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THE HIGHLIGHTS of the Summer session, from the 25th to the 29th of June 2018 : (order of business)

During its summer session, the Conference of INGOs bodies have chosen to address new, relevant and diverse subjects which will be discussed with different stakeholders engaged for human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

At the Human Rights Committee meeting (Tuesday from 9.30 to 13.00), invited speakers will contribute to a debate on data protection and monitoring activities. Member INGOs are invited to actively contribute to the discussion on the future activities of the committee on the subjects of Freedom of expression and Poverty. The association “Regards d’enfants” will present the work of a group of school children on the theme “Human Rights and Sport”.

The Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Committee (Tuesday from 14.30 to 18.00) will focus on Participatory Democracy: women’s participation in political and public life. The Committee will highlight the principles of the Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the participation of citizens in local public life adopted on 21 March this year. The example of the situation in Georgia will be presented, as well as the Council of Europe electoral assistance for improving women’s participation in political life. This programme will be complemented by a Side event on 'Women’s Contribution to Global Peace in Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security” which will take place on Wednesday 27 June from 13.00 to 14.00 (Palais de l’Europe, room 2)

The Education and Culture Committee will hold a debate on European cultural identity. This debate, fed by the work of two working groups Intercultural Cities and Heritage and Creation, shaping Europe will give opportunities to the INGOs and invited persons to interact with a panel of prominent guests. During the second part of the meeting the President of the Lifelong Learning Platform will present his organisation and the current challenges of lifelong learning in Europe. The work done in the Lifelong Learning working group is key to this debate.

On Thursday, 28 June from14.30 to16.30, the INGO members will have the opportunity to learn and to share their experiences in the field of social rights. This training session is organised with the support of the Secretariat of European Social Charter. A particular focus will be made on the monitoring system under the European Social Charter Collective Complaints procedure. The key questions are the following: How to encourage the States to take more commitments and to ratify the articles that they have not yet ratified? What could be the role of NGOs? This training session will be followed by a specific meeting on the equality between women and men under European Social Charter, with the participation of Jean-Michel Belorgey, former President of the European Committee of Social Rights.

The plenary meeting of the Conference of INGOs will be dedicated in the morning to a debate regarding the situation of civil society organisations in the member states and people’s confidence in public institutions, with a presentation of the report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe « Role of institutions, Threats to institutions » and in the afternoon to the internal affairs of the Conference of INGOs, with on the agenda, the adoption of the new Action Plan for 2018-2021 and the new Code of Conduct for the Conference of INGOs.

During each meeting the members of the Conference of INGOs will be informed on the contribution of the Conference of INGOs to the different steering committees of the Council of Europe and to future events organised inside and outside of the Council of Europe.

There are the many opportunities for a direct and informal exchange and networking!

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