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BOARD 2018 - 2021

 

PRESIDENT:

Liberato C. Bautista

 

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT:

Cyril Ritchie

 

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:

Martina Gredler

 

SECRETARY:

Global Foundation for Democracy and Development

 

TREASURER:

International Humanist and Ethical Union:

 

TWO VICE PRESIDENTS AT LARGE:

Dianova International

Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani

 

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD:

Ågrenska Foundation

Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies

Dianova International

Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas

Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer

Global Foundation for Democracy and Development

International Alliance of Women

International Humanist and Ethical Union

International Planned Parenthood Foundation South Asia Region

International Union of Psychological Science

Nonviolence International

Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Soka Gakkai International

Soroptimist International

Union of International Associations

Universal Esperanto Association

World Student Christian Federation

 

The Rev. Liberato C. Bautista is the President of CoNGO—The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. CoNGO is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1948. It relates to the United Nations through its General Consultative status granted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

 

In the seventy years of CoNGO, Bautista is one of only two among nineteen CoNGO Presidents who have served two terms in non-consecutive fashion. He was CoNGO President between December 2007 and January 2011. Rosalind Harris, who represented the International Social Service at the UN, was president between 1972 to 1976 and between 1991 and 1994.

 

Bautista concurrently serves as the main representative of the United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), which is the international public policy and social justice agency of The United Methodist Church. 2018 is the twenty-first year Bautista has represented GBCS at the United Nations. GBCS is a longstanding full member of CoNGO. As a nongovernmental representative at the United Nations of a faith-based organization, Bautista served as president of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations (CRNGO@UN>, 2015-2017). Bautista chaired the Council of Organizations in New York of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA, 2006-2007) and elected in 2018 to serve in its Executive Committee. His NGO-related activities date back to 1974, working entirely from that year to this day in non-governmental and faith-based organizations.

 

Bautista teaches, writes and lectures extensively in a variety of fields, including international affairs; NGO and civil society dynamics; social and political ethics; theology and religion; ecumenism and religious liberty; human rights and human dignity; indigeneity and indigenous peoples; and peace, justice and social transformation. He has taught politics and civil society at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea and dynamics of society and community organizing at Saint Andrews {Episcopal} Theological Seminary in the Philippines. He is currently teaching an online course on Christian social ethics at John Wesley College in Tuguegarao City.

 

Bautista studied political science, history, and international studies at the University of the Philippines. His doctoral studies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey focused on religion and social and political ethics. He was awarded the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, by Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines in 2016. Bautista is an ordained United Methodist minister.

 

Bautista has attended major United Nations, ecumenical, interreligious, civil society, and academic conferences as early as the late 1970s. He has traveled extensively to some 80 countries and territories. Bautista’s biography appears in Who’s Who in the World (4th ed. 1991-1992) and Who’s Who in Religion (10th ed. 1993-1994). Among awards and accolades he has received is the 1996 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award given by Drew University; one of eleven around the world awarded a plaque of thanks given in Seoul, South Korea in 2017 by the Korea Democracy Foundation as a recognition by Korean civil society and human rights organizations of Bautista’s contributions to the democratization and struggle for peace and justice in the Korean Peninsula. Bautista is also the recipient of an award of honor in 2017 from the International Religious Liberty Association for his work on religious freedom worldwide. In 2000, his alma mater, the University of the Philippines Manila, recognized him as “Most Outstanding Alumnus in the Social Sciences.”

