United Nations                 Nations Unies

                                                                                            NGO SECTION, DESA
                                                                 1 UN Plaza, Room DC1-1480, New York, NY 10017
                                                                              tel: (212) 963-8652 / fax: (212) 963-9248
                                                                                  www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo
                                                                                    e-mail: desangosection@un.org
     Dear Sir/Madam,                                                                                                                                        23 July 2004.
We would like to inform you, that ECOSOC on its regular session in July, 2004, has approved a resolution to grant the "War Veterans Committee" (WVC) a special consultative status.
The Committee from now on can send its official representatives to the UN staffs in New York, Geneva and Vienna. The appointed representatives should receive their pass on the designated offices. It is evident that regular presence of your organization will allow you to carry out effectively and productively your consultative status.
Please, take into consideration, that in the Part II, IV, V, VII and 1996/32 Council resolutions, are given the description of monitoring of your consultative status with ECOSOC. Also pay attention to the Part IX, paragraph 61 which demands that the organizations with a General and Special consultative status should submit a quadrennial report on its activities during 2004 - 2007 to Committee by 2008. You must take into account a necessity to submit a proper report. In the meantime, we suggest you to submit detailed reports on your other activities.
The UN Organization publishes the Agenda of meetings and conferences which can be received by your representatives at UN staffs. Annually you can get through these offices the agendas of meetings of NGOs with consultative status. The latest copy of the agenda
and other information, concerning NGO, can be found on NGO Section Sight:
http://www.un.orq.esa/coordination/ngo.
After all, you should specify your relations with the UNO Organization with your letterhead as follows: "NGO with a Special Consultative status with UN ECOSOC".
The emblem of the United Nations Organization should not be used, if it is not approved officially by the UN staff. It concerns also any forms, documents and printed materials of your organization.

We expect a fruitful cooperation with your organization and its representatives.


                     Ruslan Aushev,
                           Chief                                                                                                                              Hanifa Mezoui
            War Veteran Committee                                                                                                           Head NGO of Section
            Moscow 125009 Rissia


                              United Nations Nations Unies
                                                                          1 UN Plaza, Room DC1-1480,
                                                                             New York, NY 10017, USA
                                                                  Tel: (212) 963-8652 / fax: (212) 963-9248

                                                                                                                                                         
14 July 2006
                      Dear Mr. Aushev,

We thank you for your letter dated 22 June, 2006 and commend you on your praiseworthy initiatives in support of the aims and objectives of the United Nations.
As you may know, Non-Governmental Organizations are the only civil society group with which the United Nations has a formal relationship and only a fraction of the Non-Governmental Organizations applying for Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council actually succeed in entering into a relationship with the United Nations.
In other words, Mr. Chairman, your organization's Special Consultative Status is in itself the official acknowledgement of the reciprocal relationship that exists between the War Veterans Committee and the United Nations based on shared aims and objectives in the field of humanitarian affairs. Moreover, your consultative status implies that the United Nations not only supports your various undertakings but also relies upon the contribution of your programmes to advance the global development agenda as we seek to achieve our common goal of meeting the challenges of the 21th Century.


             Mr. Ruslan Aushev               
           Chairman of Committee
         War Veterans Committee
             Moscow, Russia
        Fax: (495)-692-81-94








TALKING POINTS
by Ruslan Aushev,

Chairman of the NGO War Veterans Committee
at the side events of the 46th session of
the UN Commission for Social development,

6-15 February 2008, New York


Mr. President,
Distinguished participants of the session,
Colleagues,


Our non-governmental organization War Veterans Committee is registered with the Federal Registration Service of the Russian Federation, and since July 2004 under Resolution 1996/31 and the decision of governing bodies has been in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, which is an official recognition of the legitimacy of its relations with this international organization. The Committee comprises numerous international and regional veterans’ organizations from post-Soviet countries, other humanitarian organizations, as well as the Committee for Soldiers-Internationalists’ Affairs under the CIS Council of Heads of Governments, and I am honoured to have been heading it for more than 15 years now. Since last July we have been full members of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in consultative status with the UN (CONGO).

We already took part in two important events, which took place in Geneva last year, namely the ECOSOC session and the CONGO Assembly. We visited New York when we came to the USA in March 2007 at the invitation of US veterans’ organizations. We are familiar with UN agencies overseeing the work of NGOs and top international officials handling these matters.

At the same time, this session is our first UN-based experience in New York. I would like to thank the organizers of this high meeting and to express our hope that our visit to the UN will be used to strengthen ties with this major international organization, that it will serve the cause of strengthening cooperation at all levels in matters of rendering assistance to poor and needy veterans, improving the quality of their life, labour and social adaptation of young veterans and victims of conflicts.

I would like to make some general comments.

Unfortunately the entire history of the human civilization has been full of wars and armed conflicts, in which millions of people have died, got wounded or mutilated. The current global situation continues to be characterized by instability; there is still a threat of wars and military conflicts.

Last November in Moscow at an international conference with the participation of an American delegation, we had a thorough discussion on how to reduce the danger of new wars, alleviate the sufferings of millions of people on our planet and on what contribution veterans’ organizations can make to this process. In a joint declaration it is expressly stated that the parties will support their respective governments, armed forces and law enforcement agencies in their campaign against international terrorism and assist in preserving a safer world for our children and grandchildren, raising future generations on the tragic history of the past wars.

As an international NGO, we have just conducted our 3rd Congress in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku; it was mainly devoted to our foreign affairs and cooperation with the UN.  I will speak on this in greater detail later, in particular since the Congress adopted an appeal to the UN, ECOSOC and CONGO, which contains a request and a call on the international community to pay more attention to veterans in a broad sense of the word, i.e. veterans of foreign wars and peacekeeping operation, victims of local conflicts and their family members. There is no need for me to explain to you that unfortunately such groups of people can be found not only in post-Soviet countries.

