The NGO Relations Section of the UN Department of Public Information is the link from the Organization to the approximately 1,400 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are associated with the UN and support its efforts to disseminate information on the priority issues on its agenda, including sustainable development, creating a safer and more secure world, helping countries in transition, empowering women and young people, and addressing poverty, among others. NGOs associated with DPI help build knowledge and support for the Organization at the grassroots level.
Before your start the application process, please ensure that you have all the required documentation.
How do we apply for association?
1. Fill out the application form
2. Prepare the required documents:
- A copy of your organization’s Constitution/By-laws
- Proof of non-profit/tax exempt status (only official government-issued documents will be accepted)
- A copy of your most recent financial statement (preferably in U.S. dollars). Please note the requirement will depend on the annual income of your organisation.
- If your organization’s annual income is less than $50,000 the requirement is an income and expenditure statement and a balance sheet.
- If your organization’s annual income is more than $50,000 but less than $500,000 the requirement is Compiled or Reviewed or Audited Financial Statement.
- If your organization’s annual income is more than $500,000 but less than $1,000,000 the requirement is Reviewed or Audited Financial Statement.
- If your organization’s annual income is more than $1,000,000 the requirement is Audited Financial Statement.
- 6 different samples of your organization’s most recent information materials related to the work of the United Nations (for example: newsletters, reports, audio or video productions, blogs, promotional publications/advertisement of events, etc).
- 2 recommendation letters from an individual/organization.
- 1 recommendation letter from a UNIC/UNIS/UNRIC or a UN office with which your NGO has partnered or a letter from a government office with which your NGO has partnered or from an NGO (DPI associated or has ECOSOC status) with which your NGO has partnered.
Recommendation letters should briefly describe your organization’s work/partnership and explain why your NGO is being recommended for association with DPI.
3. Send the completed application form and all required documents to the UNIC/UNIS/UNRIC servicing the country where your NGO is based.
Or submit your application form and all the other required material online. In order for you to submit these documents online you need to create a profile for your organization in the CSO Net following the instructions given on that site.
For the complete listing of UNIC, UNIS and UNRIC offices please visit the directory.
All submitted materials must be in English or French, the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Material in other languages must be accompanied by a translation into to English or French.
Remember to keep a copy of all submitted documents and material.
I’ve applied. What’s next?
Step 1: Once your application material has been received, the UNIC/UNIS/UNRIC office will evaluate your submission and prepare a recommendation letter.
Step 2: The recommendation letter and all required accompanying documents will then be sent to the NGO Relations office at UN Headquarters in New York for review and evaluation.
Step 3: If your NGO meets the requirements for association, the NGO Relations Section will prepare your application for presentation to the DPI Committee on NGOs which will decide whether your Organization is approved for membership. This Committee meets twice a year-once in the spring and once in the fall- to discuss and approve applications.
Step 4: Your NGO will receive a letter informing you of the decision by the DPI Committee on NGOs on your application; the UNIC/UNIS/UNRIC office in your country/region as well as the NGO/DPI Executive Committee is also informed.
What are the responsibilities of NGOs associated with DPI?
- To raise public awareness particularly in grass root and rural communities about key issues on the UN agenda including the priorities of the UN Secretary-General
- Disseminate information and promote issues of global concern such as the Millennium Development Goals, human trafficking, climate change and vulnerable communities, HIV/AIDS, sustainable energy, violence against women, the empowerment of rural women, nuclear security, disarmament and the arms trade treaty, the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and issues of drugs and crime among others.
- Design and implement public information activities and programmes including the printing and dissemination of publications promoting the work of the United Nations.
- Collaborate with UN Information Centres or Services on advocacy campaigns or other promotional public information activities.
- Submit yearly an online Annual Review form through the Civil Society Organizations’ Network. This is the process by which DPI-associated NGOs report back to the DPI/NGO Relations Section on their work and public information activities in support of the United Nations, and are evaluated.
Can my NGO be disassociated?
Yes, the DPI Committee on NGOs which decides on whether an NGO should be disassociated from membership will approve the termination of your membership with DPI, if your NGO consistently fails to fulfill its responsibilities over a three-year period.
Grounds for disassociation:
Failure to meet the criteria for association
Failure to submit an Annual Review for three consecutive years
Three consecutive negative evaluations of the Annual Review process
Acts of fraud and misrepresentation of the work of the UN
Lack of collaboration with a UN entity (including UNIC/UNIS/UNRIC)
Unauthorized use of the UN logo
Can my NGO re-apply for association status if it has been disassociated?
Yes. Your organization can indeed re-apply for association/membership with DPI one year following its disassociation. You must follow the original application procedure for membership as disassociation renders invalid the required documentation for membership, which you originally submitted at the time of your acceptance for association.