 

Bautista’s published work in books and journals include, among others, Turning Strangers Into Friends: Hospitality, Mercy, Justice—A Workbook on the Framework Documents of the Churches Witnessing With Migrants (NCCP and CWWM: Manila, 2017); The Intersections of Human Rights, Migration and Development Justice (GBCS and NCCP, New York and Manila, 2014), Engaging the Powers and Public Theology from the Perspective of Indigenous Peoples as a Key Mandate in AsianEcumenism (in Asian Handbook for Theological Education and Ecumenism (WCC Publications and Oxford, England: Regnum Books International, 2013), Meditations and Devotions on the Millennium Development Goals: A Prayerful Guide (GBCS, New York, 2012), Sustainable Development Goals: The Ethical Demands of Human Rights and Equity (in MDG Global Watch Journal, New York, 2012); Indigenous Peoples: Confession, Repentance and Forgiveness, (in On This Spirit Walk—The Voices of Native American and Indigenous Peoples, Nashville, Tennessee, 2012);  And None Shall Make Them Afraid: Militarism, Militarization and Human Rights (in Praxis, Hong Kong, 2000);  War, Peace and the Ecumenical Movement in the Philippines (Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1993);Witness and Hope Amidst Struggle (1991), Religious Freedom and Liberty in the Philippines (CCA: Hong Kong, 1991) And She Said No: Human Rights, Women’s Identities and Struggles (1990), Human Rights: Biblical and Theological Readings (1988), Towards a Theology of Struggle (Manila, 1988), and Those Who Would Give Light Must Endure Burning: Spirituality for Justice and Peace(WCC Publications: Geneva, 1986).

 

Bautista has written and published essays and monographs, many based on his lectures and speeches on the work and role of civil society and non-governmental and grassroots organizations, in local, national, regional, international and multilateral arenas. These writings address Bautista’s concern for the organizational life of NGOs and civil society organizations characterized by consultative processes, collaborative approaches, and cooperative spirit. Such organizational values elaborated in his writings point to the importance of NGOs as effective forces for change and transformation if they imbibe and flourish what he calls the “power of Co - consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

 

A representative body of Bautista’s writings on matters related to his NGO and civil society work include, among others: Liberty, Citizen and the Future: A Tale of Two Revolutions—Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution and South Korea’s Candle Revolution (Seoul, 2017); Civil Society and Business: Working Together for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development (UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2016); Global Forced Migration and Challenges to NGO Work (Dianova International Assembly, Mallorca, Spain, 2015); Peace Education and Women’s Empowerment: A Reprise of Old Themes and Recurrent Concerns (CSW, New York, 2011); The Role of Men and Boys in Gender Equality (Geneva, 2010);  Another Global Warming is Possible: (Re)imagining Multilateralism, (En)gendering Civic Action, (Re)locating Transformation, and (Re)constituting A Humanitarian Planet (Seoul, 2009); Food for Thought, Thoughts on Food: The Role of NGOs in Fostering Multilateralism for a More Secure, More Just and More Peaceable World (Hamburg, 2009); Threats to the Health and Sustainable Development of Nations: Global Public Health in the Context of the Global Economic Crisis (ILO, Geneva, 2009);Multilateralism and Beyond: When and How NGOs Matter in a World of Nation States (San Jose, Costa Rica, 2008); Global Issues of the 21st Century and the Role of University Youth (KHU, Seoul, 2008); Fighting Poverty at Home or Fighting Poverty Abroad: Do We Have and Must We Really Make a Choice? (Detroit, 2008); and The Underside of Human Rights: On the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (NGO DPI Conference, UNESCO, Paris, 2008).

 

Bautista is married to Adora Bautista, a public school teacher focused on curriculum development and special education. They have two adult children, Arvin Louis who is in the film and television industry and Aiena Laya who is in the health profession.

VISION

CONGO’s vision is to be the primary support and platform for a civil society represented by a global community of informed, empowered and committed NGOs that fully participate with the UN in decision-making and programs leading to a better world, a world of economic and social justice.

MISSION

Facilitate through various means the development of a dynamic and informed world-wide NGO community able to influence policies and actions at all levels of the United Nations.

