Non-Governmental Organisations

WINTER SESSION

SUSTAINABLE TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
CONF/TER(2009)SYN1

Strasbourg, 30 January 2009

SYNOPSIS
OF THE MEETING HELD ON 27 JANUARY 2009

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SUSTAINABLE TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

The Sustainable Territorial Development Committee of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 27 January 2009, with Anne-Marie Chavanon in the Chair:

1. Agenda

    · Adopted the agenda as it stood.

2. Synopsis and minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2008

      · Adopted the synopsis [CONF/TER(2008)SYN1] and the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2008.
      · Agreed only to use synopses to report on subsequent meetings.

3. Communication on the positioning of the committee within the institutional framework of the Council of Europe

    · Noted, on the basis of documents from the Council of Europe’s 2007 activity report,

      o that the INGO Conference appeared, as a full partner of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress, the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretariat, in the narrative part of the report;
      o that it did not appear in the (structural and functional) summary table at the end of the report.

    In the light of these documents, the Chair drew attention to the potential offered by this role as “fourth pillar” and to the limited logistical resources of the Conference, which was run by the Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs, a fact which explained its absence from the above-mentioned table.

    In terms of the Sustainable Territorial Development Committee’s means of action, unlike the other pillars’ committees working in the same field, the INGO Conference Sustainable Territorial Development Committee did not have its own secretariat, which was a factor that had to be taken into account when agreeing the work plan.

    4. Exchange of views with representatives from other Council of Europe organs

    · Was informed by Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons, Head of Division, of the work under way in the Cultural Heritage, Landscape and Spatial Planning Division, in particular the activities of the Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage and Landscape (CDPATEP), the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional/Spatial Planning (CEMAT) and the monitoring bodies of the European Landscape Convention;
    · Noted that the Sustainable Territorial Development Committee had to obtain official confirmation of its presence as the observer representing the INGO Conference at these various bodies, such representation being authorised by the provisions of Committee of Ministers Resolution (2003) 8 which granted participatory status to the INGO Conference;
    · Noted that the INGO Conference would be invited with the Congress and the Parliamentary Assembly to the Conference on the European Landscape Convention on 30 and 31 March 2009;
    · Noted the desire of Alan Meale, Chair of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, to engage in dialogue with civil society. He had said he wished to open his committee’s doors wide to the INGOs – to the committee’s experts during the preparation of reports and to the observers appointed by it during ordinary meetings. The Sustainable Territorial Development Committee was asked to submit any proposed topics for reports to Agnès Nollinger by the end of February;
    · Took note of the discussion themes and timetable of the Committee on Sustainable Development of the Congress of the Council of Europe, as presented by Marité Moras, Secretary of the committee;
    · Exchanged views with the rapporteur, Jean Huss (Luxembourg), on the report on “Environment and health: better prevention of environment-related health hazards” adopted on 17 December 2008 by the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs;
    · Adopted a declaration [CONF/TER(2009)DEC1] in which it undertook to continue discussions and awareness-raising in this area. The committee wished to co-operate here with the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress with a view to developing preventive measures and awareness-raising activities in the member states.

    5. Proposed work programme for 2009 – Setting-up of thematic working groups

    · Decided, with the agreement of the co-ordinators, to set up the following working groups:

o Water and health (Edith Wenger)
o Indoor pollution (Michèle Muhlmann-Weill)
o Follow-up to the Urban Charter (Robert Lafont)
o European Local Democracy Week (Emile Barthel)

    6. Update on the meetings at which the Sustainable Territorial Development Committee was represented

    · Was informed that the following reports and speeches had been posted on the blog:

      o 13-14 October 2008 – CEMAT – Yerevan (Armenia) – Text by Robert Lafont (International Federation for Housing and Planning, IFHP);
      o 6 November 2008 – Water and Parliaments – Report by Edith Wenger (European Environmental Bureau);
      o 5 December 2008 – Environment and health – Report by Michèle Muhlmann-Weill (European Democracy Forum);
      o 8-10 December 2008 – Steering Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (IFHP)

    7. Committee working methods and tools

    · Noted that Anne-Marie Chavanon had opened a blog on the committee’s work at the following address:
    http://sustainabledevelopment.unblog.fr/

    · Noted that a request for a collaborative workspace would be submitted to the Standing Committee.


8. Representation of the committee

    Agreed that the committee would be represented

    · At the events and working meetings to be held by the following other bodies:

      o Congress seminar on cross-border cultural tourism, Eupen (Belgium), by Georg Mäschig, Vice-Chair;

      o Meeting of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs in Paris on 3 March, by Anne-Marie Chavanon;

      o Meeting of experts on the drafting of the European rural heritage charter on 16 and 17 March, by Patrice Collignon;

      o CEMAT international symposium in Kyiv (Ukraine) on 4 June, by Patrice Collignon and Robert Lafont;

    · At the following other events

      o World Water Forum, by Edith Wenger;

      o United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which would address environmental issues, by Renée Gérard.

9. Other business

Date of the next meeting: Tuesday 28 April 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
Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights
Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Director of External Relations
Director of Strategic Planning
Director of Communication
Director a.i. of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights