Quarterly Bulletin Of The Vienna NGO Committee On The

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Quarterly Bulletin of the Vienna NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. erly Bulletin of the Vienna NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92Deadline for contributions: 28.02. 2015Vienna NGO Committee on the FamilyDR. MICHAEL SCHWARZJOSEFSTRASSE 13A-3100 ST. POELTENAUSTRIAFAX: 00 43 27 42 72 222 10EMAIL: [email protected] Readers of Families International,This issue features a text on ‘Participation – how CSOs Influence Politics’ by Dr.Gudrun Kugler, Kairos Consulting. Dr. Kugler made a presentation on the sametheme at the recent Full Committee Meeting of the Vienna NGO Committee on theFamily, at the United Nations Vienna International Centre on November 10th 2014.Dr. Kugler has published widely and is a former Chairperson for Europe of the WorldYouth Alliance in Brussels.The Full Committee Meeting opened with a Video Message from the Focal Point onthe Family, Division for Social Policy and Development, (DSPD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Thevideo can be accessed on the Homepage of the Committee.Further included in this issue are texts from Member Organisations of the Committee as well as recent and upcoming events.With kind regards,Peter Crowley Ph.D.Editor1


Quarterly Bulletin of the NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92From the Vienna NGO Committee on the FamilyVIENNA NGO COMMITTEE ON THE mail: [email protected] COMMITTEE MEETINGUNITED NATIONSVIENNA INTERNATIONAL CENTREMONDAY November 10th, 2014CONFERENCE ROOM C073910.00 – 15.30INTERNATIONAL FORUM10.00-12.30Video Message from theFocal Point on the Family, Division for Social Policy and Development, (DSPD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations SecretariatPresentations:Participation – how CSOs Influence PoliticsDr. Gudrun KuglerKairos ConsultingParticipation as a Two-Way ProcessDr. Peter CrowleyVienna NGO Committee on the Family3

Quarterly Bulletin of the NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92ParticipationHow Civil Society Organisations Influence PoliticsBy Dr. Gudrun Kugler, Kairos Consulting, November 10, 2014I) At Which Institutions Should a CSO be Present?- United NationsHeadquartered in New York City and with 193Member States, the UN is the largest and mostwell known international organization in the world.It is important to note that most of the UN’s human rights activity takes place in Geneva, Switzerland.- Organisation for Security and Cooperation inEuropeThe OSCE is a security oriented intergovernmental organization. Despite its name, OSCE members come from around the world, not just Europe, and include the United States and Canada.The OSCE was originally created during the ColdWar as an east-west forum. Today, however, thework of the OSCE is much broader and has increasingly stepped into the realm of humanrights. In the 1992 Helsinki Document, the OSCEparticipating States called for increasing theopenness of OSCE activities and expanding therole of NGOs. NGOs are therefore encouraged toattend and participate in the working sessions,as well as to organize side events on relatedtopics. The NGOs may present recommendationsdirectly to OSCE states.First time .htmlRead more below, point III.- European UnionThe European Union – probably the one most familiar to people in this room – was founded in1951 as the European Coal and Steel Communitywith just six members. Today it has expandedfrom a largely economic focus into areas of socialpolicy and human rights. The EU also has by farthe largest budget of any organization on this list,and by far the most formal power. It’s estimatedthat anywhere from 20% to 80% of all domesticlaws now originate within the EU.- EU TRANSPARENCY REGISTER:All organisations and self employed individuals, irrespective of their legal status,engaged in activities falling within thescope of the register are in principle expected to register (see below, point omePage.do?locale en-Register also with the FRA’s FundamentalRights Platform- Council of EuropeThe fourth organization to mention is the Council of Europe – a wholly separate entity from theEU. It is based in Strasbourg, France and consists of 47 Member States. The European Convention on Human Rights was adopted in 1950as a means of establishing a basic level of human rights throughout Europe and is enforcedby the Council of Europe's most important institution - the European Court of Human Rights.II) How Should a CSO Engage?i. Knowledge and AwarenessKnow what is happening. This may sound obvious but it is imperative that we keep a goodtrack of what is going on – so that we can become proactive not reactive.ii. Presence and ContributionsMany of the international bodies allow NGOs tobe accredited with them and if we are not there,we leave an open invitation to all of the organizations that promote an opposite view of life andliberty to our own.iii. CampaignsInternational campaigns provide great opportunities for public debate and awareness raising.Petitions give publicity, create pressure und add tothe promotion of the cause.iv. Target a variety of bodies and documentsEngaging in legal advocacy will form the majority of any work undertaken, because for every4

