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Protocol

 

Protocol CivilM+

Announcement of the Platform’s Creation

Vienna, 04 December 2017

We, the representatives of independent non-governmental civil organisations, as well as individual experts and activists from Ukraine, Russia and other states, working in various spheres of civil activity (human rights, peace building, humanitarian and others) on topics connected with the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas and the managing of its consequences,

understanding the depth of the contradictions and traumas arising as a result of the armed conflict,

recognising the need to strengthen peaceful formats for resolving conflicts and regulating the armed conflict,

acknowledging the priority of human rights in the course of this regulation,

create CivilM+ – an open, European, civil society platform, as an independent initiative.

The mission of the CivilM+ platform is the active integration of civil initiatives and other activities to restore the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as peaceful, integrated and developed regions as part of a democratic Ukraine and a united European space, with the active participation of the region’s population and those who have left the region due to the conflict.

The CivilM+ platform works based on democratic values – the respect for and protection of human dignity as well as the observation and realisation of fundamental human rights and basic freedoms, including the rejection of discrimination on any grounds. The CivilM+ platform offers its participants the opportunity to collaborate as part of joint initiatives and projects, to develop and express joint positions, provide mutual support and solidarity, systematise knowledge, raise levels of qualification and improve coordination, and sets itself the following tasks:

  • the widening of trust and cooperation between the civil societies of various countries and in differing spheres of activity,
  • the monitoring, observation and documentation of human rights violations, hate crimes and war crimes,
  • the implementation of civilian accompaniment of official peace negotiations and strengthening of the influence of civil society on them,
  • the engagement of the region’s citizens in the region’s recovery, include those who left the region because of the conflict and the introduction of the principles of transitional justice,
  • the protection of victims of human rights violations and assistance in holding violators of such rights on all sides of the conflict accountable,
  • the engagement of citizens living in the conflict zone, in other regions of Ukraine, in Russia and in other countries in a process of dialogues, aimed at managing the conflict and its consequences, including using the methods of people’s diplomacy,
  • the activation of the civilian position in society, the involvement of internally displaced people and the population of the regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not controlled by the Ukrainian government in civilian activity, as well as reintegrating them into Ukrainian society,
  • informing the public about the conflict in Donbas on a local, national and international level and cooperation with the media,
  • the development of communication and collaboration of civil society institutes with regional and international institutions from the spheres of state, economy, education and others,
  • aiding the transparency of regulatory processes of the conflict,
  • acting against disinformation and hate speech,
  • supporting projects, programmes and events connected with various aspects of the platform’s activity,
  • the organisation of educational and informational events, projects and programmes, aimed at strengthening civil organisations, taking part in the resolution of the conflict in Donbas and facilitating the realisation of the above tasks.

Statute of principles and structure

of the civil society organisations’ CivilMPlus platform

 

Preamble

The civil society organisations’ CivilMPlus – henceforth “the Platform” or CivilMPlus – is the informal unification of civil organisations and experts from Ukraine, Russia and other countries, as well as international organisations, unified for joint activity. The Platform is aimed at the resolution of the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine (henceforth the region of conflict); the resolution of issues linked with human rights violations arising during the conflict, as well as the realisation of conversational, peace-building and other initiatives, aimed at the improvement of the quality of life and chances for development of inhabitants and those who left the region of conflict; the restoration of a lawful state in the region of conflict and its integration within the realms of a democratic Ukraine in accordance with the Platform’s Protocol from 4 December 2017, through widening multidisciplinary, intersectional and cross-border cooperation of the Platform’s participants.

1. Forms of work and participation in the Platform
1.1 Creation and dissolution of the Platform

The initial participants of the Platform are the civil organisations and experts who signed the Platform’s Protocol and the current Statute of Principles and Structure no later than 31 December 2017, and, in this way, shall participate in the creation of the Platform.

This Statute is provisional in accordance with point 2.2. of this document.

The initial participants of the Platform forming the Coordinating Board (see below), take on the duty to develop a detailed Statute on Participation and Activity on the Platform (including principles of information and communication) by 1 January 2019.

Until then, the acceptance of new participants on the Platform is carried out in accordance with the present Statute of Principles and Structure.

