This session was particularly important as elections for the new standing comittee were due to take place on the 29 th (election of a president, vice presidents and rapporteurs). Besides that there was also the election of a gender expert as the term of Betty Doornendal ended in 2015.
Anna Rurka was elected président and three vice présidents two women Antonina DASHKINA (a social worker) Laura FRATTI GUCCI ( an economist) and Israel MENSAH ( a prominent educationist) a very good team to lead the new Standing Committee. Regarding the post of the gender expert three persons were candidates but one had to withdraw because of health problems and from the two remaining Anne NEGRE introduced by UWE and Rosy WEISS introduced by IAW , Anne NEGRE was elected . The expert has a seat at the standing Committee to present ( and defend) gender issues as a cross cutting issue.
- On Monday 26th The standing committee of the Conférence and its Bureau met in the morning and some working groups met in the afternoon.
- On Tuesday 27th The Commission Democracy, Social Cohesion ,Global challenges held an urgent debate following the terrorist attack in Paris
A s a consequence a resolution was presented to the Parliamentary Assembly by the Conference of INGOs after a vote in plenary session the following Thursday. The Commissions on Human Rights met in the afternoon. Commission on Education and Culture had a fascinating intervention of two specialists of the new technologies with discusssion from the floor . The main event was the meeting of the Conference of INGOs all day the 29th with a heavy agenda that included procedures for the elections, different reports as well as two important hearings. One on Strategic priorities for the promotion of civil society to the decisions process in UKRAINE. The second an exchange and discussion with a delegation from Morocco as part of the proceses of cooperation of CoE , Lisbon Center and the countries of the Mediterranean area.
More information and documentation can be found regarding this winter session on the website of the Council of Europe www.coe.int under INOG Conference
R .Gerard, UWE Representative to CoE for January session
NB : The Council of Europe House of Demoracy is an Inter parliamentary European institution and gender equality is recognized as a value for democracy . However it is not a specific program as such . At the time of restructuration the Commission on Equality for women and men was suppressed. We must give credit to our friend Anje Wiersinga from IAW who established an informal group , mobilized the women INGOs to obtain a post of gender expert ,is keeping watch on the parliamentary Commissions to remind them of the gender issues The gender expert should closely cooperate with this existing women’s group that is meeting ay every sessions of the INGO Conference.