Today in various states of the world there live millions of participants in hostilities, peacekeepers, and people with disabilities in need of specialized medical and social aid, rehabilitation facilities, and legal support. Depending on the level of a country’s economic development, the situation in this area differs, ranging from hand-to-mouth existence to highly qualified and timely medical and social assistance and a high quality of life.

Our objective is to establish a regular information exchange among states about the true social status of participants of hostilities, people with disabilities and peacekeepers. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account both the results obtained by state and scholarly institutions and the conclusions and assessments of agencies carrying out an independent monitoring of veterans’ level and quality of life, their health and other aspects.

Also it is necessary to work out common principles and approaches which could affect political and military decision-making in states. Recent history clearly shows that authorities practically ignore the opinion of those who took part in wars. In this context, it is necessary to discuss how to make veterans and participants of hostilities heard, to make politicians respect our opinion. And for this we need the UN rostrum and, just as at this session, an opportunity to express our opinion and affect decision-making.

Now I would like to speak more specifically on our activities.

Taking care about veterans is, above all, the concern of the state and governmental agencies. There exist specific laws; many countries have ministries and other bodies responsible for activities in this field. In others, for instance, in most CIS states, this work is carried out through social welfare agencies under the control of specialized committees set up by legislative bodies. However, a considerable segment of this work requires not only attention from non-governmental organizations and movements, but also direct participation of civil society. In countries where pensions and benefits cannot ensure dignified quality of life even for ordinary pensioners, to say nothing of veterans who took part in hostilites - and these countries, unfortunately, include most of the CIS states - society’s involvement in resolving these issues has become absolutely vital. The main socio-economic indicators of veterans’ standard of life, including pensions, per capita family income, consumer expenditure pattern, medical, household, rehabilitation treatment, and cultural services remain very low. In this category of the population, we see the biggest number of displaced persons and refugees, unemployed, employers in other states, those with incomes below the poverty line.

This is what we are doing. Generally speaking, we help and uphold the rights of those who took part in hostilities, fulfilling their military duty, and those who suffered from hostilities, local conflicts and acts of terror as well as their families. At a conservative estimate, there are about 3 mln. such people in CIS countries.

There are figures characterizing our activities. When compared to volumes of state and non-state assistance veterans receive in some developed countries, these figures are modest. Recently the Committee has rendered assistance to war veterans, participants of local conflicts and victims of terrorism worth several million dollars, which made it possible to provide 1,482 people with prosthetics, 1,010 people with wheelchairs, 3,699 people with medical rehabilitation treatment, and about 200,000 people with medications. By mobilizing the funds of sponsors the Committee is extending financial aid to victims of local conflicts in Dagestan, Osetia, Ingushetia, Transdniestria, Tajikistan, Chechnya and Afghanistan and to those who have suffered from natural disasters.

But that is not the most important. We should encourage society to pay more attention to these issues, constantly push governments, legislative bodies and local authorities towards this, and maintain a high level of concern about these issues in society. Where possible, we should carry out organizational and outreach activities; for example, as part of professional rehabilitation programs, we can arrange for war veterans to receive free training in economics, marketing and management; set up new institutes and rehabilitation centers, carry out medical and humanitarian research, publish books and scientific papers.

Moreover, there are a great deal of issues that require not only purely professional but also humanitarian personal approach.  There are a lot of nuances and sensitive issues involved in the analysis of moral and psychological condition of veterans, many of whom are quite young people in need of a comprehensive checkup, which along with medical clinicodiagnostic methods includes social and psychological examination, an evaluation of psychological health and testing. Of particular significance in rendering such medical and social assistance are repercussions of psychologically traumatic factors and the emergence of the posttraumatic stress syndrome, which becomes an internal reason for a person’s psychological and social disadaptation in society. And in 15 years many veterans emphasize frustration and discontent with peaceful life, the nature of interpersonal relations and new systems of values; they note intolerance toward injustice and propensity for autistic-like behavior. All of these symptoms occur in Afghanistan war veterans, those who participated in hostilities in Tajikistan, Chechnya as well as in victims of terrorism. Of course, all of this interferes with normal life; however, despite mental and physical health problems, most veterans show a trend to avoid going to doctors and psychologists. Our organization’s objective is to set up a database of information on this category of the population and assist them in determining what medical aid is to be administered.

As monitoring of the situation in various countries and regions shows, certain problems arise in determining both a veteran’s status and laws applicable to them. Many of the state bodies are idle, and because of their legal illiteracy many veterans are unaware of benefits they are entitled to under the law. As a result, the degree of coverage of veterans differs drastically in various countries and even inside countries. Our goal is to identify all of those who need and are entitled to receiving aid.

International humanitarian law and human rights constitute a special sphere of our interests. We are very sensitive to these issues as we are engaged in searching for those reported missing in action during the Afghanistan war as well as in burying servicemen in their native countries. The Committee jointly with the governments of a number of states has freed from captivity and returned home 23 people. Last November the Committee’s 10th search expedition found, prepared and brought home another former Soviet prisoner of war Yury Stepanov with his Afghan family. Now the Committee is helping him to find a home and settle down in Boshkortostan.

In this area we cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), we enjoy a good relationship with its regional office in the Russian Federation. Quite recently Mr. Francois Bellon, head of the ICRC delegation in Moscow, handed to us a list of participants in hostilities in Afghanistan who are reported missing in action or displaced. Moreover, in the course of our cooperation we align our positions on human rights issues and principles of organizing humanitarian activities in CIS countries. In particular, we support the idea of establishing cooperation with the authorities in disseminating information about the international humanitarian law and human rights issues. Besides, we consider important the principle that all civilians, including displaced persons, enjoy respect and protection from the authorities in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights.

