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POLSC312: International Organizations

Unit 5: International Non-Governmental Organizations   INGOs, international non-governmental organizations, have grown in both number and scope over roughly the last century and, in particular, since the end of WWII.  Collectively they form a counterpoint or balance to the work of IGOs.  By definition they are not affiliated with any particular governmental entity.  Thus, their impartiality has enabled them to engage in advocacy with respect to key global issues in ways that are not possible for the governments of states in the context of IGOs.  This unit, then, will survey the types of INGOs with an emphasis on their contributions to global governance and government.  In essence, what do they contribute to the processes and institutional dynamics of the international organizations?  In answering this question, you will turn your attention to INGOs relationships with IGOs as well as with other INGOs.  As with the previous unit on the UN, you also will assess the effective of INGOs in the context of their own mandates and activities.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 9.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 3.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 4 hours
 

☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.1: 2 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.2: 1 hour

☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.3: 1 hour

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Compare and contrast various INGOs with respect to their mandates/focus and types of activities. - Analyze INGOs within and across issue-areas emphasizing their impact on international governance. - Compare and contrast INGOs with respect to their role in international governance.

5.1 Do Global INGOs Facilitate or Inhibit International Governance?   5.1.1 Relationships with the UN   Nongovernmental organizations may be granted Observer Status with the United Nations.  Various levels or categories of this status indicate the degree to which a particular INGO may participate in UN deliberations.  The highest category enables the designated organization to attend and actively participate (short of voting) in virtually all UN sessions.  Less extensive permissions limit the UN organs or agencies with which the INGO may interact, the degree of proactive v. observing participation, or both.

  • Reading: Friedrich Ebert Foundation: Jens Martens’ “The Future of NGO Participation at the United Nations after the 2005 World Summit” Link: Friedrich Ebert Foundation: Jens Martens’ “The Future of NGO Participation at the United Nations after the 2005 World Summit” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: The above link takes you to the digital library of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Friedrich Ebert Foundation).  The articles in the database are listed in chronological order with the most recent first.  Therefore, please note the year of publication included above; it will guide you to the correct reading.  Scroll down the list of articles until you reach the one with the following heading: Martens, Jens - The future of NGO participation at the United Nations after the 2005 World Summit.  Click on the link provided; this will open a PDF version of the reading.
     
    The reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.2 Cases of NGO-UN Interactions   5.1.2.1 Amnesty International   - Reading: Amnesty International’s “About the UN” Link: Amnesty International’s “About the UN” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read all of the material under the heading “About the UN.”  Despite the title, the article describes Amnesty International’s interactions with the UN as an officially recognized observer.
 
Studying this resource should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
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5.1.2.2 Case: International Committee of the Red Cross   - Reading: International Committee of the Red Cross: Christian Koenig’s “Observer status for the ICRC at the United Nations: a legal viewpoint” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

5.1.2.3 Case: Greenpeace   - Reading: Greenpeace International’s “UN Secretary General to Greenpeace: ‘We Need You to Mobilize Public Opinion’” Link: Greenpeace International’s “UN Secretary General to Greenpeace: ‘We Need You to Mobilize Public Opinion’” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short article found via the above link.  It captures one of the aspects of NGO-UN interaction.  In this case, the UN is reaching out to the NGO for assistance on the issue of climate change.
 
Studying this resource should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
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5.2 What Roles Do Regional and Subregional INGOs Play with Respect to International Governance?   As with the global arena, the relationship between IGOs and INGOs can be both cooperative and contentious.  The relationship may be either much more intense – positively or negatively – given the somewhat narrower context within which the organizations’ interactions take place.  The specific geopolitical region and its dynamics can, in fact, contribute to the willingness of organizations to address situations and simultaneously create seemingly intractable problems and tensions for the organizations’ relationships.  The diverse NGO case material below underscores and exemplifies such dynamics.

5.2.1 Europe   - Reading: The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights’ “AEDH in brief” Link: The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights’ “AEDH in brief” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read all the material under the “AEDH in brief” heading.
 
