UN Grants Special Consultative Status to KISS

New Delhi: In a major recognition, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar has been accorded Special Consultative Status by the United Nations. 

The Special Consultative Status confers a host of privileges and facilities on an NGO, which are similar to those conferred to a member country by the UN.

Induction of an NGO in this elite group follows a ratification process similar to membership of a new country in the UN. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC) granted the prestigious recognition to KISS after concurrence by representatives of all the member countries. 

So far only six NGOs from India have got this recognition, this year KISS was added to the list. It is the first NGO from Odisha to get Special Consultative Status from the UN. A communication to this effect from the UN Headquarters was received by the KISS authorities on July 23, 2015.  

The KISS authorities had made a presentation for grant of Special Consultative Status at UN Headquarters, New York in front of the representatives of the all member countries of the UN in February 2014. Following detailed discussion, all representatives accorded their approval, except two countries who wanted more information. It took KISS authorities one year to satisfy the queries raised by these two countries. Subsequently, resolution to grant Special Consultative Status to KISS was adopted unanimously.   

The Recognition Process:

The visionary founder of KISS Prof. Achyuta Samanta initiated the process for this prestigious recognition in 2009 and an application was submitted in the same year. The UN silently but thoroughly evaluated the activities, functioning and achievements of KISS during the period from 2009 to 2012. The observation phase was followed by detailed discussion on various activities of KISS. All the Committees of the UN were satisfied with the functioning of KISS. Different Committees recommended to the UN for grant of special status to KISS between 2012 and 2014. In 2014, in a session of the Heads of the Member States of the UN, the proposal for grant of special status to KISS received the final approval. Subsequently, KISS was accorded this recognition in a session of the General Assembly of the UN after approval of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban-Ki moon. It may be mentioned here that thousands of NGOs from across the world apply for this coveted status. It is a long and complex process, but Prof. Samanta continued his effort with perseverance. KISS is the only NGO from India to receive this recognition from among several that had applied.

Privileges to KISS

With this special status, KISS will have following special privileges:

Providing expert information to UN-ECOSOC

Receiving information about provisional agenda of the UN-ECOSOC

Engage with the Secretary General of UN and place items of special interest in the provisional agenda of the UN-ECOSOC

Having access to the United Nations and attendance at its meetings, designate official representative to the United nations Headquarters in New York, United Nation’s offices in Geneva and Vienna and participate in various events, conferences and activities of the United Nations

Sitting as observer at public meetings of UN-ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, General Assembly of UN, Human Rights Council and various other United Nations intergovernmental decision-making bodies

Submitting written statements in areas of its competence and relevant to the work of UN-ECOSOC 

Making oral presentations at UN-ECOSOC

Providing consultations to UN-ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies

Using facilities of United Nations

KISS which had a humble beginning as a residential tribal school in 1993 in a rented house with only 125 students, is now the largest free residential tribal institute of the world with 25,000 students providing education from KG to PG. It has been actively engaged in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the UN. The Special Consultative Status for KISS is a matter of great pride and glory not only for itself, but also for the entire tribal community of Odisha, the state of Odisha as well as the country. 

Sanchar Express News Desk