Non-Governmental Organisations



            Strasbourg, 9 March 2012


    Meeting of 27 January


    1. The President, Jean-Marie Heydt, opened the meeting, welcoming the delegates.

2. The agenda [CONF/PLE(2012)OJ2] was unanimously adopted with the addition of a new item on the Expert Council on NGO Law, to be dealt with after the elections

3. Election of rapporteurs

    After a reminder of the election procedure by Rémy Berthier, President of the Verification and Dispute Committee, President Jean-Marie Heydt informed the Conference that one candidate, Karin Nordmever, had withdrawn. He read her short statement in which she said that she remained available to help with specific projects. After the appointment of three tellers (Marc Genève, International Federation of the Training Centers for the Promotion of Progressive Education, Bertrand Schoentgen, International Confederation of Professional and Intellectual Workers and Jean-Hugues Léopold-Metzger, World ORT) he invited each of the four remaining candidates to give a two minute oral presentation .

    Vote: A total of 96 ballots were cast as follows:
    Veysel Filiz (COJEP International: Council for Justice, Equality and Peace), 56 votes (58,33 %);
    Alain Koskas (International Federation of Associations of the Elderly), 66 votes (68,75 %),
    Taras Poljanec (European Action of the Disabled), 80 votes (83,33 %),
    Maritchu Rall (International Association of Charities), 82 votes (85,42 %)

    All four candidates were declared elected.

    4. Expert Council

    Cyril Ritchie, President of the Expert Council on NGO Law, presented his report on the work achieved by the Expert Council on NGO Law in accordance with the mandate it was given one year ago and insisted on its task in Azerbaijan. He presented the first four points of the draft decision for this session. Jean-Marie Heydt said that the fifth point recommended that Cyril Ritchie be reappointed as President of the Expert Council on NGO Law for a further three-year term.

    Decision: The Decision [CONF/PLE(2012)DECISION1] was adopted
    5. Election of a Gender Equality Expert
    The President invited the two candidates to address the Conference for two minutes.

    Vote: A total number of 94 ballots, were cast as follows:
    Betty Doornenbal (International Alliance of Women), 63 votes (67,02 %)
    Mominet Omarova (International Diabetes Federation, European Region), 26 votes (27,66 %)
    5 blank ballots

    Betty Doornebal was declared elected

    6. Open questions from INGOs

    A number of questions were put from the floor, covering various topics including the damaging reduction of the budget of the Conference of INGOs, the possibility of better publicity for the work of the Conference, a question on Roma people in Europe and another question on the representation of European women at the UN.

    7. and 8. Feedback from the thematic Committees and texts to be adopted
    These two points have been tackled together

    Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Committee

    Members from the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities participated actively in the Committee meeting. A recommendation and a resolution were drafted for adoption by the Conference. The recommendation was shortened.

    - Resolution [CONF/PLE(2012)RES2] - and
    - Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)REC4]
    were adopted, the latter with 8 abstentions.

    Committee on Education and Culture

    The Committee worked in a new way, starting with a half-hour session together, followed by a one and a half hour parallel meetings of the working groups and the rest of the time together, each working group presenting its decisions on future work. Mr Josef Huber (Pestalozzi programme) was present at this part of the meeting

    Decision : participation in an event in 2013 on education related issues

    Human Rights Committee

    Ambassador Tehov, Chair of the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on Human Rights. He insisted on the indivisability of Human Rights be it civil, civic, social, economic or cultural rights. Mr Luis Jimenes Quesada, Chair of the European Committee of Social Rights and Mr Regis Brillat, Head of the European Social Charter Department, explained the recent developments in the monitoring mechanism of the European Social Charter.

    The second part of the Committee meeting was devoted to discussion on several texts to be adopted by the plenary session.


    - Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)REC1] on the Reform of the Court of Human Rights to be drafted on the basis of the Position paper concerning the current debate on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights ( last sentence to be changed) Adopted unanimously
    - Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)REC2] on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in the Russian Federation - Adopted unanimously
    - Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)REC3] on “Combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity “ adopted with majority, abstentions: 16, against:1
    - Recommendation [CONF/PLE(2012)RES1] Concerning Civil Society in Belarus – adopted unanimously

    9. Rules of procedure of the Conference of INGOs : timetable for revision Rémy Berthier

    At the end of the transition period following the reform, the Rules of Procedure need to be adapted to reflect the new context. This redrafting will be be done by the Verification and Dispute Committee together with the Standing Committee.

    Request: Members of the Conference were invited to send their suggestions to the Secretariat as soon as possible to allow a first draft to be examined by the Standing Committee at its meeting in April.

    As provided for in the Rules of Procedure, 60 days before the June session of the Conference of INGOs, the draft would be sent to all the INGOs to allow them to submit proposals for amendments. These proposals would be sent to the members of the Conference 30 days before the session.

    Decision: If it appeared impossible to be ready for June, the discussion and adoption of the Rules would be postponed until January 2013.

    10. 4 yearly reports

    Jane Crozier informed the Conference that the Secretary General’s 4-yearly review of INGO co-operation with the Council of Europe would be carried out in 2012. All the INGOs enjoying participatory status would be required to submit a report on their co-operation with the Council for the period 2008-2011. To this end, the Secretariat was designing an on-line questionnaire that would be sent to all the INGOs by e-mail during the month of March.

    She also urged the INGOs to check their data in the database and to do any necessary updates as soon as possible.

    It was decided that Renée Gérard and Anje Wiersinga should represent the interests of the INGO Conference and promote the Council of Europe values during the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of women.