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It’s hard out there for an NGO

Is it getting harder for well-meaning NGOs to gain accreditation at the United Nations? The recent rejection of the Washington D.C. based NGO that monitors human rights issues at the United Nations suggests that this may be so.

Gaining NGO accreditation to the United Nations is a long process in which organizations must prove that their work compliments the aims of the United Nations and is in the spirit of the UN Charter. The decision to grant an NGO accreditation is ultimately that of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, which is composed of 54 member states. ECOSOC in turn, delegates the vetting of NGO applications to the 19 member states that form the NGO Accreditation Committee.

It is in front of the NGOs Committee that well meaning NGOs face their biggest hurdle. "Authoritarian governments on the panel devote energy and mobilize to blocking human rights ngos," says Dokhi Fassihian, the executive director of the Democracy Coalition Project, a Washington, D.C.-based NGO that saw its application rejected by the NGO committee last week. " They put pressure on swing states."

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Live from the UN: Talk Radio Day 2009

Good morning all.   It's 9am, the coffee and donuts have already been reduced to a pile of crumbs and a near-empty Box O' Joe, and a half-dozen talk radio hosts are already working through their third hour. Yes, it's the fourth annual UN Talk Radio Day.  All day today, radio hosts from all parts of the political spectrum will be setting up shop in the UN lobby, interviewing high-ranking UN officials, and broadcasting back to their users.  You can find the full coverage here as well as links to the live shows.

The formidable Mark Goldberg will be interviewing UN officials as well and will be publishing them here as well as on