Psychology/Social Transformation PhD student Donna Nassor has been appointed as a New York representative of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) since the 1980s. In her new position, Donna will be responsible for attending meetings and committee functions, offering advice as a civil society representative in direct contact with UN representatives.
NGOs may apply to be in consultative status with ECOSOC, with its rights and responsibilities varying depending on whether they are classified as general, specific expertise, or roster. Some years ago, due to the efforts of peace scholar Elise Boulding, IPRA was granted consultative status as a roster organization. ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. As a roster organization, IPRA is granted passes for two organizational heads, for one main representative and four additional ones at New York headquarters and the Vienna and Geneva offices. These representatives bring IPRA’s voice to the UN by providing input on the final documents of the ECOSOC commissions through participation in the NGO caucuses that are formed during their conferences and in so doing introduce a discourse that is an alternative to the dominant one on various issues. They can also take part in activities organized by the Conference on NGOs in consultative status with the UN (CONGO), a network of organizations which work together to bring NGO expertise into the discussions of governments in UN fora.
Since 1964 IPRA has been pursuing interdisciplinary research into the most pressing issues related to sustainable peace around the world today. As a network of scholars, practitioners and decision-makers from all continents, they strive to stay at the cutting edge of the state of the art of peace. By linking its regional associations throughout the world, IPRA is about building communities of inquiry. Donna will bring Saybrook’s committment to scholarly humanistic research and transformative social change to her consulting work with IPRA and ECOSOC.