The outcome of the recently held meeting with the leadership of the influential US veterans’ organization Foreign Wars Veterans is another proof of our concern about general humanitarian issues. During that meeting we signed a declaration of cooperation, among other things, in rendering assistance to the Joint Russian-American Commission on POW/MIAs. This is another evidence that an NGO can affect and in a way take part in shaping the national policy in this area.

As for our new experience of cooperation with the UN, broadly speaking, our organization’s goals are fully compatible with the relevant decisions and UN Resolution 1996/31 and with the spirit of the development goals proclaimed by the Millennium Declaration. We share the idea expressed by the UN Secretary-General at the adoption of the Declaration: “We cannot win overnight.  Success will require sustained action across the entire decade between now and the deadline.  It takes time to train the teachers, nurses, and engineers; to build the roads, schools and hospitals; to grow the small and large businesses able to create the jobs and income needed.  So we must start now.”

As regards our membership in CONGO, we hope that the very essence and the chartered objectives of this organization will help us join the NGO family as a representative of civil society of such an influential and important entity as the CIS and establish a mutually beneficial dialogue with the UN on issues of partnership and cooperation.

There is an element of selfishness in our aspirations. Since in many respects we depend on our sponsors, our efforts to raise funds for humanitarian activities will be more successful if we acquire authority in the UN community.  Business circles  in CIS countries and in particular in Russia will be more receptive to our requests if we carry out our programs under the aegis or in cooperation with this respected international organization if not under its flag.

I would like to make some remarks on the theme of our session “Promoting full employment and decent work for all”. It is fully in line with one of the main areas of the War Veterans Committee activities, and the fact that as the invitation reads “In addition to the priority theme, the session will include review of relevant United Nations plans and programs of action pertaining to the situation of social groups such as: persons with disabilities, youth, ageing, and the family” increases our interest in this event and makes it possible to broaden our possible participation.

In this context, of interest are both our practical actions and our desire to establish cooperation with the International Labour Organization in this area, in which we are quite successful.

Quite recently, last December, at the Headquarters of the International Labor Organization in Geneva I had a meeting with Ms Alyona Neshperova, head of the Eastern Europe office. During the meeting, which was held in a friendly atmosphere, we specified and developed some of the aspects of a possible cooperation of the two organizations, which had been outlined during contacts with the ILO office in Moscow.

This, in particular, referred to proposals for the development of a draft joint program, whose implementation would render practical assistance to war veterans living in the territory of CIS and Baltic states. Discussion was held on issues of employment of those war veterans who found themselves in the territory of another state, on determining their whereabouts, place of residence, medical services as well as the problems arising from migration triggered by the emergence of new states on the post-Soviet space. Other issues included the development of a legal basis for the protection of employment and social rights of a war veteran in a position of a foreign employer as well as general issues of the ILO’s methodology in establishing a civilized labor market in the context of the state-employee-employer relationship with regard to the status of a young veteran or an employee with disabilities.

During these discussions we clarified our Committee’s approach to the development of programs compatible with the ILO methodology, especially with regard to contacts in those areas with state and governmental bodies. We reached agreement that the ILO would transmit to its Moscow office information on the advisability of maintaining contact with the War Veterans Committee. It was noted that the Committee hopes to receive assistance from the ILO Moscow office in the development of programs for helping war veterans in social, employment and migration issues. Provisionally this program can be entitled “Assisting employment of war veterans in the CIS and protection of their social and employment rights”

For its part, the ILO representative noted that the approach to employ NGOs’ capabilities in carrying out joint programs, especially the capabilities of the War Veterans’ Committee, which is directly engaged in work with people with disabilities, is sound and deserves serious consideration and further development.

Mention was made of the program “Towards Sustainable Partnerships for the Effective Governance of Labour Migration in the Russian Federation, Caucasus and Central Asia”, which will run till November 2009. According to the representative of the ILO, this issue is within the competence of the War Veterans Committee, in particular, because of the Committee’s contacts in state bodies and CIS veterans’ organizations.

On the whole, the meeting with the ILO official gave us the impression that further work in this area is promising despite the novelty of the cooperation proposal from an NGO, which due to the specific nature of the veterans’ movement operates along the lines of virtually all issues within the ILO direct competence, and despite the lack of tradition of such a cooperation, at least in the Moscow office of the organization.

However, the ILO made it clear to us that due to its potential as a donor country Russia itself could finance humanitarian programs including those carried out with the use of ILO capabilities and methods, but there was no unambiguous response to a comment by a member of the Committee’s delegation that the Committee, in fact, has to deal with veterans’ organizations in less “wealthy” CIS countries, where even the state cannot render the necessary assistance to veterans in employment matters, including labour migration. It was noted that issues of this kind arise in Central Asian states, in particular, in Uzbekistan, whose labour migration to the Moscow region and districts of Central Russia has been steadily growing recently. Despite the Committee’s own efforts to render assistance in certain labour migration issues in a prompt, virtually back-of-the-napkin way, so far there is no systemic approach to this set of issues as regards numerous veterans, victims of conflicts and their families, to say nothing of an approach under the aegis of the ILO. As the Committee’s representative noted, we feel that the number of problems both organizations deal with and areas of common interests is reaching a level at which the existing agreements should be realized in practical, even though not large-scale and financially burdensome, programs.
      
