Non-Governmental Organisations

WINTER SESSION

STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2009)SYN2

Strasbourg, 25 February 2009

S Y N O P S I S

OF THE MEETING HELD ON 29 JANUARY 2009

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE

The Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 29 January 2009, with Jean-Marie Heydt in the chair:

1. Recommendations adopted by the Conference of INGOs: means of implementation

    · Agreed the following arrangements for the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the INGO Conference on 28 January 2009:

    o Recommendation on the first report of the Expert Council on NGO Law: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs. The President of the Expert Council on NGO Law was instructed to follow up implementation of the recommendation;

    o Recommendation on the proposed Council of Europe Convention to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs and to the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the Council of Europe, Thematic Co-ordinator on Equality between Women and Men;

    o Recommendation on instituting a “European Year of Voluntary Action”: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs and to the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the European Commission to the Council of Europe. The President of the INGO Conference would be responsible for taking the steps needed for the implementation of the recommendation;

    o Recommendation on the Durban Review Conference “to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs and to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Director of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency;

    o Recommendation on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in the Russian Federation: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs and to the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe;

    o Recommendation on “Conference of INGOs – a budget to meet its mission”: would be sent to the relevant Council of Europe bodies and organs.

2. Code of good practice for civil participation

    · Took note of the information concerning the drafting and consultation process for the Code of good practice for civil participation (draft document to be approved at the INGO Conference meeting on 29 April and sent to the other pillars of the Council of Europe for opinion and finalisation of the text with a view to its adoption at the INGO Conference meeting on 30 September 2009 and launch at the Forum for the Future of Democracy in Kyiv from 21 to 23 October 2009). There was also an e-mail address for comments on the draft code (civil.participation@coe.int).

3. Exchange of views on the future priorities of the INGO Conference

    · Held an exchange of views on the future priorities of the INGO Conference, in the course of which the President of the INGO Conference pointed out, in particular, that the Conference Bureau needed to have a clear view of the sub-committees or working or reflection groups set up or proposed by the committees and transversal groups, and of the transversal topics of interest to various committees or transversal groups;

    · Noted that it was currently impossible to appoint a member of the Secretariat per individual committee or transversal group, given the lack of human resources.

4. Three-year programme in the Russian Federation

    · Took note of the reminder by Annelise Oeschger (Honorary President of the INGO Conference) of the background to the activities to support civil society in the Russian Federation and of the projects planned following the Third Regional NGO Congress held in Penza in December 2008;

    · Held an exchange of views on the following points: the link to be maintained between the three-year programme in the Russian Federation and the Civil Society and Democracy Committee, the usefulness of publicising the programme more widely in the country, the possibility of setting up a programme committee for 2009 and 2010 and launching a website, and the possible appointment of a rapporteur.

5. Information on matters dealt with by the Chargés de Mission of the INGO Conference

    · Agreed that the current delegates (chargés de mission) would continue their activities until the end of the terms set.

6. Other business

    · Took note of the approval by the Social Cohesion and Eradication of Poverty Committee at its meeting on 27 January 2009 of two motions, respectively on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on Article 30 of the European Social Charter, and agreed to refer the motions to the said committee for it to approve the corresponding draft recommendations with a view to their final adoption by the INGO Conference on 29 April 2009;

    · Took note of the discussions held by the Social Cohesion and Eradication of Poverty Committee on establishing a link with European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion declared by the European Union for 2010 and instructed the Secretariat to find out what action the Council of Europe was planning in this connection;

    · Agreed partially to renew the Verification and Dispute Committee and appointed Maritchu Rall (Bureau member) to the committee for the Standing Committee. The fifth vacant seat on the committee would have to be filled by decision of the INGO Conference at its meeting on 29 April 2009;

    · Approved the proposal by the Verification and Dispute Committee to set up a working group (comprising the members of the committee and three or four Standing Committee members) to review the provisions in the Conference Rules of Procedure regarding elections and appoint Rémi Berthier (International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe) to chair the working group;

    · Adopted the draft declaration approved by the Sustainable Territorial Development Committee on 27 January 2009 on better prevention of environment-related health hazards [CONF/TER(2009)DEC1]

7. Dates of the next meetings: Wednesday 29 April 2009 (2.30 - 5.30 pm)
Wednesday 24 June 2009 (4.15 - 6 pm)
Wednesday 30 September 2009 (2.30 - 5.30 pm)

Cc: 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 Strategic Planning
Director of Communication
Director a.i. of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights