When: 7 November 2012
Where: Hofburg, Vienna
Organized by: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Irish Chairmanship of the OSCE
The OSCE Chair-in-Office will be holding a Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on 8-9 November 2012 in Vienna dedicated to the issues of freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The exercise of both of these fundamental rights is considered crucial to the development of a democratic society. The OSCE/ODIHR has been fulfilling its mandate in assisting participating States in meeting their relevant human dimension commitments, notably through supporting legislative reforms related to freedom of assembly and association (including, laws on assemblies and public associations), capacity building of civil society actors and state institutions on applying the relevant international standards, and monitoring of public assemblies.
The OSCE/ODIHR, with the support of the Irish Chairmanship, plans to hold a one-day Civil Society Forum on 7 November 2012, ahead of the SHDM. At this Forum, civil society participants will be able to identify common challenges, share good practices on the topics addressed by the SHDM and formulate concrete recommendations to the OSCE participating States, and the OSCE, including its institutions and field operations.
The two working sessions at the Forum will reflect the topical working sessions at the SHDM, by focusing on “Freedom of Association in the OSCE region: challenges and opportunities’ and the role of new technologies” and “Freedom of Assembly in the OSCE region: facing new challenges and examining options for dialogue and the role of new technologies”. The working sessions will be moderated by previously selected experts. The key points of discussion and recommendations formulated at the working sessions will be presented at the SHDM. At a later date, they will be compiled and published online.
The Civil Society Forum will be open to all participants from non-governmental organizations, both from participating States and OSCE Partners for Co-operation, who are registered for the SHDM. Other participants will include members of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Assembly, a representative of the Core Group of Experts on Political Party Regulation and OSCE/ODIHR staff members. OSCE/ODIHR will endeavor to ensure that a wide range of civil society representatives from the OSCE region is represented, with appropriate gender, geographic and topical balance among the participants. This variety will be enhanced by supporting the participation of key civil society representatives from the Mediterranean Partner States.
Substantive content matters: Ms. Yevgenia Avetisova, Associate Coordination Officer, Legislative Support Unit, Democratization Department at Yevgenia.Avetisova@odihr.pl or 48 22 52 00 722
Organizational matters: Ms. Barbara Matusewicz-Protas at Barbara.Matusewicz-Protas@odihr.pl or + 48 22 52 00 731