Non-Governmental Organisations


Strasbourg, 3 July 2012


Attended this meetIng :
Bureau : Jean-Marie Heydt, Antonina Dashkina, Alain Mouchoux, Sophie Dimitroulias, Michel Muller, Veysel Filiz, Maritchu Rall, Taras Poljanec, Alain Koskas
Commissions : Anne-Marie Chavanon, Israël Mensah, Vera John-Mikolajewski, Sabine Rohmann, Annelise Oeschger, Gérard Greneron, Marie-José Schmitt
Honorary president: Claude-Laurent Genty
President of the Expert Council on NGO Law: Cyril Ritchie
Gender equality expert: Betty Doornenbal
Invited: Anna Rurka, Anje Wiersinga
Secretariat: Jutta Gützkow

The Standing Committee:

1. Adopted the synopsis of the previous meeting [CONF/SC(2012)SYN5] and the agenda [CONF/SC(2012)OJ6]

2. Heard the activity report of Betty Doornenbal, gender equality expert, on the preparation of a conference to be held in Istanbul as well as topics that should be dealt within the next two years, among which - The Convention on violence against women - The relationship with the media - Health issues and women's health - The day of 14 May.

3. Heard Anna Rurka’s report as a co-ordinator for the Conference of INGOs for activities under the ongoing priority of the Council of Europe "Building a Europe for and with children". She emphasised that it was difficult to attend so many committee meetings as this topic was a cross cutting issue of the Council of Europe and quoted especially the campaign "One in Five" to stop sexual violence against children. The work programme would be detailed during the meeting scheduled for 28 June.

4. Heard the Chairs of the Committees on the status of their work

    Anne-Marie Chavanon, Chair of the Democracy, social cohesion and global challenges Committee mentionned:

- the debate on global issues with a view to creating a common agenda with PACE and the Congress;
- the presentation of a draft Charter for Democracy to be finalised for the January meeting (Giuseppe Guarneri);
- the participation in the Rio Conference (Anne-Marie Chavanon);
- the climate conference in November in Doa (joint preparation with PACE);
- the work with PACE and WHO on risks related to mobility (Thierry Mathieu);
- the Task Force Housing and Health (M Schneider);
- the Working Group on Migration (Jean-Claude Gonon );
- the working group on relations with the EU (Claude-Laurent Genty);
- the working group on Mediterranean countries (Jean-Pierre Estival);
- the participation in the Youth Advisory Committee (Israël Mensah): 40th anniversary of the youth sector of the Council of Europe (5 to 7 October 2012);
- A Hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels to present the code of good practice for civil participation in the decision-making process;
- Observatory of civil participation.

The statement on the current situation of women in Mediterranean countries proposed by Anje Wiersinga could not be adopted by the Committee nor presented to the plenary session of the Conference as it arrived too late. The Standing Committee took note of it without being able to vote for the same reasons.

Sabine Rohmann, Chair of the Education and Culture Committee reported that the committee was planning a conference with the participation of the Pestalozzi programme on education of active citizens.

The working groups would have to come up with a concrete proposal for January 2014. The work methodology was based on the following scheme: justification of the subject - preparation of a deliverable-distribution-evaluation.

The following working groups were established:

- the teaching of history (shared history);
- the teaching profession in the twenty-first century (survey undertaken: 500 replies), scheduled interviews with national NGOs)
- access to the media: risks and opportunities for participatory democracy
- education with Children: Teacher Training in collaboration with the Pestalozzi programme
- living together: toolkit

She noted the contribution of James Barnett on "Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue" and the contribution of Danièle Muller on sects and education.

Annelise Oeschger, Chair of the Human Rights Committee noted that:

- the Committee statement on the reform of the Court of Human Rights had been well publicised in national networks and was followed by a statement by the President of the Conference in Brighton;
- the contribution of NGOs to implement the decisions of the court was expected. A draft toolkit to facilitate this contribution was under study with Stephanie Bourgeois, members of the Court’s Publishing Service and members of the department for decisions implementation;
- the recommendation on "Gender equality: values, principles and universal human rights to be respected and promoted in any field" as a framework for all outcomes of the Council of Europe been adopted;
- the visit of Representatives of Belarus led to a new recommendation;
- the adopted recommendation regarding LGBT people completed the one of January;
- work in the various working groups continued.

She emphasised the quality of the presentation of the working group on "Human Rights and Religions", a group chaired by François Becker.

She proposed the creation of a new working group in reference to the Convention on Trafficking and the Convention on violence against women to promote the ratification and the implementation of both these Conventions. This proposal was accepted by the Standing Committee.

5. Implementation of decisions and policies noted:

- the proposal made by Antonina Dashkina to have a newsletter sent to all members of the conference;

- the need for more sustained relationships with the press;

- the need to improve internal communication, especially during the long months between the two sessions.

6. Event: World Forum for Democracy

Agreed to organise the Civil Society Debate on “Inclusive Democracy” (which the Conference of INGOs organises on 7 October 2012 in connection with the Strasbourg World Forum on Democracy) in the form of round tables to which would be associated, among others, NGOs from neighbouring countries.

Rapporteur: Marie-José Schmitt