        On the whole, the contacts we have had leave us with the impression that despite the ILO conservatism, the existing traditions and a certain institutional inertia of this organization, the prospects for the War Veterans’ Committee’s cooperation with the ILO look quite realistic and possible in the context of joint projects and programs, although they require a thorough discussion and setting to paper. Quite
promising is the idea of engaging the ILO through CIS veterans’ organizations that are part of the War Veterans Committee. From the practical viewpoint, it is reasonable to start the development of a project in three areas: the ILO Moscow office, Ministry of Health and Social Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Russian Mission in Geneva. It would be useful to receive “signals” on paper both from veterans organizations and governmental agencies involved in the implementation of a project. According to the Moscow office representatives, a wise approach to the issue may result in the ILO financing in the form of a grant for a research group, for example, on organizing migration of labour force from a CIS country, etc.

I would like to give an example of our everyday work.  Some time in the autumn, our Committee, which is situated in Moscow in Kamergersky Alley not far from the famous Art Theater, was visited by a young guy, an Uzbek, who said he had been sent to us by his father, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, who told him we could help him with employment. The secretary of the Committee explained to him the official way of doing it; among other things, she mentioned the embassy of his country in Moscow. The guy replied that as his dad told him our Committee is more reliable. Of course, we did everything we could to help him, since this is also what our work in the area of employment consists in.

In conclusion, allow me to familiarize you with the text of the Appeal adopted at the 3rd Congress of the War Veterans Committee in Baku. I am not going to read it our - we have circulated it in print, just the way we presented it to the UN top officials.

The issue of veterans is a multifaceted one. Veterans themselves can help the UN in the attainment of its noble objectives, in its campaign for peace and security, in the upbringing of a new generation in the spirit of humanism, respect for human rights and dignity. And they hope for understanding and reciprocation.

And one more thing. While understanding the status of our organization as an NGO and procedural peculiarities of adopting decisions and resolution, which, albeit in a general way, are an expression of world politics on major issues of today, we would like to assure the distinguished audience that we will try to sway national governments of our countries and delegations to sessions to adopt resolutions on veterans and to speak more broadly on this matter, and this is what we are doing here today. The word ‘veteran’ must find its way into UN documents. Help us in this endeavor.

Thank you.
To Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations,
To the Conference of non-governmental organizations (CONGO)



                                                   
THE ADDRESS
                                                                  By
Delegates of the III Congress of   «War veterans Committee»
                                                 Baku, February, 6th, 2008

Delegates of the III congress of the International Union of public associations «War Veterans Committee» (WVC) having since 2004 a Special consultative status with ECOSOC of the United Nations and being a full member of the Conference of non-governmental organizations (CONGO)  having listened and discussed the report of the Chairman of the Union - the Chairman of the «War Veterans Committee» Ruslan S.Aushev emphasize a positive role of the Committee in formation of  factual evaluation of  situation in a number of CIS states concerning   live quality standards  of war veterans, participants in local conflicts and peace-keeping operations.

The Congress points out that in current situation participants in wars and military conflicts, members of their families and disabled living in some CIS member-states do not receive necessary medico-social aid and their life level in certain cases descends below minimum living standard.

The majority of veterans who fulfilling their duty carried out fighting and special missions in interests of states, who got wounds, contusions and various  mutilations thus becoming disabled   find themselves in a difficult financial situation.

There is no harmonious system of health monitoring in the states, and the system of preventive maintenance of disease and disability functions poorly. Problems of MIAs search are being slowly solved and identification procedure of victims’ remains practically does not have adequate financial support from the state bodies. The non-governmental organizations and public associations acting under their own initiative and at the request of parents and relatives of victims tackle problems of life quality improvement, find money resources for search expeditions, carry out necessary actions and genetic tests.

Delegates of the III congress draw attention of governing bodies of the United Nations, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Conference of the Non-governmental organizations (CONGO) to the condition of social status of war veterans and war invalids in the CIS states and simultaneously solicit to promote in every possible way the progression in humanitarian programs developed by the War Veterans Committee concerning the given category of citizens.

Congress of WVC requests to consider a possibility of association and connection of our organization and its structural branches and representatives to already implemented social and humanitarian programs of the United Nations.

Delegates of the Congress expressing serious concern by social status of war veterans will seek all existing means to attain basic change in the situation, to achieve improvement in, and to develop cooperation with departments of the United Nations, specialized UN agencies (World Health Organization - WHO, International Labor Organization -ILO, etc.), the International Committee of Red Cross - ICRC and other international organizations.

Since 2006 together with the governments and non-governmental organizations of the Azerbaijan Republic, Republics of Armenia, Byelorussia,  Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and  Russian Federation the War Veterans Committee has developed and  put into operation the complex humanitarian medico-social program  of life quality improvement of war veterans  and members of their families  and poverty eradication.

Our international Committee and associated member-organizations and  unions fully support United Nations’ achievements, promote wider public awareness  of  UN principles and activities  in correlation with its tasks and purposes and also within  character and degree of  our competence.

In the future  we intend  to inform impartially the governments of the states, the non-governmental organizations and the United Nations Organization on a real situation with veterans and disabled, to continue to develop and introduce new  social and humanitarian programs to struggle against poverty,  to provide  social, medical, psychological and professional help to this  category of citizens, to go on with MIAs search and those  gone in local wars and military conflicts, and to involve business structures in financing  the  projects.

Delegates of the Congress express confidence that only joint efforts will enable to resolve successfully major global problems of the present moment. We request also to convey   this Address to all interested sides and organizations.



