UN Grants Consultative Status to Safety Engineers' Organization

Aug. 1, 2002
The United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council granted the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) special consultative status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) at the Council's recently concluded July session.

According to the UN, this consultative status allows ASSE to contribute to the work of the programs and goals of the UN by serving as technical experts, advisers and consultants to governments and the secretariat.

"We are honored to be given an opportunity to lend our voice and our members' considerable expertise in helping the United Nations confront and establish workable solutions to the variety of safety, health and environmental issues affecting workers globally," said ASSE President Mark Hansen, P.E., CSP.

An NGO is a non-profit, voluntary citizens group that provides analysis and expertise, serves as an early warning mechanism and helps monitor and implement international agreements. Currently, there are more than 2,000 NGOs, some of which are organized around specific issues, such as the environment or health. NGOs can, according to the UN, espouse UN themes and implement plans of action, programs and declarations adopted by the UN. NGOs are also invited to attend UN meetings, including the Aug. 26-Sept. 4 World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"Achieving NGO status marks a significant moment for ASSE," Hansen said. "ASSE has active members throughout the world including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. We continue to strive to help our members and their employers fulfill their commitment to safe, healthy and environmentally protected workplaces wherever they decide to practice.

Encouraging international workplace safety standards is at the top of our agenda along with workplace safety issues tied to the environment."

Through its ongoing efforts and those of its Practice Specialty groups, most notably the International Practice Specialty group, ASSE continues to develop and implement programs aimed at increasing workplace safety globally.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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