Report Conference of the INGO Winter session 26-29 january 2015

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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.

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