War Veterans Committee - WVC
(Special Consultative Status granted in 2004)

Part I.  Introduction

         An NGO - War Veterans Committee (WVC)
is registered with the Federal Registration Service of the Russian Federation, and since July 2004 under Resolution 1996/31 and the decision of governing bodies has been in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, which is an official recognition of the legitimacy of its relations with this international organization. The Committee comprises numerous international and regional veterans’ organizations from post-Soviet countries where main socio-economic indicators of veterans’ standard of life, including pensions, per capita family income, consumer expenditure pattern, medical, household, rehabilitation treatment, and cultural services remain relatively low. In this category of the population, we see the biggest number of displaced persons and refugees, unemployed, employed in other states, those with incomes below the poverty line. The Committee helps and upholds the rights of those who took part in hostilities, fulfilling their military duty, and those who suffered from hostilities, local conflicts and acts of terror as well as their families. At a conservative estimate, there are about 3 million such people in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

      In 2005-2007 the Committee has rendered assistance to war veterans, participants of local conflicts and victims of terrorism worth several million dollars, which made it possible to provide thousands people with prosthetics, wheelchairs, medical rehabilitation treatment and medications. By mobilizing the funds of sponsors the Committee extended financial aid to victims of local conflicts in Dagestan, Ossetia, Ingushetia, Transdniestria, Tajikistan, Chechnya and Afghanistan and to those who have suffered from natural disasters.

The Committee encouraged society to pay more attention to these issues, constantly pushing governments, legislative bodies and local authorities towards this, and maintained a high level of concern about these issues in society. Where possible, the Committee carried out organizational and outreach activities; for example, as part of professional rehabilitation programs arranged for young war veterans to receive free training in economics, marketing and management; set up new institutes and rehabilitation centers, carried out medical and humanitarian research, published books and scientific papers.

As monitoring of the situation in various countries and regions had shown, certain problems emerged for the Committee in determining both a veteran’s status and laws applicable to them. Many of the state bodies stayed idle, and because of their legal illiteracy many veterans were unaware of benefits they had been entitled to under the law. As a result, the degree of coverage of veterans differed drastically in various countries and even inside countries. The goal of the Committee was to identify all of those who needed and were entitled to receiving aid.

International humanitarian law and human rights constituted a special sphere of the Committee’s interests. The Committee remained very sensitive to these issues as it was engaged in various aspects of humanitarian activities including some specific as searching for those reported missing in action during the Afghanistan war as well as in burying servicemen in their native countries. During 2004-2008 the Committee jointly with the governments of a number of states has freed from captivity and returned home 23 people. In November 2006 the Committee’s 10th search expedition found, prepared and brought home another former Soviet prisoner of war Yury Stepanov with his Afghan family. The Committee helped him to find a home and settle down in Bashkortostan (Russian Federation).            In 2005-2007 the NGO expended areas of activities adhering new member veteran’s organizations from the CIS countries, regions of Russian Federation and Bulgaria. It established contacts and strengthened relations with veterans’ organizations from other countries, namely USA. In joint declaration with “Veterans of Foreign Wars of the USA”  the Committee  stated the intent “to continue cooperation in the humanitarian field, focusing  work on integrating the efforts of their countries’ government, public, and other organizations at resolving the most important social and legal problems faced by war, local conflict, and military service veterans”.


PART II  Contribution of the WVC to the work  of the United Nations


i) Participation in the work of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies and/or major conferences and other United Nations meetings.

1) ECOSOC Substantive session of 2007, Geneva, 2-27 July 2007
.

The delegation of the War Veterans Committee attended the session as observer lobbing for the inclusion of veteran’s organization theme into agenda. Due to delay with request to be heard by the Economic and Social Council during the session the delegation of the Committee limited its activity by attending some plenary sessions and side events and establishing useful contacts among national delegations, UN stuff and NGO delegates. We were received by UN Under- Secretary and Director of UN Office in Geneva Mr.S.Ordzhonikidze who approved our drive in this direction as acknowledgement of the reciprocal relationship that exists between us and the United Nations based on shared aims and objectives in the field of humanitarian affairs. Introduction and presentation of the Committee’s activities to Ms.Renate Bloem in the vicinity of the session led to negotiations resulting in admission of WVC to full membership in the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (CONGO).


     2) UN Commission for Social development,  46th session, New York, 6-15 February 2008.

The delegation of the War Veterans Committee attended the session as observer lobbing for the inclusion of veteran’s organization theme into agenda. The Committee actively voiced its positions on the veterans’ matters meeting prominent and influential UN officials participating in the session. The delegation met with UN Under-Secretary General Mr.Sha Zukang, President of ECOSOC Mr.Leo Merores, Chair of the Session  Ambassador Alexey Tulbare, Chief NGO/DESA Section Ms.Hanifa Misoui and her Deputy Ms. Michele Bilant-Fedoroff , Chief  NGO/DESA/DSPD Unit Mr.Yao Ngoran, Chair of the Executive Committee of NGO Associated with UN DPI Mr.Jeffery Huffines,  Chief of ECOSOC and Interorganizational Cooperation Branch Mr.Sergei Kambalov and many other UN officers and members of national delegations who were extremely helpful in substantive  advice and assistance on how to move the veterans’ case into broader UN agenda.

With assistance of the Russian Permanent  Mission to UN a presentation-briefing made by the WVC President  Mr.Ruslan Aushev  and  covering  the  topic “WORKABILITY, EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK  FOR VETERANS OF LOCAL WARS, MILITARY CONFLICTS AND PEACE-KEEPING  OPERATIONS” was organized and held at UN. It was stressed in the Talking points by the President of WVC: “The issue of veterans is a multifaceted one. Veterans themselves can help the UN in the attainment of its noble objectives, in its campaign for peace and security, in the upbringing of a new generation in the spirit of humanism, respect for human rights and dignity. And they hope for understanding and reciprocation.  While understanding the status of our organization as an NGO and procedural peculiarities of adopting decisions and resolution, which, albeit in a general way, are an expression of world politics on major issues of today, we would like to assure the distinguished audience that we will try to sway national governments of our countries and delegations to sessions to adopt resolutions on veterans and to speak more broadly on this matter, and this is what we are doing here today. The word ‘veteran’ must find its way into UN documents. Help us in this endeavor.” Booklets and Talking points by WVC President were distributed during the briefing and the session.

