The INES Council members and guests convened in the Hotel Ventura in Budapest on June 30 to July 2, 1995. The excellent organisation was in the hands of a team from the Hungarian Engineers for Peace, headed by Dr. Gyula Pati. The participants were welcomed by the chairman of the Hungarian Engineers for Peace, Dr. Csaba Rezegh. The chairman of the Council, Prof. Hartwig Spitzer, acknowledged the catalyst function of the Hungarian Engineers for Peace in the foundation process of INES in 1990-91 in his opening words.
The Council heard reports by the chairman and the executive secretary. Eleven new member organisations joined INES since the last Council meeting, and one organisation (KDT, Germany) was dissolved. Two new projects were established: The Ethics Protection Initiative (INESPE) and Electronic communication via internet (INESnet). Of the net expenditures of the Office in 1994 (DEM 76000), less than half (DEM 34000) was covered by membership contributions, the rest was covered by grants from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and reserves from 1993.
Substantial efforts have to be made for winning new sponsoring members and grants in order to secure the continuation of the work in 1996. This is a task for all INES members. A new leaflet is available from the INES office as advertising material. Although the INES office is working at full capacity, it is impossible to maintain regular contact with all member organisations by person-to-person exchange. Member organisations are asked to voluntarily report on their activities, concern and wishes towards INES to the central office or the chairman.
The Council actively discussed the plans for the next Congress in Amsterdam, reported elsewhere in this issue. A brainstorming session on the priorities of INES gave rise to many suggestions, e.g.:
Plans for a workshop in Moscow in the spring of 1997 were discussed. The workshop on "The Role of NGOs in Postsocialist Countries" would be co-organised by INES and a local partner organisation, e.g. the Russian Green Cross. The workshop will be considered as an INES project.
The Council endorsed three appeals:
The texts of these are printed in this issue . Member organisations are asked to distribute and publicize the appeals nationally, and to endorse the last appeal and to submit it to their members for signature.
Johan Swahn announced his resignation from the Executive Committee. The Council thanked Johan for his service and unanimously elected Lar Ryden into the EC. Johan Swahn continues to administer INESnet and stays on the Council as its representative.
The amendment of the statutes proposed by the chair were accepted unanimously. Written approval will be collected by those not present in order to reach the required approval of two thirds.
The Council endorsed continued membership of INES in the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Arms (ICAN) together with the International Peace Bureau, IALANA, IPPNW, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Peace Action (USA) and Fourth Freedom (USA). Reiner Braun and David Krieger will represent INES in the coalition.
The next Council meeting will be held from August 25 to 27, 1996 in the Netherlands, immediately after the Amsterdam Congress.
On June 15, 1995 the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations Department of Public Information approved INES for association with the department, i.e. INES has been granted regular NGO status at the UN. This means i.a. that INES members - after proper nomination and accreditation - will have access to UN meetings which are open to NGOs, and that INES will have easier access to printed material of the UN and its agencies. The INES Executive Committee has asked Alice Slater, Dr. Gert Harigel and Prof. Al Matousek to act as
INES representatives at the UN headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna, respectively.
As reported in the previous isssue of the Newsletter, the original plan to hold the next INES Congress in Moscow had to be revised. The Congress is now planned to be held in Amsterdam on August 22-25, 1996. Facilities of the University of Amsterdam will be available. Profs. Philip Smith (Groningen) and Valerij Petrosyan (Moscow) are chairing the International Program Committee, which met in Amsterdam on May 15, in Dortmund on June 6-7, and in Budapest on June 29-30. Prof. Armin Tenner (Amsterdam) chairs the Local Organisation Committee. The Congress format calls for several plenary events and 18 parallel workshops. Attendance is expected to be 500.
A novel concept to be tested in Amsterdam is to embody sustainability in the Congress. Physical resources and energy spent for the Congress will be estimated by one of the workshops and brought to the attention of all participants. Strategies for optimal use of resources will be addressed, and the performance of the Congress in this respect will be evaluated afterwards. Communication via electronic media will be tried on a large scale, with internet real-time access to the Congress and discussion groups on congress themes before and during the Congress. Poster contributions can be submitted, and plenary statements and workshop conclusions distributed via internet. Videotapes on practical examples and case studies relevant to sustainable development will be displayed. Joint travel by train or bicycle from nearby countries will be encouraged. INES members can certainly find more ways to make the Congress sustainable; suggestions can be sent to the editor of the Newsletter.
Fundraising is now a major priority of the organisation, and applications for grants for the congress at large are being submitted. It is expected, however, that those workshop convenors who are INES members will do the fundraising and fund administration for "their" workshops on their own.
The next meeting of the Program Committee will be held at the end of October. The first call for papers will be distributed subsequently, as soon as the basic funding is secured.
INES now has its own www home page (http://cac.psu.edu/~duf/social/ines.html), maintained by Tom Munsey of AESR (USA). The Working Group on Unequal Development Problems has its home page, maintained by Marc Ollivier, at http://www-com.grenet.fr/inesdev. Member organisations with home pages include:
Any more? (please notify the editor: ).
It is of course envisaged that all INES home pages will be linked together.