GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TUESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2008 10 am, Room 2, Ecumenical Centre
1 - Adoption of the agenda: the agenda (GA/08/1) was adopted without change. The list of participants is in Annex 1.
2 - Election of Chairperson: Warren Furth was elected Chairman by acclamation.
3 - Report on activities: the President of the Interim Executive Committee (IEC), Fermin Alcoba, introduced the annual report (GA/08/2), which provided a briefing on what the Committee had been doing since the constituent assembly in January 2008. That time had been used essentially to set up the association. Highlights of that process included being recognised in Switzerland as an international public interest NGO, the acquisition of office space in the Ecumenical Centre as of 1 December 2008, and the grant of a subsidy from the Conseil D’Etat of Geneva toward the rent.
That phase, which had turned out to be quite arduous (the IEC had met formally 22 times), was now over, and the association was, in that sense, ready for business. To that end it would be useful to prepare a work programme, to beef up the website with more information, and to be more proactive in offering services to those who needed them. With that in mind, determining exactly what types of activities Greycells was equipped to carry out (eg direct action, facilitation) would be a useful exercise. It was clear that the Swiss authorities saw Greycells as one of the assets available to the Geneva international community; the association should make the most of the confidence placed in it. It should also not neglect the other aspect of its mandate, namely the development work, even if this seemed to be slower getting off the ground.
Following a motion of thanks to the IEC for the work accomplished, the Assembly considered ways in which it could promote the work of the association. Membership remained a concern, both in terms of numbers and diversity of experience; the wide interest that had been expected had not in fact materialised. Realistically, it was the younger members who were more likely to be most abreast of issues in their fields. This meant that recruitment should be especially targeted at those about to retire, e.g. through the pre-retirement seminars. The Assembly was informed that it was already on the cards to address the main UN seminar the next time it was held, and to address any others that might be organized in other agencies.
There followed a brief discussion of some aspects of activities undertaken, and members were also informed about a request from the Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) for an English language presentation to a multinational firm, on the Swiss political system.
The report was adopted unanimously.
4 - Financial reports: the Treasurer, Catherine Bertrand, presented the accounts for 2008, as at 30 November 2008 (GA/08/3). These revealed that there were 44 members, and that income had amounted to CHF 4,500, as against expenditure of CHF 678.45. Some further expenses were expected in 2008 for material and equipment, as well as the ancillary costs of the rental (charges). The carry over into 2009, which stood at CHF 3821.55 on 30 November, would therefore be somewhat different once these expenses, as well as any new receipts, were factored in.
As for the budget for 2009 (GA/08/4), income was projected to be around CHF 10,000, assuming a membership of 70. Against this, it was foreseen that there would be administrative costs of CHF 6,800, net of the rental subsidy, and that operational activities would cost in the order of CHF 3,000. An additional subsidy from the Swiss to cover start up costs such as equipment and furniture had been requested, and was likely to be granted.
The accounts for 2008 and the budget for 2009 were approved unanimously.
5 - Election of the Executive Committee, of the Auditors and of the Polling Officers: the Vice-President, Marjory Dam, presented the slate of candidates for the Executive Committee (EC), which had been prepared by the IEC based on consultations with members (GA/08/5). There would be 15 members of the EC, as opposed to the present 11; three members of the IEC were stepping down (Eckstein, Mercier, Smadja), and there were seven new volunteers (Anvar, Beigbeder, Erhardt, Love, Mani. Oduyemi, Piers).
The Assembly unanimously elected the members of the EC, as indicated in Annex 2. The distribution of functions within the EC would be for it to decide.
The Assembly unanimously elected: as auditors, Claude Mercier and Carlos Sanchez, and as polling officers, Michel Rolland and Christine Gray.
6 - Other business
Website: the question of putting on the website an inventory of expertise available in the association was discussed. This should be very specific, ie indicating exactly in what fields members were prepared to be active. The principle was readily agreed, since this would make the utility of the association more transparent. It was, however, considered unnecessary to list email addresses, for security reasons, and the list could even omit names, the important information being the skills on tap. The underlying information could be canvassed via a questionnaire, since it had turned out the details given in the registration forms were insufficient. The EC would have to consider the best way to proceed. This might include the possibility of having a members-only part of the website, where more confidential information could be stored.
Needs: in considering how to drum up more business, the assembly thought international organizations might have needs which they could not meet through their existing means. Perhaps there was an opportunity here for Greycells. While the offer had been made in the letter sent to executive heads in the spring, it was agreed that a lower level approach in each organization would be a useful complement. There might also be something Greycells could do to help those seeking internships in the organizations.
Involvement of members: it was important not to leave everything to the EC, and to involve the members more. One possibility was to place on the website an inventory of projects so members could indicate their willingness to contribute. At the moment the process for identifying those interested in a particular project consisted in sending round an email solicitation; a combination of this and an inventory might be more effective.
Membership fees: it was proposed that life memberships be considered, as was the case for AFICS, for example. There was some concern, however, that this might have an unfavourable impact on annual revenue. It was something the EC could explore. In the meantime, members were invited to pay their dues for 2009, and a specific reminder would be sent round by the Treasurer, in due course.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TUESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2008
List of Participants
NAME - FORMER ORG.
Fermin Alcoba - WTO
Paul Bailey - ILO
Carole Barnérias - UNHCR
Catherine Bertrand - UNHCR
Yves Beigbeder - WHO
Inès Brülhart - WMO
Alberto Campeas - WTO
Marjory Dam - WHO
Coen Damen - ILO
Roland De Stickere - UN
Jean Erhardt - City of Geneva
Warren Furth – WHO
David Gray –
ITU Christine Gray - WHO
René Kirszbaum - ILO
Neel Mani - WHO
Samuel Mbele-Mbong - WMO
Claude Mercier - WTO
Oluseye Oduyemi - UNCTAD
K.M. Patwary - WHO
Antonio Petaranda - ITU
Jean-Claude Piers - ITC
Dev Ray - WHO
Paul Rolian - WTO
Michel Rolland - ITU
Oscar de Vries Reilingh - ILO
Tony Walker - ITU
Renata Wiedmer - WHO
GreyCells - Association of Former International Civil Servants for Development
|< Prev||Next >|