India has supported a decision by a UN council to deny granting consultative status to a Geneva-based human rights NGO that has been declared a terrorist organisation by the UAE and whose founder had been sanctioned by the US and the UN. The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on July 26 decided against granting consultative status to Fondation Alkarama, following objections by United Arab Emirates over the group’s alleged ties to terrorism.
Concerns over the NGO were also expressed by countries, including India, that said it would work with the international community to fight terrorism. India’s representative Paulomi Tripathi said during the Council’s meeting that the UAE had raised serious concerns about Fondation Alkarama, affirming that the group had been declared a terrorist organisation.
Tripathi said that at least one of its founders was the subject of the US and the UN sanctions, according to information about the meeting on the UN website. She said India would work with the international community to fight terrorism and took such concerns seriously.
Tripathi expressed support for the decision to deny consultative status, stressing that the situation called for introspection on the Committee’s functioning and need for due diligence in the consultative mechanism. “We need a much higher scrutiny of applications,” she said, urging the Committee’s secretariat to take such due diligence, including by collaborating with sanctions committees to avoid such situations in the future.
According to information on its website, Alkarama is a Geneva-based human rights NGO established in 2004 to “assist all those in the Arab world subjected to or at risk of extrajudicial execution, enforced disappearance, torture and arbitrary detention”.
UAE’s representative Ahmed Almahmoud said at the meeting that his country had designated Fondation Alkarama a terrorist group and the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee had designated its founder as a financier and facilitator of such behaviour.
The UAE added that Abd al-Rahman bin Umayr al-Nu’aymi, the founder and former president of Fondation Alkarama, was designated as a financier and facilitator of terrorism by the UN’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
Introducing the draft decision on Fondation Alkarama, Almahmoud told the Council not to grant consultative status to the group. Noting that consultative status must come with responsibilities, he expressed deep concern over the fondation’s clear connection to terrorism.