Quarterly Bulletin of the NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92decision made by one of the international quasi–judicial bodies, there are many more documents adopted and decisions made by thecommittees, councils and commissions of thevarious institutions. All of these documentsmatter, no matter how seemingly unimportant,for one reason – the evolution of soft law intohard law.v. LitigationWe can engage the international organizationsby utilizing the complaint mechanisms. There area number of bodies that have been establishedto receive complaints. We can bring cases andmake third party interventions in exactly thesame way we would do domestically.III) OSCEIn the 1992 Helsinki Document, the OSCE participating States called for increasing the openness ofOSCE activities and expanding the role of NGOs.NGOs are therefore encouraged to attend andparticipate in the working sessions, as well as toorganize side events on related topics. The NGOsmay present recommendations directly to OSCEstates.First time .html(it takes just a few minutes and there are no special requirements)Registrations for meetings open for NGOs arelisted here: http://meetings.odihr.plParticipation Rules: Take a seat at the main (round) table with agood overview and a microphone in front of you.Stay away from the invisible back seats! When the speaker’s list is opened, raise yourhand soon. It might take a long time until it is yourturn, if you wait too long, the list might alreadyhave closed. Please note that at larger meetings,such as the HDIM in Warsaw, the speakers’ list isopened one hour before the session starts, normally in the hall where the meeting will take place.You have to go there and ask for the floor duringthe break! For the preparation of your presentation:In general, the statements of Delegations as wellas NGOs are 2-min-pre-pepared statements whichare READ out. Therefore it is advised to read theannotated agenda (the program with details onthe contents of the session) carefully and respondin your speech to the questions asked there. For your intervention to get distributed:Bring your statements on paper (with your logoand contact information) and on a memory stick.Before your intervention, have the documentationcenter give your speech to the translators (theywill love you for it and translate better!). After yourintervention, bring the text – with possible improvements – to the documentation center (distribution center) for distribution on the info tables aswell as the official website.In this way, the delegations will find it and be reminded of what you said. In such a paper statements, you can also provide more information thanon the floor, esp. References and websites. Youshould prepare this already before you arrive atthe meeting. When you take the floor: Speak in one of the six official languages –though English is preferable, as most understandit directly without translation. Thank for being allowed to take the floor. Introduce yourself and your NGO very briefly. Do not worry if your statement does not directlyrelate to the on-going discussion – most don’t –but if you can relate it, it is always well-perceived. Say something positive. Make one, two or three concrete recommendations suitable for OSCE / participating states /OSCE institutions. If possible, refer to OSCE commitments, guidelines, the annotated agenda, etc, to underline thatwhat you are requesting makes sense (texts relevant for religious freedom and Christians you findbelow). Don’t talk too long (2-3 minutes). Speak “OSCE language”: formulate RECOMMENDATIONS to OSCE or participating states orinstitutions of OSCE such as ODIHR or a permanent representative of the chairman in office, etc.These recommendations should make sense considering what OSCE is actually in charge of. It isuseful to come with up to five recommendations5

Quarterly Bulletin of the NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92that are very concrete and that you present in theplenary. If NGOs are asked to hand in written recommendations beforehand. This is very useful asthose will be distributed on paper. Please do handsome in, if there is such an opportunity. It might be very useful to find other NGOs withwho you could agree to a common statement, inorder to have more weight. Sometimes OSCE hosts a Civil Society RoundTable before the main meeting. It is advisable tojoin in such a meeting as well, as results will bepassed on to the plenary. If you have a whole lot to say about the issue,consider to offer a Side Event – which you have toregister with OSCE. Your issue will then be part ofthe program and whoever is interested will comeand listen to you. We recommend that you bringA4 papers or posters to advertize for the sideevent (title, organisation, time, room number).Bring tape to put the posters up wherever fitting. Use the occasion for yourself to network and tolearn.IV) The EU Transparency RegisterRead all and register /your-organisation/whoRegister.do?locale enKey excerpt:Networks, platforms or other forms of collectiveactivity without a legal status or legal personalitybut which constitute de facto a source of organised influence, and engaged in activities fallingwithin the scope of the register are expected toregister with the EU Transparency Register. Insuch case its members should identify one of theirnumber as its responsible contact person for theirrelations with the administration of the register.Registering your organisation in the TransparencyRegister and committing it to ensure a full respect of the code of conduct by yourself, youremployees, your members or representatives willbe a public indication that your organisation accepts to "play by the rules" and to interact withthe European institutions in full transparency. Itwill also make public the fact that you are activein contributing to the EU processes, thus ensuring that your views, your interests or those whichyou represent are made known to the EU decision makers.Agents and Members of the European institutions will be able to ensure, when you contactthem or when you communicate with them, thatthey are interacting with an organisation whichrespects democracy and accepts to provide aminimum amount of information for all citizensto know who is participating in the EU processes. When registered, you'll receive an alerteach time the Commission publishes anew roadmap or launches a publicconsultation in the field where youhave an interest.As foreseen by article 22 of the interinstitutional agreement on a Transparency Register: "The issuing and thecontrol badges offering long-term access to the European Parliament'sbuildings will remain a process operated by this institution. Such badgeswill only be issued to individuals representing, or working for, organisationsfalling within the scope of the Transparency Register where those organisations or individuals have registered.However registration shall not conferan automatic entitlement to such abadge."V) Book Recommendation:Learn more about the key international institutions and how to engage in an easy and quickread:„The Global Human Rights Landscape“This short guide seeks to answer three questions:What are the international and regional humanrights institutions that exist around the world, whydo they matter and how can individuals and organizations get involved? ISBN: 978-3-9503055-9-3Order for 3,99 (PDF download) or for 5,99 ashardcopy ublications/the-global-human-rights- landscape.html )6

Quarterly Bulletin of the NGO Committee on the FamilyDecember 2014, No. 92From Member Organisations of the Vienna NGO Committee on the FamilyIFFD Papers No.36Is children well-being a broken promise?Child poverty and the Convention on the Rights of the Child1 November 201425 years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child came to force, the world is still falling short in its promiseand commitment to ensure the right to a safe childhood. Child poverty is affecting the lives of millions of childrenworldwide and conventional strategies are inadequate,