IFES Receives Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council

Publication Date: 
27 Jul 2011

News Type:

WASHINGTON — The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is privileged to announce it has been granted consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.

Consultative status will allow IFES to engage more closely with the United Nations in areas such as human rights, economic and social development, and gender issues. IFES will also gain access to not only the ECOSOC, but to its many subsidiary bodies, to the various human rights mechanisms of the UN, as well as special events organized by the President of the General Assembly.

“This is an important achievement for IFES,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “We will focus on bringing democracy and governance issues to the forefront of the development agenda and advocating for increased support for programs that ensure fair elections.”

The designation reinforces IFES’ standing as a provider of professional, reliable development assistance to emerging democracies worldwide. Through its consultative status IFES will advise on policy and research initiatives, connect with other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are part of the ECOSOC network, and strengthen partnerships among the diplomatic community, policy makers, UN staff and academia.

Around 3,400 NGOs currently have consultative status with ECOSOC, working closely with the UN to address development issues ranging from sustainable economic growth to small arms control. IFES is one of few organizations promoting transparency, good governance and civic participation through the electoral process at the global level.


IFES is an independent, nonprofit leader in election assistance and democracy promotion. Since its founding in 1987, IFES has worked in 133 countries, from developing to mature democracies.