United Nations, January 09 : Pakistan has called on a United Nations committee to review, on an urgent basis, the consultative status with the UN of a group of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) engaged in a massive disinformation campaign to “damage the reputation and hurt the interests of a member state”.
In a letter to Chairman of the Committee on NGOs, Mohamed Sallam Adam, Ambassador Munir Akram drew his attention to the “startling revelations” made by EU DisinfoLab, a Brussels-based independent and non-profit organization, about the “blatant abuse” by at least 10 NGOs of their consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Published last month, EU DisinfoLab’s extensive report exposed a 15-year disinformation campaign by these NGOs to push a pro-India agenda in the European Union (EU) and the UN bodies and to discredit Pakistan.
As the NGO Committee is mandated to regulate the United Nations’ relationship with non-governmental organizations, the Pakistani envoy said, it must urgently take up this matter and initiate the process of reviewing the consultative status of these NGOs in its upcoming session and to hold a discussion on this “important issue”.
“It is equally important that the Committee undertake comprehensive review of its working methods with a view to prevent such abuse by fake NGOs in the future,” Ambassador Akram wrote.
The fake NGOs, it was pointed out, used identity theft, impersonation of UN and EU institutions, resurrection of dead people and dormant NGOs, and creation of dubious credentials to get access to UN events and carry out subversive activities.
The network behind these NGOs also created more than 750 fake media outlets and 550 website domain names to amplify their activities and disseminate propaganda and fake news.
“The NGO Committee is entrusted with the responsibility to regularly monitor the evolving relationship between the non-governmental organizations and the United Nations with a view to ensure that their engagement remains in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” the letter said.
The Pakistani envoy also underscored the imperative need for the NGO committee to ensure that a small minority of fake and dubious NGOs is not allowed to abuse the reputation of all other legitimate and respectable members of the NGO community.