On the occasion of World NGO Day, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe is organising a webinar entitled 'Challenges Facing NGOs in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations' on 26 February (10.00 to 13.00 CET) to pay tribute to the work of civil society that is focused on Human Rights, reconciliation and the Rule of Law, in conflict and post-conflict settings.
Unresolved conflicts continue to affect certain parts of the European continent, putting at risk the safety, unity and democratic governance of societies and threatening the populations concerned, including NGOs. The Council of Europe has to contend with such situations. In these territories NGOs contribute significantly by documenting all kinds of human rights violations, bringing them to light, caring for victims and assisting them in seeking justice. While certain information about the human rights situation in these regions is publicly available, little is known about the situation about civil society and NGOs, the environments they operate in and the challenges they are confronted with.
Conflict situations are also those that NGOs encounter when operating in polarized societies. Growing polarization within societies in Council of Europe member States is endangering democracy and the rule of law in Europe. In political debates, extreme groups amplify the tensions within communities that operate in a hostile climate marked by hate speech, negative stereotypes and prejudices addressed towards the “other side”.
Welcome: Anna RURKA, President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.
Keynote: Clément NYALETSOSSI VOULE, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.
10.30-11.30 - PANEL 1: CIVIL SOCIETY in the context of armed conflict and post conflict situations.
Moderator: Gerhard ERMISCHER, Vice-Chair of the Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Committee of the Conferences of INGOs. Panelists (in alphabetical order): Kety ABASHIDZE (Human Rights House Foundation), Arzu ABDULLAYEVA (Helsinki Citizens Assembly), Laila AIT BAALI (Wo=Men), Krenare GASHI KRASNIQI (Regional Youth Cooperation Office - RYCO), Isuf HALIMI (European Center for Human Rights), Ion MANOLE (Promo Lex), Sasha ROMANTSOVA (Center for Civil Liberties), Arman SAHAKYAN (New Generation NGO), Anna SEVORTIAN (EU-Russia Civil Society Forum), Rory TRUELL (International Federation of Social Workers).
11.30-12.30 - PANEL 2: When violence is a part of public life – Civil Society and top-down polarization.
Moderator: Rares CRAIUT, Rapporteur of the Conference of INGOs. Panelists (in alphabetical order): Wielie ELHORST (European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups - EFLGBTCG), Tezcan ERALP ABAY (Association of Civil Society Development Centre - STGM), Ana KOTUR-ERKIC (European Network on Independent Living - ENIL), Goran MILETIC (Civil Rights Defenders), Mirela RAJKOVIC - SEEYN), Piotr SADOWSKI (Volonteurope), Nick VAN DER STEENHOVEN (Choose Love), Alfonso ZARDI (Pax Christi International), Beata ZWIERZYNSKA (Education in Action).
12.30-13.00 - DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION
Moderator: Anna RURKA, President of the Conference of INGOs. Panelists: Marcis LIORS SKADMANIS, Philanthropist, Founder of the World NGO Day; Christoph SPRENG – Vice President of the Conference of INGOs.
What is World NGO Day?
The universal concept of World NGO Day, which is celebrated on 27 February, is Celebrate, Commemorate and Collaborate – the various NGOs around the world, and the people behind them that contribute to society all year around.
World NGO Day is a global initiative aiming to:
- highlight the efforts and achievements of NGOs from all sectors,
- offer the opportunity for people to understand more clearly what NGOs are doing for society at a local, national and international level and,
- provide a platform for NGOs to discuss the issues that affect their work and share their knowledge and experience with one another.