The Platform is considered created, when the Platform’s Protocol is signed by no fewer than three organisations from Ukraine, (UA), no fewer than three organisations from Russia (RU) and no fewer than one international organisation (INT). 

Accordingly, the Platform dissolves itself, if fewer than three organisations from Ukraine, fewer than three organisations from Russia and no international organisation remain.

1.2 Participants and Procedures for Admitting New Members into the Platform

Participants of the Platform can be independent, non-governmental civil organisations and initiatives (including those with and without the status of legal entities, henceforth “organisations”), as well as private expert individuals in Ukraine, Russia or on an international level/in different countries, who:

  • regularly and intentionally work on topics associated with the mission and activity of the Platform,
  • are in accordance with the values and principles of the work of the Platform, as laid out in the Protocol and current Statute of Principles and Structure.

In order to become a Platform participant, organisations or experts must:

  • for an informed participant — sign the Protocol and the Statute of Principles and the Structure and receive a reference from no fewer than two active members of the Platform (organisations or experts), representing different country groups. In addition, for an organisation, the recommendation of another organisation is compulsory. For experts, referees may be either experts or participant organisations of the Platform;
  • for an active participant — sign the Protocol and Statute of Principles and Structure and receive the recommendation of at least two active participants of the Platform.

In order to become an active participant of the Platform, an organisation/expert must have been an informed participant for no less than 3 months. The initial participant-founders of the Platform immediately become active participants.

In the course of the Platform’s first year of activity, active participants shall invite informed participants and shall be their referees.

The decision to admit new participants is taken by the Platform’s Forum in accordance with the rules described in point 2.1-2.2. The Forum may delegate the right to decide to admit new participants to the Platform to the Coordinating Board.

Representatives of organisations are delegated to the Platform in accordance with the internal decision-making regulations in their organisations. If the delegated representative of a participating organisation of the Platform cannot take part in the work of the Forum – the highest agency of the Platform in accordance with point 2.1. – the organisation delegates another representative of the same organisation, informing the Coordinating Board/Secretariat of the Platform in advance.

1.3 Parity of Participants

Representatives from three sides participate in the Platform (henceforth “country groups”): from Ukraine, Russia, as well as from other countries, including international organisations. When possible, parity between participants of these three country groups should be observed (proportional representation of participants from three country groups, to take into account the range opinions in the greatest way possible) in the activity and participation in the agencies, structures and activities of the Platform, including when admitting new members. If it is temporarily not possible to observe parity due to a lack of participation or interest in participation, the Coordinating Board will undertake measures to change the situation within six months.

The responsibility for monitoring, discussing and elimination of violations of this principle is assigned to the Supervisory Board of the Platform.

1.4 Forms of Participation

Two types of participation on the Platform are foreseen:

– a) active (full) participation assumes the following rights: receiving mail updates, participation in the Platform’s events, participation in the working groups that are part of the Platform, signing of statements issued in the name of the Platform. In addition to the above, there are further rights for participating organisations: opportunity to be the applicant/coordinator of a project or sub-grant or programme or working group or another format within the bounds of or in the name of the Platform, as well as the right to vote on all other decisions affecting the Platform’s activities;

– b) informed participation assumes the following opportunities: receiving mail updates, participation in events, working groups, projects and programmes that are part of the Platform, if this does not preclude the carrying out of this right by active participants of the Platform and the signing of statements issued in the name of the Platform.

1.5 Principles of Participation

Participation in the Platform does not preclude independent activity of organisations and the expressions of a separate position of participating organisations. The Platform does not take responsibility for the actions are statements of its participants.

The safety of its participants (personal, data and so on) is an important priority of the functioning and activity of the Platform.

The working languages of the Platform are Ukrainian, Russian and English on an equal footing. The Platform aims to guarantee that events, publications and other formats are translated into the aforementioned languages.

The work of the Platform is based on the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds. The responsibility for the monitoring, discussion and elimination of violations of these regulations, as outlined in the Protocol, are assigned to the Supervisory Board of the Platform.

