2 February 2006 World ORT gains consultative status with UNs Economic and Social Council World ORT has been granted the right to present views and recommendations to the United Nations influential Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Until now, World ORT enjoyed roster status with ECOSOC, which meant that it could only attend meetings. However, the Committee on Non-Government Organisations has recommended that World ORT be reclassified to special consultative status, which gives it the right to circulate statements of a certain length in addition to attending meetings. A standing committee of ECOSOC, the 19-member body assesses an organisations mandate, governance and financial regime before deciding what status it should have. World ORT President Emeritus Justice Richard Goldstone has many years of experience working with and for the United Nations, most recently serving on the independent committee that investigated the Iraqi oil-for-food programme. He said he was delighted at World ORTs reclassification to special consultative status. The United Nations is becoming increasingly involved with economic and social rights and the right to education is one of the most important of these rights, Justice Goldstone said. It is appropriate that World ORT, which has been in the forefront of teaching basic education for more than 125 years, should be recognised in this meaningful way by the United Nations. The United Nations headquarters in New York The Director of ORT ICs Washington bureau, Celeste Angus, said the reclassification provided recognition of ORTs status as one of the most experienced training and education organisations worldwide. ECOSOC is the principal world body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development, as well as for implementation of the international development goals agreed at major United Nations summits and conferences, Ms Angus said. ORTs reclassification enables us to present views and recommendations in our area of expertise education and training. Should a problem arise in any of the 58 countries in which ORT operates, this will provide an excellent forum in which to present our concerns and possibly influence policy making. In addition, our entitlement to attend all ECOSOC sessions gives us the opportunity to network with other non-government organisations as well as with representatives of business and government. World ORT Director General Robert Singer said the UN committees decision was a welcome contribution to ORTs 125th anniversary year. It is deeply gratifying that ORTs positive contributions to communities of varying racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds have been recognised by such a significant body, he said. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.