STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2012)SYN8

Strasbourg, 21 December 2012

DRAFT SYNOPSIS
OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19 NOVEMBER 2012

1. Opening of the meeting by Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs, and appointment of a rapporteur: Maritchu Rall (AIC).

The President proposed that there should be greater consistency in the statements which the committee chairs and heads of working groups made when addressing the various Council of Europe bodies to ensure that their work was more effective.

The Standing Committee:

2. adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on 6 October 2012 [CONF/SC(2012) SYN7]

3. approved the changes to the Conference of INGOs’ Rules of Procedure, which would be sent to all INGOs and submitted to the Conference of NGOs at their plenary session in January 2013 with a view to their adoption

4. adopted the “Guidelines for a concerted and consistent approach by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe in southern neighbourhood countries”, which had been discussed by the Bureau on 6 September 2012. The President stressed the importance of giving an operational aspect to the guidelines so that concrete action could be envisaged in January 2013. At the World Forum for Democracy, which had taken place in October 2012, numerous discussions had led to the implementation of projects.

5. Alain Koskas had met Fatima Z. Malki-Bensoltane, co-chair of the 3rd Congress of the North-South Mediterranean Dialogue. A working meeting might be held in Tunis to clearly identify the themes. The Chair had met members of the Secretariat. Stock would be taken of relations with neighbourhood countries at the Conference of NGOs during the January 2013 session and a working group would be established to follow up the matter.

6. approved the calendar and prepared the January 2013 session (see calendar on the website). Two thematic meetings would be held in the afternoon Monday 21 January 2013: one on the “Draft declaration on democracy” and the other on “Living together in multicultural societies – access to participation and culture”.

7. presented the members of the Expert Council and its future activities and drew attention to the new terms of reference approved by the Bureau on behalf of the Standing Committee. The first meeting would take place in Strasbourg on 10 and 11 December 2012.

8. drew attention to the fact that a conference had been held to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: “Building Europe through Human Rights: Acting Together against Extreme Poverty” and to the Joint Declaration signed by the four pillars of the Council of Europe. The Declaration should lead to an action plan for 2014-2023. A Russian delegation from several regions had taken part in the meetings. A number of people living in poverty had also taken part and had made an active contribution to the day’s work.

9. said that the evaluation report on the 3-year Framework Co-operation Programme (2008-2011) in the Russian Federation had been sent to the Russian authorities, which had greatly appreciated the work carried out by the Conference of NGOs.

10. allocated the tasks for the preparation of the activity report of the Conference of INGOs and entrusted Maritchu Rall with the task of drafting the report and presenting it to the Conference of NGOs in January 2013. INGO-Service would hold its General Assembly at the end of the morning on Thursday 24 January. (see calendar on the website).

11. discussed the functioning and terms of reference of the working groups and made it quite clear that they would be working under the close supervision of the committee chairs and would have to submit a report to each committee concerned. These groups of experts were an important resource for the Conference of INGOs. A general discussion on European Citizens’ Year would be held in the context of the Human Rights Committee.

Rapporteur: Maritchu Rall (AIC)