1.6 Withdrawal and Exclusion of Participants from the Platform

Independent withdrawal from being a participant of the Platform happens promptly:

in the case of an organisation – on the basis of a written notification from the delegated representative to the Platform or other authorised person for this to the Coordinating Board and/or Secretariat of the Platform;

in the case of an expert – on the basis of a personal written notification to the Coordinating Board and/or Secretariat of the Platform.

If the organisation or expert are assigned a duty regarding the Platform at the time of departure, for instance, coordination or evaluation, these duties remain active until the Coordinating Group has made a decision.

A participant of the Platform may be excluded from its number in a decision by the Supervisory Board due to a violation of principles outlined in the Protocol and for gross or systematic violations of the current Statute of Principles and Structure.

After the corresponding decision of the Supervisory Board, made by a simple majority, the participant has the right to address the Supervisory Board within two weeks and to receive a written explanatory reaction from them.

The final decision regarding the exclusion of a participant of the Supervisory Board is taken no later than a month from the day or receiving the written request for explanation.

2. Platform Structure and Decision-Making
2.1. Forum

The Forum is the highest agency of the Platform – it is the general assembly of active participants of the Platform. The Forum may take place in the form of a face-to-face meeting, as well as online, as a rule, no less than once a year.

Active participating organisations of the Platform have the right to a deciding vote when making decisions as part of the Forum.

Active participating experts of the Platform have the right to an advisory vote when making decisions as part of the Forum.

The Coordinating Board shall establish the length of each voting period on each issue subject to circumstances.

Informed participants of the Platform – whether as organisations or as experts – do not take part in the Forum. The Coordinating Board may decide about exceptions after a written request on behalf of an informed participant.

The Forum makes decisions in the following manner:

Making changes to existing and adopting new charters of the Platform

Decision is taken by a vote and is considered passed if no less than ¾ (75%) of organisations voted “for” out of the overall number – of active participants of the Platform – in each of the country groups (UA, RU, INT)

Adopting statutes and other documents of the Platform

Decision is taken by a vote and is considered passed if no less than 2/3 of organisations voted “for” out of the overall number – of active participants of the Platform – in each of the country groups (UA, RU, INT)

Admitting new informed and active participants into the Platform

Informed participants are automatically accepted after confirmation from the Platform’s Secretariat.

The decision regarding the admission of active participants into the Platform takes place on the condition that there is no more than one vote against (“black mark”) in each of the country groups (UA, RU, INT). From the moment of the vote being announced, any “black mark” should be reported to the Platform’s Forum within two weeks.

Statements or other public products in the name of the Platform, which directly use the brand of the Platform (name, logo etc.).

Decision is taken by a vote and is considered passed if no less than 50% +1 vote of all active participating organisations of the Platform voted “for” in each of the country groups (UA, RU, INT)

Forum decisions, in which informed participants may be involved (for instance, accepting applications and creating working groups) will be brought to the attention of informed participants, who may join them.

2.2 Coordinating Board and Supervisory Board

Representatives of the initial group, who create the Platform and are its first active participants, also become the first members of the Coordinating Board (henceforth CB) and/or the Supervisory Board (henceforth SB) of the Platform and take responsibility to develop separate Statutes on these agencies and procedures for their activities by no later than 1 year after the creation of the Platform. A new procedure for the formation of the Coordinating Board and Supervisory Board should be implemented no later than 1 year after the creation of the Platform. Both structures are obliged to follow the principle of transparency in their work in relation to active participants and to inform them about the content and results of their work. Participating organisations of the Platform may not be represented simultaneously on the CB and SB.

2.2.1. Coordinating Board

The Coordinating Board (CB) is responsible for operational decisions and the organisation of the process for developing a strategy for the Platform, as well as for other tasks assigned in this Statute, if this does not contradict the rights (authority) of the Forum.

No less than 3 and no more than 9 representatives of active participating organisations make up the CB – at least one from each country group. The CB assumes its authority once at least one representative from each country group from the active participating organisations has been lawfully admitted.

Members of the CB take part in it in a personal capacity.

2.2.2. Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board (SB) is responsible for the observation of the rules set out in charter documents and other agreed rules, as well as procedures and the resolution of disputes within the Platform. The Forum and CB may also delegate other tasks to the Supervisory Board, connected with the protection and development of the Forum’s rules.

