On 6 June 2019, Open Net was granted the “Special Consultative Status” of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Article 71 of the UN Charter on the ECOSOC states that the ECOSOC may make suitable agreements for consultation with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Accordingly, the ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31, adopted in July 1996, describes the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, and the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs.
The consultative relationship of NGOs is divided into General Consultative Status, Special Consultative Status, and Roster. “Special Consultative Status” is reserved for NGOs that have special competence in, and are concerned specifically with, a few of the fields of activity covered by ECOSOC. As of 2018, a total of 67 South Korean NGOs have Special Consultative Status, and Open Net is the only NGO working on digital rights.
Now Open Net with its consultative status can enter UN premises, attend UN conferences and events, make written and oral statements at these events, organize side events and have opportunities to network and lobby. It can also be certified as an observer of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
Having achieved the feat of receiving Special Consultative Status from the UN only six years after its establishment, Open Net plans to more actively engage in international campaigns.