NGO Committees in Geneva

SUBSTANTIVE NGO COMMITTEES IN GENEVA

(VER. 28 SEPTEMBER 2022)

NGO Committee on Ageing—Geneva | ageingcommitteegeneva.org | Facebook | Email: ngoageing@gmail.com | Twitter: @NgoAgeing  | YouTube

Executive Committee:

Chair: Kelly G. Fitzgerald | International Federation on Ageing (IFA) kellyfitzgerald@hotmail.com 
Vice Chair: Ann Lindsay | World Federation for Mental Health | WFMH
Past Chair: Silvia Perel-Levin | International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) | The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC GA)
Treasurer: Valerie Bichelmeier | Make Mothers Matter | MMM | valerieb@makemothersmatter.org
Co-Secretary: Liat Ayalon | International Psychogeriatric Association
Co-Secretary: Kimberly Stoeckel
Webmaster: Kala Madhav

The overall goals and objectives of the Committee are:

  • To further the United Nations’ mission of building a society for all ages;
  • To raise awareness of ageing and intergenerational issues and ensure that they are adequately addressed by the UN System;
  • To advocate for a new convention on the rights of older persons; and
  • To influence global policy and monitor the implementation of existing commitments.

The Committee strives to attain its objectives by:

  • Strengthening relationships with NGOs and by providing a platform for strategy development;
  • Bringing diverse voices from local and national levels to international platforms;
  • Drawing on the experience of Committee members to share analyses on trends, needs and good practices; and
  • Maintaining regular communication with the Vienna and New York UN NGO Committees on Ageing and with the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG).

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NGO Committee on Development

Co-Chair:   Jan Lönn | International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN) | jan.lonn@abc.se

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NGO Committee on Disarmament

Chair:   Hayley Ramsay-Jones | Soka Gakkai International | hayley.rj@sgi-ouna.org

The NGO Committee for Disarmament facilitates and supports coordination and cooperation between civil society, NGOs, and the UN on peace and disarmament initiatives. For a very long time, the NGO Committee for Disarmament has played a crucial and expanding role in raising awareness in civil society and among NGOs worldwide on the status of negotiations, country positions, major obstacles and opportunities, and has helped NGOs transmit their expertise and creative proposals to appropriate decision-making fora.

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NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Chair:  Diane Ala’i | Baha’I International Community | geneva@bic.org

The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (Geneva) acts as a sub-committee of the NGO Committee on Human Rights and aims to promote the fundamental freedom of religion or belief by supporting and coordinating NGO activities to help uphold UN standards. In particular, the committee seeks to follow and support the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

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NGO Committee on Human Rights

Co-President: Léonie de Piccioto | International Council of Jewish Women | aldep777@gmail.com
Co-President: Claire de Lavernette | International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education | OIDEL | cdlavernette@oidel.org
Secretary: Mona M’Bikay | UPR Info | m.mbikay@upr-info.org
Treasurer: Stacy Dry Lara | Graduate Women International | sdl@graduatewomen.org

The NGO Committee on Human Rights provides space for information exchange and collective reflection among its members, in particular in relation to the institution building process of the UN Human Rights Council. It also organises and co-sponsors information and orientation sessions during the sessions of the Council. It initiated the reflection on improving NGO information sharing and strategic collaboration on substantive issues, notably through promoting an online collaboration platform (www.ngoic.org).

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NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (Reports to the NGO Committee on Human Rights)

Chair: Claire de Lavernette | International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education | OIDEL | cdlavernette@oidel.org.

Co-Chair: Elisa Gazzotti | Soka Gakkai International | elisa.g@sgi-ouna.org

The objective on the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning is to ensure the participation of NGOs in the processes of global policy making on human rights education and learning in relation to the UN institutions, principally the UN Human Rights Council. The Working Group holds regular meetings for strategy-building and activity planning, organizes public meetings at the UN, delivers civil society views and proposals jointly by member NGOs, and consults and cooperates with the OHCHR and UN Member States and experts.

The NGO WG has a website: www.ngowghrel.wordpress.com and an open web resource: power-humanrights-education.org. It was set up in 2018, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to contribute to the goals of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, the website was developed by the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), HRE 2020, the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning, and the Platform for Human Rights Education and Training with thanks to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)., which gives you the link to the panels of the exhibition on HRE (2017) and other material developed to promote human rights education.

