ECPYouth General Assembly (15 July 2017) – Reflections by a Member
ECPYouth had its Summer General Assembly in Odessa, Ukraine, on 15th July 2017. This was a very productive time, attended by representatives from our Member Organizations and Individual Members. We discussed amendments to the Statutes; the Odessa Declaration and ECPYouth Core Values; our annual reports; and debated proposed Resolutions. Here is a short reflection of attending the GA by a representative of one of our Member Organisations, SGP-Youth (Netherlands). Thank you to Coen Hermenet for writing this report.
“General Assemblies… boring? Wait, not so fast. In fact, they can tell you a lot about the organization. How is it doing, where does it stand? Is it still developing, and in what direction?
On Saturday July 15, 2017, ECPYouth had its summer General Assembly, which was held in Odessa, Ukraine. During this formal and most political part of the Summer School, I got answers to the above questions. I represented SGP Youth, a member organization from the Netherlands since 2013.
After the opening and welcome, the board of ECPYouth started with a presentation of the annual report and the strategic goals of 2016-2017. It was good to see that out of the 48 sub-goals, which were formulated under the five main goals, over two-thirds were marked ‘done’. SGP Youth was particularly interested in the board’s vision on how to get more organizations from new countries. However, besides the content, the transparency and accountability that come with the provision of such a written down list is really a good thing.
During the second half of the General Assembly, we had several good discussions. For the first time, resolutions with not only organizational aspects, but also with political content were introduced. Both political resolutions were proposed by SGP Youth. The first was about the Dutch ‘License to Heal’ initiative, a resolution aiming at better access and affordability of medicines. The second resolution proposed to express support for the state of Israel, to bring a clear counter voice to the constant threats and negativity towards Israel, including from Europe.
Of course we – the SGP Youth delegation – were disappointed with the fact that both resolutions, and the latter in particular, did not pass. However, we also learned a lot from this experience, and it was good to see that there was a brief debate about both issues. I am really looking forward to more political resolutions and critical assessments like these in the future.
At the discussion of the Odessa Declaration, a vision document for the coming years, there were also quite a lot of critical questions, including from SGP Youth. This discussion resulted in a vote on more than a dozen amendments, after which the final version of the Declaration was unanimously adopted. Especially with the discussion that we had and with quite a lot of amendments, it is not self-evident that at the end of the day every member organization and every individual member supports the outcome. Therefore, it was good to see that both the working group politics and the board were well aware of the political sensitivity and importance of some particular points for member organizations.
Final conclusion? Not a boring morning at all! And no worries, there is still enough that remains to be done. However, to mention a few, we got to see a lot of positive things: ECPYouth is working hard and toward important goals, the organization is certainly developing in an increasingly professional direction, both organizationally and politically, and that ECPYouth is able to attract new people and organizations from multiple and new countries, including for board positions.”
Coen Hermenet, representative of SGP Youth at the ECPYouth General Assembly