Non-Governmental Organisations

    WINTER SESSION

    CULTURE, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE
    CONF/CULT(2010)SYN1

    Strasbourg, 30 March 2010

DRAFT SYNOPSIS
OF THE MEETING ON 26 JANUARY 2010

    FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CULTURE, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Chair, Edouard Jagodnik, and the Chair of the former Education and Culture Grouping, Alain Mouchoux, thanked Bernard Krantz, rapporteur, most sincerely for his efficient and discreet work over the years. As Mr Krantz had decided to stand down, Jean-Hugues Leopold-Metzger had agreed to take over as rapporteur for this meeting.

    The Committee on Culture, Science and Education, meeting on 26 January 2010 at 9 am:

    1. Adopted the agenda.

    2. Adopted the draft synopsis of the meeting held on 30 September 2009.

    3. Activities since the previous session:

      Heard Edouard Jagodnik’s report on the preparation of the Forum on the Universality of Human Rights, Oslo, 21 and 22 October 2010.

      Heard information from Alain Mouchoux (European Trade Union Committee for Education – CSEE) about the evaluation conference which had ended the first programme of the Sub-Group on “Education for democratic citizenship and human rights” and the establishment of its second programme.

      Heard information from Alain Mouchoux about the plan to draw up a charter on human rights with UNESCO, the UN, the OSCE and the Red Cross, which all parties wanted to be binding on the Council of Europe member states but was opposed by many of the member states. The charter would be submitted in spring 2010 and it was hoped that it would enter into force.

      Heard a report by Nina Belyaeva (Interlegal Foundation) on her participation in the meeting of a panel of experts of a similar body to the committee at the OECD.

    4. World Youth Conference (Mexico City, 23-29 August 2010)

      Heard a report by Maria-Fernanda Gonzalez, deputy to the Permanent Observer of Mexico to the Council of Europe, on the World Youth Conference.

      Conference aims:
      The only other conference of this type had taken place ten years earlier and the current generation of young people had a crucial part to play both from an economic viewpoint and in the spheres of social issues, politics, culture and security. The current situation of young people provided the world with an unprecedented opportunity to speed up economic development and reduce poverty;
      To bring together all the key aspects of activities planned for young people in a declaration and present it to the United Nations General Assembly in 2010;
      To encourage dialogue between civil society organisations, governments and parliamentarians and devise policies making it easier to ascertain young people’s needs and priorities;
      To pool young people’s experience and knowledge and draw up development forecasts, policies and programmes.

      Arrangements for participation:

      The costs of two NGOs per country would be covered, although this did not prevent others from attending (link to the conference registration page). All the necessary information could be found on the conference website (www.youth2010.org).

    5. Sub-Committee on Education co-ordinator: Sabine Rohmann

      Sub-Group on multi-perspectivity in history teaching – co-ordinator: Jean-Philippe Durrenberger

      In this connection, Jean-Pierre Titz, Head of the History Teaching Division, emphasised that the Council of Europe had been dealing with the education of Europe’s citizens since 1950. Its work in this area had paved the way for education in understanding and mutual trust between Europe’s peoples. It contributed to reconciliation and the promotion of the European values of openness towards other people, respect, tolerance, human rights and democracy in the context of globalisation and history teaching in conflict and post-conflict situations.

      This work had provided an important basis for changes to history teaching both in schools and out of school, intended to make people look beyond their national borders and take account of intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

      The teaching material produced by the project “the image of the Other in history teaching” had made it possible to take history teaching in new directions.

      A new project entitled “Shared histories for a Europe without dividing lines” was to be launched shortly.

      To be able to incorporate these educational features and approaches into history teaching, there was a need to promote and enhance European teachers’ initial and in-service training. The Council of Europe supported in-service teacher training through its Pestalozzi programme.

      The committee decided that further steps should be taken to co-ordinate the activities of the Sub-Committee on Education of the INGO Conference’s Committee on Culture, Science and Education and the Council of Europe’s History Teaching Division.

      Sub-Group on education for democratic citizenship and human rights – co-ordinator: Anne Costelloe

      Members of the committee interested in the work of the sub-group were invited to contact Ms Costelloe at the following address: annecostelloe@eircom.net. The initial aim was to establish the subject area, aims, potential output, deliberative processes, approaches and tasks of the group and how its findings would be presented and published.

    6. Sub-Committee on Culture – co-ordinator: Edouard Jagodnik

      James Barnett, co-ordinator of the Sub-Group on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue, described the work of the group, focusing in particular on its work on non-monotheistic religions.

      Nol Orsat, co-ordinator of the Sub-Group on European identity, also described the work of his group.

    7. Forum on the Universality of Human Rights, 21 and 22 October 2010

      While the preparatory work, organisational arrangements and funding were on the right path, more external speakers still had to be found (see appendix).

    FORUM on the
    UNIVERSALITY OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    Oslo – 21 & 22 October 2010

    On 21 and 22 October 2010, the INGOs with participatory status with the Council of Europe are to hold a forum on the universality of human rights in Oslo in co-operation with the European Wergeland Centre on Education for Human Rights.
    Interpretation will be provided from and into English and French.

    Aim of the forum:
    - To reaffirm the universality and indivisibility of human rights, in accordance with the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 12 May 2009.
    - To contrast this with the diversity of cultures.
    - The recognition that we live in a multicultural world and the publication by the Council of Europe of an outstanding white paper on intercultural dialogue are in no way intended to undermine the common basis of human rights, which implies that all women and men are fundamentally equal in dignity and rights.
    - There is no such thing as “sovereign universal rights”, which are different in each country.
    - There is no such thing as “religious universal rights” laid down by individual religions. They should all join together in serving this common human heritage.

    The forum will also deal with specific topics and controversial questions such as:
    - Can there be a hierarchy of rights? Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights;
    - How to resolve conflicts between rights;
    - Education in human rights;
    - The function of the Council of Europe.

    For further information, contact:

    Dr Edouard JAGODNIK: ejagodnik@fede.org

    Sylvia STANKOVSKA: sstankovska@fede.org

    Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 00 46 38