During the meetings with UN Under-Secretary General Mr.Sha Zukang and President of ECOSOC Mr.Leo Merores The Address By  Delegates of the III Congress of   «War veterans Committee»  that had been convened in Baku (Azerbaijan) on February, 6th, 2008 was handed to prominent UN officials.

ii) Cooperation with United Nations bodies and/or specialized agencies in the field/or at Headquarters.

1)
In December, 2007 the delegation of WVC headed by Ruslan Aushev had a meeting at the Headquarters of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva  with Ms Alyona Neshperova, Head of the Eastern European office. During the meeting some aspects of a possible cooperation of the two organizations which had been outlined during contacts with the ILO office in Moscow were specified and developed.

This in particular referred to proposals for the development of a draft joint program that implementation would render practical assistance to war veterans living in the territory of CIS and Baltic states. Discussion was held on issues of employment of those war veterans who found themselves in the territory of another state, on determining their whereabouts, place of residence, medical services as well as the problems arising from migration triggered by the emergence of new states on the post-Soviet space. Other issues included the development of a legal basis for the protection of employment and social rights of a war veteran in a position of a foreign employer as well as general issues of the ILO methodology in establishing a civilized labor market in the context of the state-employee-employer relationship with regard to the status of a young veteran or an employee with disabilities.

During these discussions we clarified our Committee’s approach to the development of programs compatible with the ILO methodology, especially with regard to contacts in those areas with state and governmental bodies. We reached agreement that the ILO would transmit to its Moscow office information on the advisability of maintaining contact with the War Veterans Committee. It was noted that the Committee hopes to receive assistance from the ILO Moscow office in the development of programs for helping war veterans in social, employment and migration issues. Provisionally this program can be entitled “Assisting employment of war veterans in the CIS and protection of their social and employment rights”

On the whole, the meeting with the ILO official gave us the impression that further work in this area is promising despite the novelty of the cooperation proposal from an NGO, which due to the specific nature of the veterans’ movement operates along the lines of virtually all issues within the ILO direct competence, and despite the lack of tradition of such a cooperation, at least in the Moscow office of the organization.

However, the ILO made it clear to us that due to its potential as a donor country Russia itself could finance humanitarian programs including those carried out with the use of ILO capabilities and methods, but there was no unambiguous response to a comment by a member of the Committee’s delegation that the Committee, in fact, has to deal with veterans’ organizations in less “wealthy” CIS countries, where even the state cannot render the necessary assistance to veterans in employment matters, including labor migration. It was noted that issues of this kind arise in Central Asian states, in particular, in Uzbekistan, whose labor migration to the Moscow region and districts of Central Russia has been steadily growing recently. Despite the Committee’s own efforts to render assistance in certain labor migration issues in a prompt, virtually back-of-the-napkin way, so far there is no systemic approach to this set of issues as regards numerous veterans, victims of conflicts and their families, to say nothing of an approach under the aegis of the ILO. As the Committee’s representative noted, we feel that the number of problems both organizations deal with and areas of common interests is reaching a level at which the existing agreements should be realized in practical, even though not large-scale and financially burdensome, programs.
      
2) The Committee co-operated in humanitarian field with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and we established good working relations with regional delegation of this organization in Moscow. In October, 2007 the Head of the ICRC delegation in Moscow Mr. Francois Bellon had handed over to us the list of missing and displaced persons available at their disposal as far as destinies of participants of operations in Afghanistan were concerned. Besides, in the course of cooperation we pulled together the positions concerning human rights adherence and principles of the organization of humanitarian activity in territory of the CIS countries. In particular, we supported aspiration to adjust work with the authorities of all levels on spreading knowledge of human rights. Besides, for us the principle that all civilians including compelled immigrants, were held in respect and could seek protection from the authorities according to international humanitarian standards was very important.
   
During visits of WVC delegation to Geneva in July and December 2007 it had very substantive meetings with prominent and responsible ICRC officials - Ms.Isabelle Barras - Head of Operations in Eastern Europe and her Deputy - Mr.Jerome Sorg,   Mr.Olivier Jenard  - ICRC Program Coordinator in Afghanistan, where further steps to accelerate mutual cooperation in humanitarian field were discussed in detail.  

3)
  In July 2007 the delegation of WVC had a meeting with Chief executive of the Office of the General Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Mr. Bill Kean. During the meeting the state and prospects of future relations between two organizations had been discussed.

The head of WVC delegation Mr.R.Aushev had underlined that the socio-medical direction of the Committee’s activity remained of a principal basic nature as we were dealing with veterans, disabled, victims of local conflicts and members of their families who despite the fact that some of them were quite young  required qualified and rather sophisticated and specialized medical aid.

R.S.Aushev has told that the purposes of the Committee’s  visit to Geneva as the important international and U.N. Center were to promote expansion of cooperation in the areas close to the competence  of many international organizations having headquarters in Geneva.  He  especially underlined importance of work with WHO in this direction. It has been directly noticed, that, despite objective difficulties in the Committee work on the post-Soviet territory, connected, first of all, with the big number of veterans, invalids, victims of local conflicts and members of their families, and also heterogeneity of development and various social and economic base in the countries and regions, the Committee expands the work and actually constitutes a coordinating centre of veteran movement on the post-Soviet territory and some foreign countries. In these conditions, it had been underlined, we wanted, that we could have been accepted to the United Nations and NGO family as partner equal in rights, that, in our opinion, would allow to coordinate our programs with the international organizations, to give to these programs some kind of an U.N. impulse and to obtain from the international community a recognition and encouragement. From its part the Committee was ready to bring any feasible contribution to efforts and programs of the international organizations in particular of the WHO in humanitarian sphere.
        
