The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Committee on NGOs (the Committee) considers applications by NGOs for ECOSOC accreditation and, as such, is a key gateway for CSOs to gain access to the UN. However, the Committee operates in a highly politicised manner, in particular regarding applications for accreditation from human rights organisations. The Committee uses a range of tactics—including repeated deferrals of applications, public stigmatisation and silencing of applicant organisations—to keep CSOs out of the UN. The practice of the Committee is reflective of growing restrictions on civil society globally, at the very time that restrictions at the national level make access to the UN all the more crucial. ISHR drafted a letter – directed to ECOSOC and copied to all Member States, the UN Secretary General, President of the General Assembly, and the President of the Human Rights Council – that expresses concern regarding the practice of the Committee and signals the level of concern NGOs feel about restrictions on civil society participation at the UN. The letter is open for signatures for support from CSOs until 18th May, 2016. More information is available here.