STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2013)SYN4

DRAFT SYNOPSIS
OF THE MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 24 JUNE 2013

1. Opening of the meeting by Sophie Dimitroulias, Vice-President of the Conference of INGOs (in the absence of Jean-Marie Heydt, President)

The Standing Committee:

2. adopted the meeting agenda

3. adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on Monday 22 April 2013 [CONF/SC(2013)SYN3]

4. Preparation of the June session

- heard a statement by Sabine Rohmann, Chair, on the activities of the working groups and the committee:

Working Group on Teachers’ Profession in the 21st Century: the result of the questionnaire for the interviews concerning the teaching profession in the 21st century was being analysed. The questionnaire would be sent out again after the school summer break. The work would be finalised for January 2014.

Working Group on Access to the Digital Media for All: presentation concerning education in digital technology and its impact by Richard Stock. Digital culture was a priority activity at the Council of Europe.

Working Group on Living Together: various examples had led to the development of a programme on the theme of digital culture.

Working Group on Learning History: a joint meeting with the Working Group on Living Together had been held in the presence of Tatiana Minkina-Milko, Head of Unit, History Teaching Programme.

The committee was carrying out various activities, including the preparation of an Africa-Europe conference due to be held in Oran (Algeria) in March 2014. Contacts had been made and information would be given to the committee and the Conference of INGOs. It was intended to carry forward the Euro-Mediterranean regional co-operation that had started over a decade earlier with the first conference in Tlemcen.

- heard a statement by Anne-Marie Chavanon, Chair, on the activities of the working groups and the committee:

1 - Democracy

Contribution to the work of the Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly on the governance of large metropolitan cities with a focus on youth. The commission invited to discuss Jeffrey Donaldson, MP in the UK, author of the report which gives a spotlight on London, Berlin and Istanbul. Kayhan Karaca, journalist, spoke on the events in Istanbul and Nicolas Detrie about an unusual youth initiative in Marseille. It will be proposed to the Committee to invite national and local governments to consider the expectations of young people and to involve them in the governance of cities, especially in the case of Istanbul.

2 - Global Issues

- Political and social developments in the Middle East and the South-Mediterranean countries with, over Syria, the testimony of Pierre Salignon, Global Director of Doctors of the World and the analysis of Jean-Pierre Estival, head of the working group, author of a recent book entitled " The Syrian tragedy uprising or international conspiracy ? ". It will be proposed to the Commission to support the call of the Doctors of the World Association for Syria to respect international law and conflict victims.

- Climate change resolution is being prepared in anticipation of COP 19 to be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 11 to 19 November 2013

3 - Social cohesion and participation of the Commission to the 2013 activities of the Council of Europe.

- European landscape Convention: the Committee represents the Conference of INGOs as a member of the European Landscape Award Jury. It supports the function of the European Landscape Convention as a tool for democracy and social cohesion.

- European Week of Local Democracy to be held in mid- October, the Commission works closely with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe who chose, in 2013 , the theme of "active citizenship : vote, share and participate"

- Co-operation with the Advisory Council on Youth. The Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Israël Mensah participates in the Youth Advisory Council of Youth in decision-making, where he presented the toolkit to promote intercultural dialogue. He proposes the creation of a Working Group entitled "Social cohesion and intercultural dialogue" insisting on the commitment of the commission in the campaign «against hate speech»

- heard a statement by Annelise Oeschger, Chair, on the activities of the working groups and the committee:

Two texts would be submitted to the Plenary Conference on 27 June 2013:

Working Group on Human Rights and Religions: the work had taken three years and had produced a report. A recommendation would be submitted to the committee and then the Conference of INGOs. It would be supplemented by two texts – one addressed to the leaders and members of religions and the other to citizens and NGOs. These texts would be prepared between the two sessions for adoption in January 2014.

