Non-Governmental Organisations


Strasbourg, 7 October 2012


1. Opening of the meeting by Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs and appointment of a rapporteur: Veysel Filiz

The Standing Committee:

2. adopted the agenda with four additional items;

3. discussed the following outstanding questions concerning the revision of the Rules of Procedure of the Conference of INGOs:

    - Type of ballot: Two-round first-past-the-post ballot to be maintained. Blank ballots will be taken into account when calculating the absolute majority in the first round;

    - Role of the Honorary Presidents: maintenance of the status quo and of the title;

    - Voting: Only persons elected by the plenary shall be entitled to vote while the other members of the Standing Committee shall have a consultative vote. With regard to INGOs-Service, Marie-José Schmitt guaranteed that further efforts would be made to review its functioning;

    - Texts adopted by the Conference: the status of the texts was unclear. The Committees shall adopt draft recommendations or/and resolutions and the plenary shall be responsible for adopting the draft so that it becomes a Conference resolution or/and recommendation.

    Rémy Berthier will be in charge of putting the new Rules of Procedure into writing so that they can be submitted to the plenary in January 2013. The text will be submitted to members of the Conference 60 days prior to the plenary meeting in January.

4. Revision of Participatory Status

Daniel Zielinski would be entrusted with this work as he has experience in this field. His work would give rise to further discussions.

5. Information on the World Democracy Forum:

The Conference of INGOs would be making a full contribution to the Forum and to its programme with an event on Sunday and a round table on Wednesday. President Heydt would be chairing a session in the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday.

6. The Conference neighbourhood strategy:

    Two main points of action: youth and women’s issues.
    Two main problems: funding and organisation
    The activities run by the Lisbon North-South Centre would partly determine the action to be taken in this region. The involvement of the Conference of INGOs and its resolutions were vital for local civil society.

7. Miscellaneous:

Annelise Oeschger provided information on the preparations for the meeting on 17 October to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Cyril Ritchie provided information on Belarus and proposed that they endorse the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to award its Human Rights Prize to a human rights defender in Belarus.

Information on the Expert Council on NGO law: The group would comprise 15 people - there were currently 9. The aim of the Expert Council was to create appropriate conditions for the functioning of NGOs in Europe. There had been a substantial erosion of rights in the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan and civil society needed support. The Expert Council intended to carry out a survey in both of these countries.

Marie-José Schmitt reminded members of the rules governing reimbursement by INGO-service and in particular the importance of submitting requests in advance. Communication with the INGOs needed to be improved.

Israël Mensah provided information on his work in the youth field and his participation in the 9th Council of Europe Conference in Saint-Petersburg where it had been impossible to adopt a final declaration owing to a lack of consensus.
The Conference of INGOs needed to develop proposals for more joint work with the youth sector. With this in mind they needed to consider all possible forms of co-operation.