Initiatives of Change International is comprised of a network of members who span the globe. Their local, community-based challenges are often a reflection of global divisions in society. As a part of the desire to inspire change at all levels, it will seek out relationships with like-minded organisations with an international focus. IofC International has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, as an example.
Initiatives of Change International is an also an active participant in the Conference of International NGOs Council of Europe. As a member with Participatory status, it helped draft the Conference’s contribution to the Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. The Council stresses the importance of personal responsibility, ethical leadership, and building trust across the world’s divides; a clear alignment of with IofC focus areas.
As an organisation, it participates in and facilitates its relationships with the United Nations and other international institutions and organizations through its Geneva office.
Council of Europe
Since 2005, Initiatives of Change has held participatory status at the Council of Europe (CoE), which has 47 member states. The CoE was founded in 1949 in response to the horrors of the first part of the 20thcentury and focuses on human rights, democratic governance and the rule of law. IofC is a member of one of its three advisory bodies, the Conference of International NGOs.
Soon after IofC joined the Conference of INGOs, our delegates were entrusted with a variety of special assignments. One ongoing task concerns human rights and business. Another involved participating in an international colloquium on ‘Digital society and cyber trust’. Thirdly, IofC is represented on the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre, a platform which organizes programmes and exchanges with Europe’s southern neighbours.
IofC Delegate to the Council of Europe
Christoph Spreng, Switzerland
Christoph represents IofC International at the Council of Europe since 2005. He is Vice-President of Conference of INGO’s and the coordinator of the INGO Dialogue Toolkit Hub. In June 2017 he was appointed INGO Special Advisor for Human Rights and Business.
The Geneva Office of Initiatives of Change International aims to bring the perspectives, knowledge and experiences of the IofC movement to the attention of officials in the UN and related institutions, governments and leaders of civil society and to facilitate interactions and partnerships between them and IofC teams and programs.
Its mission is to increase the contribution of Initiatives of Change to building trust across the world’s divides by:
- Enhancing the visibility internationally of IofC and its conference centre in Caux
- Facilitating interactions with the United Nations, its agencies and with the international community, including civil society organizations, based in Geneva
- Opening up opportunities for collaboration between IofC national teams and trans-national programs and the UN and related international institutions
- Increasing the flow of people and ideas between the international community in Geneva and the Caux conferences
- Informing IofC teams worldwide of significant developments and opportunities