The WHO representative   had noted that scales of the Committee’s activities, the directions and programs realized by WVC in many respects coincide with aspirations of the WHO in various spheres. He mentioned worldwide programs of medico sanitary intervention, for example, in the field of monitoring of mental health and any kind of deviative behavior. Besides, the WHO considered undoubtedly important themes of medical consequences of traumas, violence and physical inabilities, and also struggle against bad habits in particular smoking and alcoholism. In this regard some of WHO programs were noted which were carried out by that time in Russia including particularly on the territory of the Northern Caucasus.

4) In July 2007 The Committee joined as full member The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO) that so far in many stances facilitated our endeavors to participate in United Nations debates and decision-making. We tried to be active at the major UN centers where CONGO is present - New York and Geneva.

·As in was mentioned in July 2007 when we came to Geneva to participate in ECOSOC substantial session we met then President of CONGO Mrs. Renate Bloem and familiarized her with our NGO and its goals. She was quite positive about our endeavors and principles, and shortly after we joined full membership in CONGO. Since then we moved quite soundly in building up our relationship with international NGO community and UN bodies in Geneva stressing our adherence to UN principles and MDGs.

·In December 2007 we participated in the 23rd General Assembly of CONGO and joined the General Debate that included discussions relating to reform efforts of the United Nations and NGOs and various thematic dialogues - on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - and CONGO at 60, with a focus on the role and future of CONGO. As newcomer we presented our short introductory address to GA that was met with appreciation and consent.

·In February-March 2008 the Representative of WVC to ECOSOC/CONGO assisted as observer to CONGO Board Meeting  (28 February - 1 March 2008, Church Center, New York) where he joined general discussion and made some introductory remarks on WVC activities and its goals. Contacts and exchange of views with a newly elected President of CONGO Mr.Liberato Bautista  were extremely sincere and helpful in understanding continuing CONGO policies to assist a variety of NGOs in consultative status to promote their common aim of supporting the UN Charter and to develop that status further to enhance their relationship and cooperation with the UN and its various organs. It was once again agreed and understood that CONGO provides  forum for NGOs with common interests to come together to study, plan, support and act on issues relating to the principles and programs of the UN and its network of agencies. The Address by Delegates of the III Congress of   «War veterans Committee» that had been convened in Baku (Azerbaijan) on February, 6th, 2008 was handed to the CONGO President. 5)  On February,29,2008  the WVC Representative met in New York  with  Special Assistant to the Executive  Director of the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP) Ms.Constanze Westervoss.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a possibility of establishing partnership relations between the United Nations and private investors and large companies in Russia and other CIS countries that could enable  financing WVC  programs in various humanitarian areas (medico-social rehabilitation, employment, the help to victims of conflicts and local wars)  and some other United Nations programs  in particular within the limits of realization  of  Millennium Development Goals(MDG) under aegis  and flag  of the United Nations.

       The UNOP Representative having been familiarized in advance with materials on WVC activity and, in particular, with the Message of the III Congress of the Committee to ECOSOC and CONGO despite somehow innovative character of a veteran case for UN priorities accepted a possibility of creating in future a kind of a triumvirate Fund - United Nations- WVC - Private companies from Russia to finance common programs. The sides agreed that after corresponding legal study and transposition of the matter into concrete documents the suggestion from the Committee could be realized in practice.  


iii) Initiatives undertaken by the organization in support of internationally agreed development goals, in particular, the Millennium Development Goals, which now form the basis of the global agenda for the 21st Century. 

Medico-social direction

Within 4 year period the Committee actively carried out:

·interconnection and work with public organizations,  governments of the states, bodies and establishments of public health services and social security system of the Azerbaijan Republic, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kirghiz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Estonia on rendering  medico-social help to veterans of wars and local conflicts;
·working out and realization of programs and the international projects of a medico-social orientation ( presented to the governments of aforementioned states,  co-coordinated with 7 states, transferred to 67 public organizations, 146 establishments and presented  to ECOSOC, WHO and UNDP);
·direct work with participants of war, their members of families,  invalids, victims of terrorism with a view of meeting their requirements for medical consultations, hospitalization, rendering therapeutic help, prosthetics, rehabilitation, procurement with invalid carriages and wheelchairs, rehabilitation means, etc;
·organizational-methodical and scientific work, participation in the edition process of magazines « Problems  of Rehabilitation » and «Hospital medicine»;
·international cooperation with veteran organizations, medical and social security centers of the USA, Germany, Israel  and Great Britain.

  During 2004 - 2007 the Committee has developed and realized:

     1) The complex program of rehabilitation of veterans of wars, invalids, members of their families in following states: the Azerbaijan Republic, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kirghiz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Republic Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.

·For 4 years the medico-social help is rendered to 97142 veterans of wars, members of families and parents of the victims who participated in military operations in Afghanistan, Angola, Vietnam, Egypt, Korea, Syria, Mozambique, including 94465 persons  provided by medicines, 1624 grave patients had received treatment in the specialized centers, scientific research institutes and clinics of Moscow, 936 invalids received prostheses, 1365 invalids - were provided by invalid carriages, wheelchairs and rehabilitation means, 1530 persons are provided by sanatorium and rehabilitation treatment.

