jump to example.com
newsletter linked in

United Nations Economic and Social Council grants Washington and Lee special consultative status

wl-universityThe United Nations Economic and Social Council has granted Washington and Lee University “special consultative status,” a prestigious designation granted to qualifying non-governmental organizations and only a select few academic institutions.

The recommendation for special consultative status was officially adopted April 8, 2015. Presently, only three other U.S. educational institutions, and less than 10 percent of non-governmental organizations, possess this special status.

Henok Gabisa, visiting doctoral fellow at W&L’s law school, oversaw the rigorous two-year application process and was on hand when the recommendation was made at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accreditation committee session earlier this year.

“The status allows W&L to participate and comment on the UN’s ECOSOC law and policy making process through research, position papers, reports, and issue briefs,” said Gabisa. “In special cases, the University can even use its status for interventions made on the floor during ECOSOC proceedings.”

The University was recommended by the ECOSOC accreditation committee based primarily on the law school’s work on rule of law and access to justice issues in developing countries. The school’s international law curriculum features a number of classes focused on legal aid and human rights, including on the ground work in Tanzania, Liberia, Palestine and with the UNODC’s Anti-corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD).

The recommendation was also influenced by the impact of W&L’s Transnational Law Institute for its role in fostering academic discussion and collaboration of key issues in international law through lectures by renowned scholars, academic exchanges and other events.

Speedy Rice, visiting professor of law who teaches many of the school’s practice-based international law classes, explained what the special status means for the University.

“Our past international human rights work and academics have been reviewed by the ECOSOC Committee and found to be supportive and in harmony with the UN’s Human Rights and Civil Society goals,” said Rice. “This Special Consultative Status accreditation will permit greater faculty and student involvement in the works of the many ECOSOC programs and in the ability to use important human rights works as valuable teaching tools with international recognition.”

Examples of projects the status allows include the presentation of “shadow reports” during the UN’s Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of countries where victims and local NGO’s often lack any voice to advocate for UN intervention. The status also allows the faculty to participate in expert working groups and to supervise students of W&L at UN ECOSOC conferences and other UN ECOSOC international events.

“Receiving this recognition is a significant accomplishment for our Law School and a reflection of the high caliber of faculty, students and programs at W&L,” said W&L Provost Daniel Wubah. “It also provides an opportunity for our institution to participate actively in transformative developmental programs that would contribute towards eradication of poverty and improved social justice.”

Top Stories

Kai Degner talks Sixth District race, issues with Viewpoints on WVPT

Sixth District Democratic Party congressional nominee Kai Degner is an anti-establishment candidate in the year of anti-establishment candidates.

New Quinnipiac poll: Clinton looking good in battlegrounds

Democrat Hillary Clinton wipes out Republican Donald Trump’s leads in Georgia and Iowa, where the two are tied among likely voters.

Out of the Darkness Walk exceeds 2016 goals

The Greater Augusta Out of the Darkness Walk returned to Staunton for its second year and brought an increase in participants and fundraising.

Jeff Ishee returns to host WVPT’s Virginia Farming

Shenandoah Valley broadcasting veteran Jeff Ishee returns to his role as host of WVPT’s agriculture news program Virginia Farming.

GAPP sponsors teen video contest to promote substance-free living

Greater Augusta Prevention Partners is sponsoring a video contest to promote the message “Living Alcohol and Drug Free.”

Recent News

Hosts Chris Graham and Crystal Graham of Augusta Free Press highlight local news and newsmakers with an emphasis on the Shenandoah Valley on Viewpoints on WVPT.

Join the conversation on WVPT's Facebook page.

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press, ESPN3 baseball broadcaster and the author of five books. Crystal Graham is the award-winning former host of WVPT’s Virginia Tonight.

Show airs Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m.

Want to see what's coming up on Viewpoints? Click here.

Missed a show? Watch OnDemand and on our YouTube channel.

Past shows are also available via the PBS app wherever it is available (iOS, Xbox, Roku, Android, etc). Videos will be found more easily if you localize the app and select WVPT as your local PBS station.

AFP Business

Your One-Stop Media Shop

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.


Get information on readership and advertising online with us.

AFP Classes

Augusta Free Press offers a series of hour-long classes on website design, marketing strategy, social media, event planning and more.

Web Design

You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.

Graphic Design

Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.


Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Search Engine Optimization

The prettiest website in the world is like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. If your website hasn’t been search engine optimized, no one is going to see it or hear it – and it’s not going to work for you.


Web videos, TV and radio commercials, DVDs – Augusta Free Press LLC has you covered when it comes to video and audio production.