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NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva ngocsw-geneva.ch/ | Email: secretariat@ngocsw-geneva.ch

President: Carolyn Handschin-Moser | Women’s Federation for World Peace, International | c.handschin@wfwp.org
Vice President: Carol McConkie | Latter Day Saint Charities | carolmcconkie@me.com
Treasurer: Wendi Momen | Widows’ Rights International
Acting Secretary – Srruthi Lekha | Women’s Federation for World Peace, International
Senior Advisor and Immediate Past-President: Stacy Dry Lara | Graduate Women International | sdl@graduatewomen.org
Parliamentarian and Advisor: Paula Daeppen | Biovision, FAWCO | paula@pdaeppen.com

Objectives and activities: The Committee and its Working Groups objective is to work in partnership with the UN and its specialised agencies to influence governments to respect the commitments they have made at world conferences and through international conventions and principles, and to maintain a global momentum for mainstreaming gender equality. Through its Working Groups, the Committee shares information and provides a platform where women and men come together to show how society benefits from women’s equal access and opportunities to participate in policy and decision making; to help women build their confidence in order to gain in advancing their status. Some of the significant activities of the Committee over the last decades have included: setting up workshops and panels at the NGO Forum in Huairou China prior to and during the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995; convened a panel of UN interagency focal points to evaluate implementation of Beijing Platform for Action in 1996; organized with CoNGO several panels within the theme Gender Equality at the Seoul International Conference of NGOs in Korea in 1999; organized jointly with the ECE Women’s Working Group the European preparatory regional meeting to Beijing Plus Five in January 2000 and collaborated with ECE governmental delegates in drafting the agreed conclusions; collaborated with its Working Groups to organize several panel meetings during the UN Special Session in Geneva in June 2000, on the Follow-up to the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development in 1995; organized jointly with the World Bank a presentation of its Gender Equality and Development programme; organized panels at the UNCTAD Third Conference on Least Developed Countries in Bruxelles in May 2000. Since 1997, the Committee has organized Gender/Women caucuses and panels during the Human Rights Council (and before the Commission on Human Rights) as well as facilitated other gender equality meetings during important UN conferences. Reports on these activities have been published.

History: Initially a CoNGO working group on the status of women, the NGO CSW Geneva was formally created in 1973 to prepare for the First World Conference on Women. Since then, it has become a strategic body for international advocacy towards the promotion of women’s rights to sustainable development, gender equality and their empowerment.

The Committee has been a significant contributor to the First World Conference of Women and to the succeeding Women’s world conferences. It helped draft the Programmes and Platforms for Actions and the Vienna Declaration on Violence Against Women in 1994. It has also been an important partner of the Office of the High commissioner in integrating gender equality and women’s rights in the UN system. Through national affiliates of its member organizations, it has also been working very closely with local and national governments to advance the status of women and the girlchild in economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.

A short summary of the establishment of a CoNGO substantive committee devoted to the Status of Women.

In 1947, at the occasion of the creation of the ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights, it was first decided to integrate the question of gender in a working group, as it was the case for the Indigenous and tribal peoples. The proposition was ill received by Women’s organisations of all tendencies. Under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt and Adrienne Avril de Sainte Croix, French president of oldest Women NGO (ICW-CIF) a new Commission on Status of women was finally created, which nowadays still allow women’s affairs to benefit of a special instance!

At the same moment, International NGOs decided to unite their strength to form the Conference of International NGOs, CoNGO,  with substantive committees.

Groups working on the Status of Women were then created in each UN Center in New York, Geneva and Vienna the years 1948-1949. It is the occasion to remind that, already during the time of the League of Nations, Women NGOs were often associated with the work of the Mains Committees.

During the following years, the three groups were often subject to attacks from tenants of different systems concerning the Status of Women. Those attacks have mostly aimed at keeping the so-called impure gender in its low status.

We are still unhappily living at a time when customary laws and also legislation aimed at keeping women at their place, i.e. under the control of men. Early marriages, land ownership, inheritance, healthcare and others are still under the supervision of male domination.

Therefore, the NGO CSW Geneva is still pursuing its main objective: equality of right between Women and Men.