Monthly Archives: July 2015

Press Release: United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Approved the Recommendation of the Committee on NGOs to Grant Special Consultative Status to International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation

World Ethnic GroupsWe are happy to announce that the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its Coordination and Management Meeting of July 2015 adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to grant Special Consultative Status to our organization, International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM).

Consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programs, funds and agencies in a number of ways. Among many other privileges, benefits and the responsibilities outlined in the ECOSOC
resolution 1996/31, adopted by the Council on 25 July 1996, consultative relationship with NGOs also enables the Council or one of its bodies to seek expert information or advice from organizations like ICERM that have special competence in a subject matter.

Other benefits that ICERM will enjoy through its Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC include: Attendance at meetings and access to the United Nations; Written statements at ECOSOC; Oral presentations at ECOSOC; Consultations with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies; and Use of United Nations facilities.

If you are interested in the work of the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM) and would like to partner with us, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

With peace and blessings,

Basil Ugorji

ICERM President and CEO


Useful Links

Below is a summary of the the recommendation and approval processes.

UN Press Release on the Committee’s Recommendations:

Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2015 resumed session, New York, 26 May to 3 June and 12 June 2015:

ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meetings-CMM:

Press Release on the ECOSOC Approval of the NGO Committee Report:


The Iran Nuclear Deal: Arguments For And Against

Comments – Arthur Lerman, writing against NORPAC, an “anti-Iran deal” Jewish Group– one of many well funded groups, many non-Jewish, that do not want to see this agreement come to fruition. This blog needs the downside of the Kerry-Iran accord re-explained frequently, because it is simply hard to follow. The upsides are easy.

So Dr. Lerman:

But the alternatives are no controls on Iran at all.

All other nations will eliminate their sanctions.

We may be the only ones continuing them.

This way we’ll be able to keep tabs on them.

And so many in Iran are pressuring their government to open to us and to the rest of the world. The agreement will greatly strengthen their efforts—a reason the right-wing in Iran also opposes the agreement. (Interesting that the right wing in both Iran and the U.S. oppose it—not at all strange bedfellows?)

Why does NORPAC have to be so negative on any attempts to reach out to the other side?

Please be a little imaginative.

Yes, the policy of the Israeli Netanyahu government is to oppose the agreement. But, given the negative record of Netanyahu’s policies overall, what kind of a recommendation is that? His settlement policies, for a most egregious example, have been a disaster for Israel and for world Jewry, turning so many in the world against Israel, and, by extension, against Jews.

His policies provide examples that are used in arguments by anti-Semites. If Israel would be more clearly for peace, and show more concern for those on the other side who also want peace (Palestinian moderates and Iranian youth, for example), it would build their credibility, providing much more security for Israel and the Jews of the world.

And if the Iranians cheat on the deal, then we can return to the sanctions–even increase them–with the support of the rest of the world.

Fear that we won’t discover their cheating? Have you no faith in the Israeli and U.S. intelligence forces?

And so many in the Israeli defense/intelligence community support the agreement.


If it doesn’t work, we can go back to where we are.

But if it works, the whole world will benefit. What do we have to lose? Now and then you just have to try something.

You have to admit, it was amazing that Russia, China, the U.S., Britain, France, the European Union, and Germany were able to sit on the same side of the table in this negotiation. That in itself is incredible.


Reject the agreement and restart negotiations? It was so hard to get them all to where they are now. Do you think you can even get them into the same room again for a do-over–especially when so many forces in all these countries were so against the negotiations in the first place?

Why can’t NORPAC support Israel’s security instead of Netanyahu’s policies that are putting Israel in more and more danger?

Oh! Concerning your statement that you decided to oppose the agreement “after careful review,” it seems that most of those who are opposed decided way before the agreement’s terms were made public.

How many oppose it just because they oppose anything Obama does–no matter how beneficial? Is NORPAC just one of the “usual suspects” in this regard?

Art Lerman

Art is quick to recommend postings from The Forward, J Street and Tikkun Magazine—Jewish organizations that strongly support the Iran deal.
Concerning Jewish public opinion:

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” the group said in a statement.


Here are some other relevant postings:

5 Reasons AIPAC Is Dead Wrong about the Iran Deal