EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES
CONF/TG/GLO (2010) SYN1
Strasbourg, 28 February 2010
DRAFT SYNOPSIS OF THE MEETING OF 25 JANUARY 2010
FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES TRANSVERSAL GROUP
The Europe and Global Challenges Transversal Group, meeting on 25 January 2010:
1. Adopted the agenda unanimously. The agenda focused on two main items so that the two guest INGOs would have time to present their work. These two items concerned Africa, a subject on which a working group will be set up. This will enable the Transversal Group to develop its awareness of sub-Saharan problems and assume responsibility for addressing them in co-operation with the North-South Centre.
2. Adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on 29 September 2009 [CONF/TG/GLO(2009)SYN4] unanimously.
3. Presentation of the RPAN project by Emmanuelle Devuyst from the Jesuit European Office (OCIPE)
Heard a presentation by Emmanuelle Devuyst on the OCIPE’s RPAN (Relational Peace Advocacy Network) project, concerning large mining operations controlled by Western powers and their relations with the local population in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This project launched in 2006 seeks to combat the impunity enjoyed by the transnational firms involved by developing good governance and transparency in the exploitation of extractive resources. The network’s base is an office in Kinshasa (Study Centre for Social Action - CEPAS), which is also the centre for the Jesuits, the United States Jesuit Conference in Washington, the OCIPE in Brussels and the European Union Special Representatives for the Great Lakes Region.
Obtained information about how INGOs work with the European Union, who the decision-makers are at the head of the major groups exploiting the resources of the DRC and what the implications are for the local population in terms of pay, respect for rights, displacement, poverty etc.
4. Priority issue: North-South co-operation (Louise Coffi)
- Took note of the priority issues referred to by Louise Coffi, from the Centre for Study and Strategic Perspectives (CEPS), in her presentation on Europe and the challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. She analysed the relations between the two continents, highlighting the relatively low level of involvement of Europeans in Africa in general; however, she mentioned examples of co-operation at local government level, private initiatives and INGO projects based on local associations. Regrettably, there were sticking points due to the political context: failure to respect basic human rights, the economic context/unwise management of resources, unequal distribution of wealth and lack of health and education/training policies in many cases.
- Decided to set up a working group based on the three action proposals put forward by the INGOs, which were :
- to have an information campaign highlighting what works in Africa in the various sectors of activity ;
- to give personalities from African civil society the opportunity to come and speak at the Council of Europe in order to demonstrate another side of Africa ;
- to promote the work of local NGOs and act as a relay for them.
5. Was informed by the Chair that the co-operation agreement between the INGO Conference and the North-South Centre would be signed during the plenary meeting of the INGO Conference on 27 January 2010.
6. Heard a progress report by Sophie Dimitroulias (Association of Women of Southern Europe, AFEM) on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.