Non-Governmental Organisations

    AUTUMN SESSION

    EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES TRANSVERSAL GROUP
    CONF/TG/GLO (2008) SYN1

    Strasbourg, 20 October 2008

SYNOPSIS
OF THE MEETING OF 1 OCTOBER 2008

    FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES TRANSVERSAL GROUP

    The Europe and global challenges transversal group, meeting on 1 October 2008 in Strasbourg, with Michel Julien in the chair:

    Adopted the meeting agenda and the report of the last meeting of the North-South dialogue and solidarity grouping of 25 June 2008;
    Took note of the role assigned to transversal groups in the revised Rules of Procedure of the Conference of INGOs.

1. The challenges of globalisation and how to tackle them

    Decided to work on the global dimension of the media. The Council's role was emphasised in the global dimension of the Internet Governance Forum. The next forum would be held in India, and a preparatory seminar had been held at the Council of Europe. Access to the new technologies used by the media was a means of obtaining information but also empowerment. Economic, social and human issues were involved here.

      A Forum on the “Image of the Other in History teaching” had taken place in Istanbul. The teaching of history was a different proposition altogether in the era of globalisation, and the next phase would place emphasis on the teaching of history in conflict situations.

    Took note of the wish to link the group's activities with the concept of global education or international solidarity education.

2. Global challenges: what are the priority areas? What cooperation should there be with the Committees on these issues?

    Took note of the wish to define global challenges and choose which ones to be tackled, before going on to propose the following themes:

      - North/South links. Co–development.
      - Conflicts (Georgia/Russia)
      - Links between the Council of Europe and the European Union and with other international structures
      - Political situation and current financial crisis, safeguarding of human rights in this situation.

    Was informed by Denis Huber, Executive director of the North-South Centre in Lisbon, after his review of the strategies pursued in 2007, of:

        o the setting up of two joint programmes, one on promoting global citizenship, particularly in countries having recently joined the Council of Europe, and the other centred on follow-up to the Euro-African youth summit;
        o an activity to follow up the campaign against discrimination. The emphasis would be on the teaching of history in the Mediterranean region;
        o the forthcoming Lisbon Forum of November 2008, which would consider the principle of the universal nature of human rights and its application at regional, national and international level. On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of human rights, the focus would be on the rights whose interpretation was problematic: freedom of expression, abolition of the death penalty, gender equality.

    Took note of the chair's proposals to set up five sub-committees, with one member responsible for coordinating their activities:

        o "Global challenges", Anne Sforza
        o "Response capability, conduct of the Conference of INGOs in conflict  situations", Victor Kamyshanov
        o "Council of Europe/European Union monitoring", Claude Laurent Genty
        o "Coherence between committees and transversal groups", Alain Mouchoux
        o "North/South, the challenges", Sophie Dimitroulias

    3. Date of the next meeting: Thursday 29 January 2009, from 9 to 10.30 am in room 2

    Cc: President of the Conference of INGOs
    Members of the Standing Committee
    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 of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights