What was it again? Promoting Democracy and active Citizenship NGO’s and Council of Europe

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The Council of Europe’s work benefits extensively from contacts and co-operation with the dynamic elements of society, as represented by NGOs. One of the main challenges currently facing the Organisation is to strengthen NGOs and civil society and to develop participatory democracy on a pan-European basis.

The Council of Europe’s relations with NGOs focus on the following:

I. Relations with international NGOs (INGOs): this can seen as the Council of Europe’s statutory relations with NGOs through the INGOs holding participatory status (which UWE has), known collectively as the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe. Through this status INGOs are now actively contributing to the decision-making process at the Council of Europe and to the implementation of its programmes, thus ensuring their relevance to the expectations of Europeans.

See web pages “Conference of INGOs” and “Participatory Status” at http://www.coe.int/ngo for more information on the statutory relations with INGOsBrochure_INGO_2012_en


Start wintersession Council of Europe INGO’s

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Dear all,

Tomorrow will be the start of the INGO conference of the International NGO’s in Strasbourg. Our Vice President Vera John Mikolajewski and I will join this week of negotions and discussions. The agenda is to be found following this link http://www.coe.int/T/NGO/Articles/OING_Calendrier_2014_1.asp. An important topic will be the Resolution dr. Anje Wiersinga will present as the chair of the Taskforce Gender based Violence as a Political Weapon. Will keep you posted.

President UWE

Project Elimination Violence against Women,Council of Europe and EWL succesful

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2013 ended with an incredibly successful joint project of the European Women’s Lobby and the Council of Europe, as events around the project “Act against Rape! Use the Istanbul Convention” have been organized in almost all European countries (28) and gave visibility to the demands to sign the Istanbul Convention. Which as we wrote before was one of the projects our Vice President Marie José worked on for a long time; more info https://uweboard.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/write-to-your-authorities-urging-to-use-the-istanbul-convention.
Purpose of the actions is to highlight the need for improvements and discuss the taboos. The project will continue as not all European countries have been able to sign, ratify and implement this important Convention. In the Netherlands the government intends to ratify the convention mid 2014. One of the issues was the necessity to implement the Convention also in the Caribbean part of the Netherlands which needed more time to work on the necessary infrastructure.
The actions have made it clear once again that Violence against Women (VAW) is to be eliminated. Another milestone drawing attention to the Elimination of Violence against Women is the launch of the results in March of the European survey on VAW – done by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The results will show a high rate of VAW in Europe and the necessity to work on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

UWE 2014, Happy New Year

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seaonal greetings                      Wishing you a great 2014!

Hoping to see you at the:

Meet and Greet in Amsterdam:   9th– 11th  of May 2014

 Starting on the 9th of May in the evening with a reception at the house of the President of the UWE as it is Europe Day, next day workshops on Council of Europe and European Union including the work at the EWL and hopefully an introduction to the work of the UWE Board for potential candidates. Invited are Cer’s, presidents of the NFA’s, potential candidates and other interest groups.  The Dutch NFA from Amsterdam will dedicate the Sunday to cultural and friendship events.

Mind, we can only continue this program if at least 10 members participate. Already Ireland and the Netherlands said they would participate. Hope to see you all! If you start looking for flights, train trips this early the cost will be rather low!  Staying with Dutch NFA members can be organized, let us know!! Interested? Keep an eye on the website and let me know if you are planning to come at Universitywomeneurope@gmail.com (don’t reply this mail that doesn’t work!!)

AGM in Bucharest, Romania: 4th  – 7th  of September  2014

The UWE conference 2014 will be dealing with challenges and demands on the education of the 21 century ending in proposals tackling these issues with the intention to use these insights in developing policies.  We are looking for experts on early child education, adult learning, HR education and Diversity!! Also we are looking for assistance for the marketing and communication of this special event!!

Purpose Conference 2014 : Quality Education for all in EUROPE
1 Create a UWE vision on what high quality of education in the 21 century demands.

2 Enlarge the knowhow of the procedures EU and COE and the ways to participate in civil society (living together and Code of Good Practice of the COE) for UWE members and potential members.

The UWE  Board:

Edith Lommerse, Marie José Jonczy,

Vera John-Mikolajewski, Auli Ojala

VERA JOHN-MIKOLAJEWSKI invites you to learn more about the Convention on Human Rights

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Nurturing human rights

VERA JOHN-MIKOLAJEWSKI invites you to take part in the Council of Europe campaign
to get to know the European Convention on Human Rights.
It’s your turn to nurture human rights by clicking on the following link!


Thank you for your support

Write to your authorities, urging to use the Istanbul Convention!

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  1. letter nfa for signing and ratification Istanbul Convention 2013
  2. letter nfa for ratification Istanbul Convention 2013
  3. letter nfa for implementation Istanbul Convention

The UWE Board would like to draw your attention to a very important theme. From 2008 onwards our Vice President Marie José Jonczy has been involved in the negotiation of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe, being a member of the delegation of the board of the European Women’s Lobby to which she belongs as UWE representative.  Besides the huge number of women and girls that are subject to violence in this world, it is still a big taboo amongst both men and women that also high educated women are subject to violence against them. A large group of University Women of Europe are now working on a project coordinated by Finland and Germany which is looking into this matter and will ask for your cooperation soon https://uweboard.wordpress.com/european-project-domestic-violence-met-by-educated-women/ .

The Istanbul Convention is not only to combat violence  but also to prevent it and provides the necessary remedies to victims. The Convention took a long time to draft and was difficult to negotiate as some delegations wished to have a convention against violence in general which would reduce the strength of the convention for women. The scope  of the first article of the convention is to combat and  prevent violence against women and a second paragraph could extend the scope to all violence.  The delegation spoke for hours to get the point across that the strength of the convention is to be found in the focus on combating and preventing violence against women and girls. It also includes no marriage exemption for rape and the implementation and development of specialist services to support women with legal assistance and free legal aid. The key to combating violence against women is not crime control. It is making sure that women and men are equal partners, have the same rights and responsibilities, the same opportunities and that their contribution to society is equally valued and respected. An important element is to make the lack of consent an constitutive element of crime. More info in different languages can be found on : http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/convention-violence/brochures_en.asp.

The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011. It opened for signature on 11 May 2011 on the occasion of the 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers in Istanbul. It will enter into force following 10 ratifications. Unfortunately now in November 2013  the Istanbul Convention is only signed and ratified by six countries. Time for action!

The Council of Europe and the European Women’s Lobby have joined forces in this project to promote the Istanbul Convention as a concrete tool for change to eradicate all forms of male violence against women and specifically rape.  Under the common slogan “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!”, a series of public events will take place in 33 countries all over Europe during the 16 days of activism against violence against women between 25 November and 10 December.

We have written three possible letters: to ask for signing and ratification, to ask for ratification and to emphasize the necessity to implement the Istanbul convention. Please make sure to check the status of the signing and ratifying on the convention on http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=210&CM=1&DF=&CL=ENG

We ask you to support the European action against rape and the use of the Istanbul Convention. The draft letters which are enclosed can serve as a model to be send to your respective authorities. Please make it known to the EWL and the UWE Board that you have taken action in favor of the protection of women and support a Europe free from violence for women and girls.

UWE Vice President, Mr. Marie José Jonczy

UWE President. Drs. Edith Lommerse MMO