No less than 3 and no more than 9 representatives of active participating organisations make up the SB – at least one from each country group. The SB assumes its authority once at least one representative from each country group from the active participating organisations has been lawfully admitted.

Members of the CB take part in it in a personal capacity.

2.3 Secretariat

The Platform may create a Platform Secretariat to carry out administrative, technical and informed duties for the functioning of the Platform and the guarantee of cooperation between its participants. This happens through delegating such duties to one representative or a group of representatives of active participating organisations of the Platform, who agree to take responsibility for carrying out these administrative, technical and informed functions. The Secretariat supports the agencies of the Platform in their activities. The delegation takes place according to the Forum’s decision, after a proposal from the Coordinating Board. Inasmuch as and whilst the Platform is an unregistered entity, the active participating organisations that are taking on these duties also take on the related legal duties and responsibilities. They are obligated to observe the principle of transparency towards Platform participants (towards all of them, or only active ones?)  and to regularly inform the latter about their work.

3. Working Groups

As part of the Platform, any number of thematic and functional Working Groups may be created. Working Groups are created both for continuous work in any direction, as well as for the realisation of separate projects within the bounds of the Platform. A separate Statute shall regulate these and other questions relating to the activities of Working Groups, which the Coordinating Board shall develop by no later than 1 January 2019.

The minimum for a working group is three members. A working group is considered as formed, if no less than one active participant (whether organisation or expert) from each country group is part of it. The initiators shall inform the Secretariat about its creation.

The participants themselves of each Working Group shall define the decision-making processes in each of the Working Groups and shall inform the CB about this. Working Groups can also include informed participants from the Platform. Within Working Groups, active participating organisations, informed participants, as well as active participating experts, have equal rights when making decisions.

4. Resolution of Disputes

In the case of any disputes arising, their discussion and resolution takes place within the Platform. Information about such disputed situations shall be sent to the SB, which, within two weeks, shall suggest a process of discussion and resolution of the dispute based on and in accordance with the charter documents of the Platform. The Supervisory Board shall make a recommendation based on a simple majority. The sides of the dispute have the right to a written response within two weeks addressed to the SB, which on this basis decides the further process of decision-making.

The SB shall propose Regulations for the Resolution of Disputes within the framework of the Platform to the Forum, within a year of the SB’s creation.

5. External Representation of the Platform

Active members of the Platform, who have agreed their actions with the Coordinating Board, have the right to speak on behalf of the Platform.

The Coordinating Board may grant the right to speak on behalf of the Platform on a specific issue or at a specific event to entities other than those mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The Platform shall create a webpage and logo, the fundamental characteristics of which have been confirmed by the CB.

6. Economic Activities within the Framework of the Platform

Organisational and logistical support of the Platform’s activities, as well as the support of activities of separate directions within the thematic framework of the Platform’s work, may be the subject of projects carried out by participating organisations with the support of external donor organisations.

The submission of finance applications of separate projects, events and programmes within the framework of the Platform’s activities shall take place after discussion in the Coordinating Board.

The Coordinating Board has the right to appoint a treasurer/auditor to verify the targeted spending of funds intended to support the Platform’s activities.

The Secretariat shall support the professional conducting of projects, events and programmes within the framework of the activities of the Platform. The work of the Secretariat is financed by the budgets of projects, events and programmes intended for this part.

The Platform has a right to collect donations for its work and to entrust one or more of its active participating organisations with the administrative implementation of this system.

The work of the participants of the Platform – representatives of the Coordinating Board and Supervisory Board, as well as other agencies of the Forum, with the exception of the Secretariat, shall be carried out on a voluntary, unpaid basis. This does not exclude the possibility of reimbursing costs expended when carrying out duties on behalf of the Platform or expert work on request of and in favour of the Platform in the framework of project budgets and the Platform’s own means.

The CB with the support of the Secretariat shall present to active participants an Overview of the Platform’s financial activities and the content of its work in electronic format and shall organise an online discussion of these reports.

Organisations from Ukraine, Russia and other countries (international) as part of the work on the Platform are grouped together in so-called “country groups” to guarantee a balance of participants and their equal representation in the work of the Platform.

Organizations

[organizations]