Candidature for Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee
of the 2017 Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe
Pour la version Française, veuillez cliquer ici.
Dear members of the Conference of INGO,
My name is Miguel Cabral and I am hoping to get your vote for Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee. I am a Medical Resident in Public Health, working in Amadora, Portugal, one of the most diverse cities in my country due to its thriving migrant community, which accounts for 10% of the population.
Some of you might still remember me from a session in June 2013 as the newcomer who provided extensive comments on the draft Recommendation about Human Rights and Religions. I was doing so as Regional Coordinator for Europe of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), a network that reaches about 1.3 million medical students worldwide. During my term in office, I worked on our external representation in Europe and on existing and potential relations, including the Council of Europe and its’ Conference of INGOs. And 4 years later, I am glad to be encouraged and supported by the IFMSA for this candidature. As someone that helped his INGO get closer to the work of the Conference of INGOs and the Council of Europe, I am motivated to help that process with other INGOs, especially Youth ones, to which I am still close.
I know I am a bit new to the dynamic of the Conference and the Human Rights Committee. But I am not new to working with human rights. And it would not be the first time I would take big responsibilities under a fast pace. It happened already with the Franciscan youth movement I was part of, the Portuguese Medical Students’ Committee and the IFMSA. I believe that when one is committed to working hard for an organization, their peers recognize it and open up their doors.
I believe we must do the same for our conference. We need to open the doors and invite people who are working hard on Human Rights. But we cannot stop there, we must reach out to them and make it easy for them to get in.
If you elect me as your Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, I intend to work on:
- Reaching out personally to all INGO members for suggestions on what the work of the Committee should be, so that the next Plan of Action may also build upon the work of our INGOs. This includes the discussion about new Working Groups;
- Compiling the work being done in human rights by our INGOs so that their work can be displayed and promote greater opportunities for collaboration among INGOs and the Committee;
- Making use of the INGOs and their chapters or members at the grassroots, to identify challenges as well as good practices in the field of human rights applications.
- Identifying more INGOs working on Human Rights that do not belong to the Conference but which could be integrated, especially youth related ones that might need a greater support to get involved.
There are many more ideas and areas that I would like to work on. However, I believe the work of the committee must come from a team effort and I think it is important for the elected team to define a joint strategy going forward. I hope to get your trust as I have been honored to receive the trust of many others in several of the institutions I have had the privilege to serve. You can find more about them and my past in my CV (below). I look forward to meeting you in Strasbourg very soon.