OBJECTIVES

A. Improve NGOs accessibility and presence at all levels of the United Nations

B. Enhance the effective engagement of NGOs with the United Nations

C. Strengthen the dialogue between the United Nations and Non-governmental organizations

D. Engage NGOs to work together on issues of common interest

E. Education / Capacity Development

F. Work in partnership with UN civil society focal points

G. Advocate on the Principles and Goals that NGOs and United Nations share

Liberato C. Bautista, the Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs at the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church, was overwhelmingly elected on March 3, 2018 as president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) at its General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

In the seventy years of CoNGO, Bautista is one of only two CoNGO Presidents who have served two terms in non-consecutive fashion. He was CoNGO President between December 2007 and January 2011. Rosalind Harris, who represented the International Social Service at the UN, was president between 1972 to 1976 and between 1991 and 1994. Bautista succeeded Cyril Ritchie who served two consecutive terms as president from January 2011 to March 2018.

 

Meet the President

Vision

CONGO’s vision is to be the primary support and platform for a civil society represented by a global community of informed, empowered and committed NGOs that fully participate with the UN in decision-making and programs leading to a better world, a world of economic and social justice.

Mission

Facilitate through various means the development of a dynamic and informed world wide NGO community able to influence policies and actions at all levels of the United Nations.

Objectives

  1. Improve NGOs accessibility and presence at all levels of the United Nations
  1. Enhance the effective engagement of NGOs with the United Nations
  1. Strengthen the dialogue between the United Nations and Non-governmental organizations
  1. Engage NGOs to work together on issues of common interest
  1. Education / Capacity Development
  1. Work in partnership with UN civil society focal points
  1. Advocate on the Principles and Goals that NGOs and United Nations share

Rationale

Being constantly aware of the changes that are taking place in the international arena including within the United Nations, CONGO is well placed to provide guidance and support to NGOs worldwide.

Its structure includes a wide range of Substantive NGO Committees, providing advocacy and input on an ongoing basis to ECOSOC and other UN bodies in the economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related fields, as well as in the areas of human rights, gender, sustainable development, peace and disarmament.

Working from its international secretariat offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna, CONGO is engaged in an ambitious outreach programme, providing more support for NGOs at regional and national levels to enhance their involvement with the United Nations, through new partnerships, regional consultations and co-sponsored events.

Organizational structure

  

Governance

CoNGO is governed by its triennial General Assembly, made up of representatives of its member organizations. The General Assembly elects an individual as President and 20 member organizations to serve as CoNGO’s Board.

The Board oversees CoNGO’s work between sessions of the General Assembly. The President is responsible for leading and articulating CoNGO’s activities pursuant to the aims set out in the rules of the Conference.

The Board appoints from among its members (a) a First Vice-President who shall not have his/her office at the same UN centre as the President and who shall serve in a personal capacity, (b) a Vice-President who shall have his/her office in Vienna and who shall serve in a personal capacity, (c) up to two other members to serve as Vice-Presidents, and (d) two members to serve as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. The Board meets at least twice a year in Geneva or New York but may meet elsewhere. Other than the President, the First Vice-President and the Vienna-based Vice-President, all elected officers and members of the Board serve on behalf of organizations rather than in a personal capacity.

CoNGO’s activities are run from its three offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna.

 

Members

CoNGO membership is open to all national, regional and international NGOs that are involved in the United Nations.

  • NGOs with consultative status with ECOSOC are eligible to become Full Members, which includes the right to vote at the CoNGO General Assembly and stand for election
  • NGOs not having ECOSOC status but having formal relations with any part of the UN system can become Associate Members
  • CoNGO members are active in 43 CoNGO NGO committeesin New York, Geneva, Vienna and in Regional Committees in Africa, Asia and the Pacific

 

NGO – UN access

The first “Aim of CoNGO” in our Rules is “to ensure that NGOs in consultative status enjoy the fullest opportunities and all appropriate facilities for performing their consultative functions”. This can only be meaningful if access – physical access AND political access – is obtained and maintained. For 63 years it has been a commitment and an obligation for CoNGO to be alert and active in the domains of UN access.

CoNGO’s experience and outreach are not only in Geneva, New York and Vienna, but relate to the UN System worldwide, including UN Summits and the meetings of parties to UN Conventions.

CoNGO is therefore the reliable partner for seeking solutions with and through the entire UN System.

NGO substantive Committees, sub-committees and working groups

NGO Committees are an integral part of the CoNGO organizational structure. These committees exist through the efforts deployed throughout the years by CoNGO and its members.

