the ECOSOC.
HOW DOES THE ISJC PARTICIPATE AT THE UN THROUGH ECOSOC?
Major Victoria Edmonds has been The Salvation Army’s United Nations representative since the ISJC’s inception in 2007.
The ISJC participates in:
- Attending open (public) official meetings
- Submitting written statements prior to sessions
- Meeting official government delegations
- Making oral statements on behalf of The Salvation Army during general discussions and interactive events
Participation in various functioning commissions under the ECOSOC also forms a significant part of the ISJC’s work.
For example, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
During the Commission’s annual two-week session in 2015, the ISJC hosted various events and co-organized and sponsored side events coinciding with member state proceedings at the UN.
The ISJC have associated staff who can attend the satellite United Nations hubs in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi to carry out this UN-related work.
THE SALVATION ARMY AND THE POST-2015 UNITED NATIONS AGENDA
(See our page on the Sustainable Development Goals)
All 193 member countries of the United Nations are pledging to follow a common development agenda from 2015 to 2030. Transforming Our World is a bold, ambitious vision of a better world. The Salvation Army is committed to supporting the new Sustainable Development Goals that form the foundation of this agenda.
Those objectives, otherwise referred to as the ‘SDGs,’ function as a road map to ending economic, social and environmental injustice across the world in the next 15 years.
Three examples of the SDGs are:
"Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere"
"Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls"
"Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss"
The United Nations depends on non-governmental, non-profit, public and voluntary organizations to promote its work and to encourage civil society to contribute to the advancement of the proposed SDGs in the pursuit of a just future.
The ISJC, on behalf of The Salvation Army, therefore embraces the 17 sustainable development goals as a tool to encourage and work with others to achieve a better society.
Working with vulnerable populations throughout the world has taught The Salvation Army that the voices of the oppressed can be among the most important contributors to create an equal future for everyone.
Engagement with the United Nations is one way the ISJC commits itself to amplifying those voices, in order translate their real life insights into policies, practices and life-giving opportunities.
Today, The Salvation Army has active ministry and programs in nearly two-thirds of the countries represented at the United Nations.