Non-Governmental Organisations

AUTUMN SESSION

STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2008)SYN1

Strasbourg, 20 October 2008

SYNOPSIS

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE

The Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 3 October 2008, with Annelise Oeschger in the chair:

    · Adopted the agenda and approved the report on the meeting of the Liaison Committee held on 23 June 2008 [OING CL(2008)CR4];
    · Took note of the reminder by the President of the transitional membership of the Standing Committee, which was valid until the winter session (26-29 January 2009) of the INGO Conference.

1. Distribution of the main work topics among the committees

    · Agreed, on the basis of a proposal by the President, to hold a co-ordination meeting of the chairs and vice-chairs of the committees and transversal groups, with the participation of Bureau members, in the second half of November 2008.

2. Working procedures of the committees and transversal groups

    · Took note of the need for the committees and transversal groups to agree their work topics in a co-ordinated manner;
    · Was informed of the desire of some transversal groups and committees to set up sub-committees and working groups and agreed to consider the matter at a future meeting.

3. INGO-Service

    · Took note of the election on 30 September 2008 of Michel Muller (Mission Europa) as Chair of INGO-Service and of his objectives: drawing up new rules of procedure, raising INGO-Service’s profile on the INGO Conference website, launching an awareness-raising campaign so as to attract new contributions, raising funds from third parties and drawing up the budget for 2009.

4. Violence against women

    · Adopted a declaration [CONF/SC(2008)DEC1] on the proposal for a convention to combat violence against women and agreed that the declaration would be submitted in the form of a recommendation for adoption by the INGO Conference on 28 January 2009.

5. First report of the Expert Council on NGO Law

    · Took note that a draft recommendation on the matter would be submitted to the INGO Conference for adoption on 28 January 2009 and posted on the INGO Conference website before the meeting.

6. Draft Charter of Good Governance

    · Agreed, by 13 votes in favour and 13 abstentions, to submit the draft Charter of Good Governance of the INGOs holding participatory status within the Council of Europe (version of 23 September 2008) to the INGO Conference on 28 January 2009.

7. Verification and Dispute Committee

    · Was informed by Rémi Berthier (member of the Verification and Dispute Committee) about the content and conclusions of the meetings held on 28 August and 2 October 2008, at which the following points in particular had been raised:

    o the appropriateness or otherwise of retaining the system of single-round majority voting for the elections;
    o the possible establishment of a system of weighted votes;
    o the need for members of the committee to stand down during the electoral process if they were candidates for election to a post;
    o the possibility of candidates for Bureau membership standing simultaneously for two separate posts: vice-chair or other member of the Bureau;
    o the length of the presentations of the candidates on the day of the election (currently three minutes): it was up to the Standing Committee (Rule 4.3.8 of the Rules of Procedure) possibly to review the length of the presentations;
    o the need to distinguish between members “registered”, “present” or “voting” in the election report;
    o the possibility of each INGO holding a proxy.

    · Agreed that Standing Committee members would hold consultations about the length of the presentations of the candidates the day after the committee’s next meeting (3 December 2008).

8. Rules of Procedure of the Conference of INGOs: provisions concerning the transversal groups

    · Took note of the proposals by the rapporteur, Claude-Laurent Genty (Honorary Founder-Chair of the Liaison Committee), regarding the provisions on the transversal groups, which had been drawn up on the basis of the discussions by the ad hoc group chaired by François Becker (European Network Church on the Move);
    · With reference to point 6 of the transitional provisions adopted by the INGO Conference on 25 June 2008, under which additional provisions concerning the transversal groups were to be submitted for ratification by the INGO Conference at its meeting on 28 January 2009, agreed, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, to post the proposed additional provisions on the INGO Conference website from 29 November 2008, ie 60 days before the sitting of the Conference, so that INGOs could submit any proposed amendments.

9. United Nations Conference against Racism: draft recommendation

    · Was informed of a draft recommendation by the Human Rights Committee, which the latter had not adopted at its meeting on 2 October, concerning the United Nations Conference against Racism (Geneva, 2009) following on from the conference held in Durban in 2001 and agreed to submit a revised version for adoption during the INGO Conference meeting on 28 January 2009, subject to its being approved by the Human Rights Committee at its meeting on 27 January.

10. Dates of the next meetings: Monday 26 January 2009
Thursday 29 January 2009

Cc : Members of the Standing Committee
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
Secretary General of the Congress
Secretary to the Committee of Ministers
Directors General
Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Director of External Relations
Director of the Strategic planning
Director of Communication
Director a.i. of the Commissioner for Human Rights