Strasbourg, 2 July 2009
FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE
The Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 24 June 2009, with Jean-Marie Heydt in the chair:
· Adopted the agenda [CONF/SC(2009)OJ4] with the following changes: a new item on the working methods of the committees and transversal groups was inserted, the items on follow-up to the 2009 spring and summer sessions were merged and the item on co-operation with the International Organisation of La Francophonie was deleted because the individuals concerned were not present at the meeting;
· Adopted the synopsis of the Standing Committee meeting held in Strasbourg on 29 April 2009 [CONF/SC(2009)SYN3] ;
1. Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of INGOs on 22 June 2009 (Strasbourg)
· Took note of the report presented by Jenny Schuler concerning inter alia:
o Representations in steering committees: decided by the Standing Committee, these were effected on behalf of the INGO Conference and must be the subject of a written report to the Standing Committee;
o Recapitulation of the role of the Standing Committee, especially in ensuring co-ordination between the Conference of INGOs and its committees and transversal groups;
o Tracking of draft agendas and synopses of the committees and transversal groups by a member of the Bureau (Maritchu Rall);
o The activities of Bureau members since the meeting on 20 May 2009.
· Took note of the fact that this oral report was the record of decisions.
2. Working methods of the committees and transversal groups
· Held an exchange of views, focusing in particular on the following:
o Adoption of texts by the committees and transversal groups:
- Need to develop Rules of Procedures that would allow the INGO Conference and the Standing Committee to be politically responsive, particularly where texts to be adopted were concerned. The Standing Committee, in particular, should be able to adopt texts on behalf of the INGO Conference whenever there was no meeting of the latter;
- Question about who was entitled to vote when texts were being adopted by the committees and transversal groups;
o Agendas and synopses of committees and transversal groups: adoption of the proposal made by the Bureau on 22 June to the effect that the draft agendas and synopses of committees and transversal groups should be sent to a Bureau member for information; need for draft agendas to include a note to the effect that the document had not yet been adopted and could not be considered binding on the persons referred to therein;
o Activities of the committees and transversal groups:
- 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: proposal that the INGO Conference should join the new worldwide appeal to help children, launched on 4 June 2009 by the International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB);
- Universality of human rights: plan by the culture, science and education committee and the human rights committee to hold a joint conference in 2010. It was agreed that a written proposal would be submitted to the Standing Committee, for decision at its meeting on 1 October 2009;
- Work schedule of the committees and transversal groups: in keeping with Rule 2.4.2. of the INGO Conference Rules of Procedure, the committees and transversal groups were asked to draw up their annual or biennial work schedules so that the Standing Committee could discuss the matter at a later date.
o Practical arrangements for committee and transversal group meetings: Room 2 was becoming too small to accommodate certain committee meetings.
· Decided to continue discussing the changes to the Rules of Procedure at a further meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuesday 29th September, from 11 am to 12.30 pm.
3. Text submitted for adoption
· Unanimously approved:
o the Recommendation adopted on 22 June 2009 by the Human Rights Committee, calling on the President of Lithuania to refrain from signing the “law on the protection of minors from the detrimental effects of public information” in view of its homophobic content;
o the Recommendation adopted on 24 June 2009 by the Social Cohesion and Eradication of Poverty Committee on “public policies supporting the wish to have children: societal, economic and personal factors”.
4. INGO Conference’s participation in intergovernmental steering committees
· Decided to postpone consideration of this item until its meeting on 1 October 2009.
5. Other business
· Instructed the Human Rights Committee to keep the issue of sectarian movements in relation to human rights under review, and the Europe and Global Challenges Transversal Group to continue exploring this issue and in particular the strategies employed by sectarian movements to gain influence in international institutions.
NB: the Standing Committee did not have time at this meeting to discuss the other agenda items, such as the priorities of the INGO Conference, as the room did not become available until 4.45 pm.
6. Dates of forthcoming meetings: Tuesday 29 September 2009 (11 am – 12.30 pm)
Thursday 1 October 2009 (2.30 – 5.30 pm)
Cc: Members of the Standing Committee
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
Secretary General of the Congress
Secretary to the Committee of Ministers
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 of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights