FAS Elected to Board of CONGO, Receives Observer Status at IOM

Geneva, Switzerland

7 December 2007 

 

On 7 December, 2007, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) was elected as a member of the Board of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO). Elected with 64 votes, FAS will serve on the Board for three years. The Board oversees the work of CONGO between sessions of the CONGO General Assembly.

The work of CONGO consists in facilitating NGO access to the debate process at the United Nations. CONGO has helped FAS develop a high profile at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, by providing resources and support to FAS during the preparations leading up to the Human Rights Council sessions.

The Board meets at least twice a year in Geneva, Switzerland or New York, USA, but it may also meet elsewhere. The members of the Board serve as representatives of their organisations rather than in a personal capacity. CONGO's activities are run by its three main offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna, with the bulk of the work being carried out by the President's Office in Geneva.

Along with this latest achievement, FAS has also just been granted observer status with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). FAS is among the more than 40 non-governmental organisations that hold observer status. The IOM encourages the participation of NGOs in its International Dialogue on Migration.

FAS has recently undertaken work on issues of women and migration, most notably by making this topic the main theme of the 2007 African Gender Forum, which took place in Dakar, Senegal, on 10 and 11 December. It is therefore fitting that FAS begin to collaborate with the IOM on migration issues by contributing its experience and expertise at IOM consultations.

Earlier this year, FAS and the IOM worked in partnership to develop the African Women Diaspora Database. FAS supported the database project because it allows African professional women living outside Africa to contribute to the development of their countries of origin. Along with their collaboration on the database, FAS will continue to work to make the issue of women migrants a priority in the work of the IOM.