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Organization of a Seminar for the Officers of International Non-governmental Organizations

Note presented on behalf of the Union of International Associations to the Fourteenth Conference of International Organizations for the Joint_Study of Programs and Activities in the Field of Agriculture in Europe (Paris, 1968) under the auspices of the European Commission on Agriculture. Extract from: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ECA Report of 14th Conference, Paris, February 1968 of International Agricultural Organizations [ECA : io/14/68(8)]

1. Of the 1,935 international non-governmental organisations mentioned in the Yearbook of International Organisations, 1966-67, about 1,500 have their headquarters or subsidiary offices in European Member States of FAO.

2. The category of international non-governmental organizations is very varied due to the influence of three principal factors: the ultimate objectives of each organisation, the maeans and methods of action, the type of relations established between the international organisation and the national or individual members. The objective development of inter-individual relations at the international level explains the quantitative development of international non-governmental organizations as well as the enlargement of their fields of action. The Yearbook of 1909/10 records 176 international non-governmental organizations, that of 1956/57 985, and that of 1966/67 1,935.

3. International non-governmental organisations have distinot individual characters. They offer, besides the above-mentioned diversities, certain elements and certain con- eider-itions of similar interest. This similarity depends to a large extent on their common differentiation with regard to the intergovernmental procedures of the inter- national organization*

4. In the international non-governmental organizations the adaptation of functions and the adjustment of methods with regard to the objectives to be accomplished bring about a normally quite rapid movement. For international non-governmental organizations as a whole, there are at the moment two major problems:

  • the qualitative improvement of methods and of techniques of work, as well as
  • the functional integration of the non-governmental level of international action to the intergovernmental level of cooperation.

Both of these problems are justified by the development of structures of the international community and that of the state community. The existence of these two problems gives rise to the necessity for up-to-date international non-governmental officers.

5. A seminar for the officers of international non-governmental organizations should be able to assure the study of four sectors of interest:

(a) the development of international non-governmental organizations in relation to the functioning of international society, in particular:

(i) by consideration of the quantitative and qualitative returns of international non-governmental organizations and by the study of methods of evaluation to be applied to this data;

(ii) by analysis of this evaluation applied practically to determined sectors (of technology, of education, of social sciences, of work, etc.).

(b) relations between international non-governmental organizations and inter- governmental organizations, in particular:

(i) by consideration of the practical terms of the system of consult- ation and of the system of working cooperation;

(ii) by comparative analysis of relations that international non- governmental organizations establish with :

  • intergovernmental organizations;
  • states;
  • intermediary groups within the states.

(c) functional aspects of international non-governmental organisations, in particular:

(i) by consideration of the internal operation, with regard, for example:

  • to the type of meetings;
  • to the financial resources;
  • to the means of information and publicity

(ii) by analysis of the relations of international non-governmental organizations with their individual and collective members, with regard, for example:

  • to the means for assessing or verifying the representative character of its national members;
  • to the means for assessing the circulation of information within the international non-governmental organization.

(d) relations between international non-governmental organizations, in particular:

(i) by the description and analysis of means and opportunities for inter-organizational relations; (ii) by the study of fields and of programs which allow or favour international non-governmental collaboration.

6. The Seminar is planned for 8-12 days. It will take the form of working groups. Participants to the Seminar will receive a basic documentation: they will contribute to the work by written statements. The work of the Seminar should conclude by the publication of basic and group reports*

7. Participation in the Seminar is open to all officers of international non- governmental organizations. Only two officers per organization will be accepted.

6. The Seminar should be organized at an international institute, as for example, the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Turin.

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