Through a historic vote on 21 July 2022, the Wikimedia Foundation was granted accreditation by the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs Council (ECOSOC). The Foundation thanks the cosponsors of the corresponding resolution that was proposed by the United States, Italy, Sweden, and Estonia earlier this week, and all the ECOSOC members who voted for it.
ECOSOC is the UN body responsible for leading international discussions on economic and social issues and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. The accreditation grants UN consultative status to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and other global volunteer-run free knowledge projects. Today’s landmark vote sends a strong signal of support for NGOs that stand up for human rights and freedom of expression. The vote passed with 23 countries in favor and 7 against, with 18 countries abstaining.
As the guarantor and supporter for the Wikimedia projects and free knowledge movement, ECOSOC observer status will enable the Wikimedia Foundation to represent the interests of contributors and readers of Wikipedia and other projects. The Wikimedia worldwide free knowledge movement is an important stakeholder in the conversation around the role of access to knowledge in advancing global sustainable development.
“We thank the United States, Italy, Sweden, and Estonia for introducing the resolution, as well as all other ECOSOC members who voted for it. This is a decisive win for the protection of global civic space and will strengthen civil society engagement within the United Nations. It will enable the Wikimedia Foundation to work directly with member states and other stakeholders to promote greater and more equitable access to free knowledge globally,” said Amanda Keton, General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation. “We look forward to deepening our engagement across the UN system and advancing important elements of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are promoted by Wikimedia’s collaborative model of collecting and sharing knowledge, including inclusive, equitable access to information and educational content online.”
The Wikimedia Foundation congratulates Inimõiguste Instituut (Estonia), Syrian American Medical Society (US), National Human Rights Civic Association “Belarusian Helsinki Committee” (Belarus), Non C’è Pace Senza Giustizia (Italy), and Diakonia (Sweden), which were also granted consultative status at ECOSOC today.