Text on the “Situation of the police and police trade unions in Tunisia”: the purpose of the recommendation was to alert the Tunisian authorities and mobilise Council of Europe bodies regarding the situation of the police in Tunisia in connection with the stances taken concerning the development of the country.

A meeting had been held in Moscow in April between the President of the Conference and NGOs concerning NGO legislation and working conditions in Russia. This was a regular concern of the committee and an item was included on the agenda for 25 June.

Information on the events of the week on civil participation in the decision-making process

- heard a statement by Jane Crozier, Civil Society Division, on the event held jointly with ALDA on interaction between local authorities and NGOs to promote youth participation in decision-making. The main aim was to give young people an opportunity to put across their needs and interests to local and European decision-makers and make recommendations on how to improve youth participation. The recommendations would be presented at the Plenary Conference meeting on the Thursday morning.

- heard a statement by Jutta Gützkow, Head of the Civil Society Division, on the debate on “NGO participation in political decision-making processes: A reality or still a challenge to be met?” The main aim of the meeting was to exchange best practices and tools that fostered civil participation and find out more about the current state of NGO participation at local and national levels.

Other information

- heard an update from Jutta Gützkow on follow-up to the task assigned to Jean-Marie Heydt, Antonella Valmorbida and Alain Koskas concerning implementation of co-operation with Tunisia, which would lead to a project involving support for civil society. A meeting was planned to find out about local projects and develop the next stages with them. The President would address the issue of co-operation with the North-South Centre at the Conference of INGOs on 27 June 2013.

- heard an update from Sophie Dimitroulias on the process of preparation of the 3rd Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, which was due to be held in Paris on 13 September 2013, on the initiative of the French Government. It would be preceded by a Euro-Mediterranean Civil Forum held by the Euromed Non-Governmental Platform to enable consultations to take place and recommendations to be prepared for the ministerial meeting. Sophie Dimitroulias was taking part in the process in her capacity as Vice-Chair of AFEM and would report back to the Conference.

5. World Forum for Democracy

- heard a statement by Irena Guidikova, Head of the World Forum for Democracy Division, confirming the main theme (Re-wiring Democracy: connecting institutions and citizens in the digital age) of the forum to be held in Strasbourg, from 27 to 29 November 2013. 19 labs had been set up and details were available on the website (link to website).

The Conference of INGOs was a key partner for the preparation and success of the forum. Registration would take place online and Irena Guidikova asked NGOs to play an active part and notify her of the names of participants from all continents (irena.guidikova@coe.int).

Within the task force, the Civil Society Division was making sure that the Conference of INGOs played an active part. In this connection, the Standing Committee noted that the Conference would be sponsoring three labs on issues connected with its activities, such as the digital divide affecting people with disabilities and the poor, who often did not have access to new means of communication.

6. Lecture-debate on access to culture for all, Marseille, 27 November (Daniel Zielinski): request for the patronage of the Conference of INGOs from UNCCAS

- agreed to the request for patronage presented by Daniel Zielinski on behalf of the French National Federation of Municipal Social Welfare Centres (UNCCAS) for the lecture debate to be held in Marseille on 27 November on the theme of “Access to culture for all”. The focus would be on access to culture by the vulnerable. The Conference would be represented at the event.

7. Proposed revision of Resolution (2003)8 on participatory status (Daniel Zielinski): for discussion

It was pointed out here that Daniel Zielinski had been asked to prepare a draft contribution for examination by the Conference of INGOs. The debate showed the importance of the Conference of INGOs being involved in all stages of the process of revision and discussion planned by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. In this connection, it was requested that an opportunity for dialogue be provided so that proposals could be submitted. The committee agreed that a Standing Committee working group would be responsible for follow-up. With regard to the four-yearly reports, the Conference of INGOs would be notified of any NGOs that lost participatory status.

8. Other business

The Chair of INGO-Service said that 92 INGOs had paid their contributions to date, representing a sum of €12 600.

Rapporteur: Maritchu RALL (AIC)