Standing Committee meetings are considered private meetings and are only open to ExCom Member States and registered observers. United Nations Member States which are not already Executive Committee members may apply for Standing Committee observer status.

Standing Committee meetings may also be attended by other entities that have received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and work of the General Assembly. 

How to apply for Standing Committee observer status

  • Observer status is decided upon at the annual plenary session of the Executive Committee in October. Observer status is valid for one full cycle of meetings of the Standing Committee and expires the following October.  
  • Requests for observer status that are received after the decision is taken at the ExCom plenary session in October may also be considered by the Standing Committee at its next meeting (preferably in March, but possibly in June). 
  • Requests for observer status must be renewed for the following session.

(a) Governments

States wishing to participate as observers in the meetings of the Standing Committee should send a note verbale to the ExCom Secretariat. Please refer to the sample found at the bottom of this page.

(b) Intergovernmental organizations, other entities, and United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies

Entities, as described above, that wish to attend Standing Committee meetings as observers should contact the ExCom Secretariat. The list of participating entities is renewed by decision each year at the annual plenary session of the Executive Committee.

(c) Non-governmental organizations

Non-governmental organizations wishing to attend Standing Committee meetings should contact UNHCR's Partnership Section.

Standing Committee Observers: October 2016 - October 2017

  • Angola
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Zimbabwe