The reading should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
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5.2.2 The Middle East   - Reading: Middle East Research and Information Project: Julia Pitner’s “NGOs’ Dilemmas” Link: Middle East Research and Information Project: Julia Pitner’s “NGOs’ Dilemmas” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the article accessed via the above link.  While the article addresses human rights NGOs, the real focus of the article is the reaction of state governments in the Middle East to the activities of NGOs in the region.  The argument presented outlines the perception that such activity undermines states’ ability to ensure peace and security.
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to read.
 
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5.2.3 Africa   - Reading: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Abdoulaye Zoromé’s “Sub-Saharan African NGOs’ Participation in the Economic and Social Council: Challenges and Potential Solutions” Link: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Abdoulaye Zoromé’s “Sub-Saharan African NGOs’ Participation in the Economic and Social Council: Challenges and Potential Solutions” (PDF)
 
Instructions: The above link takes you the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ website for the NGO Branch.  A series of papers is listed that provide an analysis of NGO-UN interactions in the various geopolitical regions.  This paper is the second one on the list.  Please click on ‘Download full paper’ link that appears just under the title of this paper.  Read the entire text (32 pages).  If other regions of the world are of interest, you can access the other regional papers from this link.
 
This reading should take approximately 3 hours to read.
 
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5.3 How Do NGOs Link Diverse Issues to Enhance Global Governance?   Quite often NGOs will link seemingly divergent issues together when engaging in problem solving activities.  Essentially, it is a horizontal, integrated or ‘multi-tasking’ rather than a hierarchical, top-down prioritizing approach to problem solving.  Such an approach by NGOs may be particularly effective when resources are limited.

5.3.1 Case: Cultural Survival – Indigenous Peoples, the Environment and Development   - Reading: Cultural Survival’s ‘Explore Our Work’ – Endangered Languages, Community Radio Project, Global Response, Universal Periodic Review, and Bazaars Links: Cultural Survival’s ‘Explore Our Work’ – Endangered Languages (HTML), Community Radio Project (HTML), Global Response (HTML), Universal Periodic Review (HTML), and Bazaars (HTML)
 
Instructions: Cultural Survival is dedicated to protecting and promoting indigenous peoples’ languages and cultures.
 
The links above take you to various projects currently being undertaken by Cultural Survival: Endangered Languages, Community Radio Project, Global Response, Universal Periodic Review, and Bazaars.
 
Click on the ‘Endangered Languages’ link, and read the brief description provided.  After reading the initial paragraph, click on the ‘What we are doing’ link just below the paragraph, and read the material on that page. 
 
Click on the ‘Community Radio Project’ link, and read the brief description provided.  After reading the initial paragraph, click on the ‘What we are doing’ link just below the paragraph.  A list of five project objectives is provided.  Please click on each link and read the brief descriptions.
 
Next, click on the ‘Global Response’ and ‘Universal Periodic Review’ links and read the material presented.  When considered with the previous two links, it becomes apparent that Cultural Survival connects together a wide range of activities to effectively work on behalf of indigenous peoples.
 
Finally, click on the Bazaars link and read the brief paragraph provided.
 
Each of these projects seems to be unrelated to the others.  However, by linking together such diverse projects, Cultural Survival is able to create a network of awareness in which activity on each issue reinforces the others.
 
These readings should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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5.3.2 Case: The Greenbelt Movement – Women’s Rights and the Environment   - Reading: The Greenbelt Movement International’s “Who We Are” Link: The Greenbelt Movement International’s “Who We Are” (HTML)

 Instructions: The above link takes you to the Who We Are page of
the Greenbelt Movement International.  Please start by reading all
of the material under the Who We Are heading near the top of the
page.  Then, please continue to read through the rest of the website
placing much of your time and focus on the What We Do section.  The
significance of the reading lies in the holistic approach that the
INGO takes with respect to its work.  Environmental, women’s rights,
social, and economic development are each recognized as an integral
part of human, regional, and global decision-making and
governance.  

 This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.3 Case: Women for Women International – War and Women   - Reading: Women for Women International’s “About Us” Link: Women for Women International’s “About Us” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the ‘About Us’ short paragraphs and examine the ‘How it Works’ image below it.  After having done that, please scroll down and click on the “How Our Programs Work” and “How We Create Lasting Change” tabs.  Please read all of the material for each tab.
 
This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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