CoNGO’s NGO Committees bring together NGOs that are part of the CoNGO constituency, CoNGO officers and members of the secretariat to discuss pertinent themes and issues before the UN and the international community.

 

Geneva

New York

Vienna

  Africa  
Ageing Ageing Ageing
  Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
  Child Rights  
Development   Development
Disarmament Disarmament, Peace and Security  
  Education  
Environment    
  Family  
  Financing and Development  
  Freedom of Religion and Belief  
  HIV/AIDS  
Human Rights Human Rights Human Rights
Sub-committee Freedom of Religion and Belief    
WG on Human Rights Education & Learning    
  Human Settlements  
  International Decade for the World’s Indigenous Peoples  
Mental Health Mental Health  
  Migration  
  Narcotics and Substantive Abuse Narcotic Drugs
    Outer Space
    Peace
  Population and Development  
  Social Development  
Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns  
  Sports  
  Sustainable Development Sustainable Development
Status of Women Status of Women Status of Women
Youth Youth  
     

CoNGO collaborates closely with the Geneva NGO Forum for Health

NGO Regional Committees

  • NGO Regional Committee in Asia and the Pacific
  • NGO Regional Committee in Africa

Covering the entire geographic area of Africa, Asia and the Pacific these CoNGO Regional Committees aim to facilitate participation of regional and national NGOs and networks in United Nations and CoNGO activities globally and regionally, in particular those of the United Nations Economic Commissions and other UN bodies and agencies. The Regional Committees promote better cooperation among CoNGO members globally.

 

Implementation

The five main objectives will be implemented by:

Enhanced DIALOGUE through:

  1. The organization of theme oriented activities such as the annual Civil Society Development Forum
  2. The facilitation and co-facilitation of thematic parallel events to major UN conferences and meetings
  3. The Substantive Committees, promoting and facilitating collective work related to programmes, policies and activities of the United Nations System
  4. Organizing briefing with key UN and other experts

OUTREACH and SERVICE to the NGO community in all regions of the world

TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING for NGOs

GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS and INFORMATION SHARING, both on issues that are – or should be – on the United Nations agenda, and on practicalities for civil society organizations to work together on common concerns

MAINTAINING PRESENCE and input at major UN and NGO Conferences and Consultations

FOLLOWING UP the rapidly changing global trends and constantly

GENERATING NEW IDEAS to better service our constituency

 

 

Cyril Ritchie

Cyril RITCHIE was re-elected CoNGO President at the 25th General Assembly held April 1st – 4th 2014 in New-York.

Short Biography

Cyril RITCHIE has been President of CoNGO for the past three years, having over the preceding 40 years served five separate terms as Secretary of the CoNGO Conference and Board and Vice President .

Cyril RITCHIE has been since 1998 Vice President of the Union of International Associations (based in Bruxelles) which has just celebrated its centenary and is the publisher of the Yearbook of International Organizations, and of the international Conference Calendar.

Cyril RITCHIE was the President of the 2006 International Civil Society Forum for Democracy, held in Doha. He was from 2000 to 2008 President of the Council of Europe INGO Grouping « Civil society and democracy in Europe » and is currently President of the Expert Council on NGO Law.

He is the President of the Federation of International NGOs in Geneva (FIIG), and is on the Steering committee of the UBUNTU World Campaign for in-depth Reform of International Institutions, based in Barcelona. He served 14 years as Executive Director of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), and was Chair of the World Civil Society Conference (WOCSOC), (Montreal 1999).

Ritchie has participated in many United Nations Summits and World Conferences (Food, Environment, Women, Habitat, Nutrition, Social Development, Information, Sustainable Development……).He frequently attends ECOSOC Commissions and sessions of other UN organs.

He is Chairman of the Environment Liaison Centre International, headquartered in Nairobi. Since 2008 Ritchie has been the Chair of the Board of Advisers of the World Future Council, based in Hamburg.

Since 1979 Ritchie is titular of the World Order of the Smile. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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