·For 4 years the Committee rendered  help to 120 establishments and public organizations, that included:
·creation of branches of medico-psychological, social and professional rehabilitation on the basis of hospitals for veterans of wars;
·building of  rehabilitation centers  in the regions of aforementioned states, creation of the prosthetics centers;
·carrying out of medico-social and sociological monitoring of families of disabled and chronic patients;
·creation of local databases on war veterans, including data on their social and economic position, state of health and social adaptation level.
         2. In 2006 the Committee has developed the program «National features of life quality of war veterans and struggle against poverty». The program is realized in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Kirghiz Republics.

         3. In 2007 the humanitarian program of the medico-social help to families of war veterans and disabled was developed. Its realization is begun in the Russian Federation (the Moscow area, Dagestan, Tatarstan). Within the limits of this program  is carried out:
§   an estimation of  basic social and economic indicators of  living standards of families of veterans, invalids and victims, including the size of pensions,  per capita income in a family, structure of consumer expenses, medical, household, healthcare  and cultural services;
§    help in  organization of preventive safeguarding and treatment of drug  and alcohol abuse, a HIV-infection, introduction of a healthy way of life;
§    help to deprived families in maintenance of preschool and out-of-school education and formation of children, assistance in receiving of higher and average vocational training;
§    help to social establishments (houses of invalids, boarding schools, pension houses, etc.) and to  lonely veterans-patients on individual basis.

        4. Since 2005 the program «Northern Caucasus-XXI century» is  developed and realized.

Financing of programs
is carried out at the expense of following funds and sources: off-budget sources  of  veteran organizations - 67,4 %, resources of  charitable organizations and grants - 14,2 %, donations of  public organizations and citizens - 6,0 %, the means allocated  through budgets  of governments of the  CIS member-states-12,4 of %.

The Committee organized and convened 8 international conferences, 4 seminars on medico-social problems, 2 international competitions on the best results of war veteran’s rehabilitation establishments in which 186 establishments from 15 states had participated.



    
[1][2]
            Major UN related events by the War Veterans Committee (2008-2012)

                                                   

    1) The 3-d International Convention of the War Veterans Committee (WVC) held in Baku on 6 February 2008 addressed Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and Conference of Non-governmental organizations (CoNGO) with an appeal to confirm the importance of veterans’ issue in UN agenda and validated   WVC position to continue realizing consultative status in the field of veteran affairs.
   2) The WVC delegation participated in the 46th Session of the Commission for Social Development from 6 to 15 February 2008 at United Nations in New York.  12 February 2008 - side event presentation and press-conference by the WVC delegation: «Workability, employment and decent work for veterans of local wars, military conflicts and peace-keeping operations” with written and oral statements.
  3) 13 February 2008 - a meeting of WVC Delegation with Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang where viability of the veterans’ issue in UN agenda had been confirmed.
  4) 14 February 2008 - Meeting of VWC Delegation with ECOSOC President Leo Merores took place at UN.
  5) WVC Representative  participated in the CoNGO Board meeting held from 28 February to 1 March 2008 in New York.
   6)  29 February 2008 - WVC Representative  negotiated with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) to explore a possibility for Russia-based private companies to participate in UN supported programs aimed at providing assistance to veterans.
   7) 29 May - 6 June 2008 - WVC Representative attended Resumed session of the ECOSOC Committee on non-governmental organizations held in New York.
   8) 3 June 2008 - a meeting by WVC Representative with principal officers of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) in New York took place where broad issues of cooperation and obtaining associated status with DPI had been discussed.
  9) The WVC representative attended the 61st Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference held from  3 to  5 September 2008  at UNESCO headquarters in Paris named “Reaffirming Human Rights for all: The Universal Declaration at 60” and participated in  Midday Workshops of the Conference.
   10) 10 September  2008  - a briefing at the UN Information Center in Moscow - a detailed presentation by WVC representative  who shared  impressions of the Paris Conference and supported WVC drive to enhance cooperation with UN and DPI. 
11) 13 October 2008 - a detailed presentation of the WVC UN related activities at the meeting at hearings in the Russian Council of Federation (upper Chamber of the Parliament).

12) 15-16 October 2008 - meetings with local authorities and representatives of public organizations of Republic of Bashkortostan (Russian Federation) and former Soviet serviceman of Afghan war who was captured prison and then returned home by WVC search expedition together with his Afghan family. During the meeting a concise analysis of WVC activities and its UN-ECOSOC affiliations had been presented.
.
14) 10 December 2008 - The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the Department of Public Information (DPI) approved WVC for the association with Department.
15) 20-23 May 2009 - WVC Representative attended the Resumed session of the ECOSOC Committee on non-governmental organizations held in New York.
16) July 2009 - ECOSOC Session High Level segment in Geneva - «Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regards to global public health». WVC Delegation (Vice-President and Representative to ECOSOC) presented side event - “Better health for war veterans: what NGO can do in alignment with UN Goals”.
17) 12-17 November 2009 - WVC hosted in Moscow CoNGO Delegation (President and his aid). A number of UN and CoNGO related activities had been included into the program of the visit.
18) 26 August 2010 - Meeting and discussions in Moscow of matters of eventual WVC cooperation with the newly appointed Executive Coordinator of the secretariat of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development.
19) 20 March 2011 - Congratulatory Letter by WVC President to K.Tokaev - a newly appointed Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva in which principal questions of WVC cooperation with UN had been touched.
20) The 4th International Convention of the War Veterans Committee (WVC) held in Moscow on 16 March 2012 adopted a resolution confirming the adherence of the organization to UN principles and goals and voted to enhance its consultative status with ECOSOC and association with DPI.