In the spring of 2017, the CBCI was granted special consultative status within the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
The UN Charter established the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1945 as one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system. Some non-governmental organizations are granted designations as general or special consultative status to the Council to participate in the work of the United Nations.
This designation is reserved for non-governmental organizations (NGO), to "strengthen and enhance dialogue between NGOs and the United Nations and also to enable NGOs to participate in the economic and social development activities of the organization," according to the U.N. ECOSOC web site. CBCI and its designees have access to ECOSOC's provisional agenda, make oral presentations at ECOSOC meetings, submit written statements for circulation by the U.N. Secretary-General, and attend international conferences relevant to our areas of expertise.
CBCI's national mission is to educate today's voters and train tomorrow's leaders. Additionally, we have placed considerable emphasis on the challenges of upward mobility among African Americans throughout the diaspora. We believe effective change is possible within our communities. However, it must come about through education, legislation, and advocacy.
Having been granted special consultative status in ECOSOC, our mission and focus are now global. We will work cooperatively with the United Nations to add our voice to policy formulation that contemplates the plight of the peoples of the African diaspora. And we actively support policies to end racial inequality, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, as articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (17 SDG Goals) adopted by U.N. world leaders in 2015.
African Americans have a strong history with the United Nations, starting at its inception 75 years ago at the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco. African American pioneers in international advocacy and diplomacy like Dr. Ralph Bunche, the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and considered the "Father of Peacemaking" at the U.N.; W.E.B. DuBois and Executive Secretary Walter White of the NAACP; Mary McLeod Bethune, Founder of the National Council of Negro Women and who as a trusted friend and advisor to Eleanor Roosevelt, contributed to the content of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights were all present as part of the United States delegation at the signing of the UN Charter.
Despite our history and presence at the U.N.'s genesis, there are currently 5441 NGOs with consultative status within ECOSOC, but less than 5% are historically or traditionally African American based organizations. As one of only a few, we are keenly interested in policies that contribute to the sustainable development of the African diaspora through all diplomatic and mutually cooperative channels.
We recently convened a meeting of the African American NGOs and issued a statement regarding the racial disparity with Covid-19 and the racial Injustice that still persists in America.
We collectively stood with our fellow members of ECOSOC and the world on Juneteenth, calling on the United Nations to address racism. Among the signers were the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. We have committed to continue collaborating to be the African American voice at the United Nations.