ECOM Steering Committee Meeting held on July, 6, 2017 in Tallinn (Estonia) deliberated on a range of key topics, including ECOM Strategic and Operational Plans, Communication Strategy and Code of Ethics, admission of new members and review of the existing membership base, as well as the Secretariat Report for the second quarter of 2017.

The Steering Committee has reviewed the Strategic Plan of the Coalition for 2017-2021 that has earlier been approved by the members of the organization.  The Operational Plan 2017 elaborated pursuant to the Strategic Plan was presented by Elena German, ECOM Program Director. The Operational Plan describes in details the activities planned to be implemented by the Secretariat in compliance with the Strategic Plan’s outcomes and outputs.

The Steering Committee has also given consideration to a draft of ECOM Communication Strategy that aims to develop a sustainable communication framework to disseminate news and analytics on HIV/AID and LGBT in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Steering Committee members have proposed a number of amendments and revisions to strategy, to be finalized by a working group.

Audit results of the Coalition members were presented at the meeting. Based on the audit outcome and in line with the ECOM Charter Article 2.4 (“The Management Board makes decision based on the resolution of the Steering Committee of the Association and immediately informs the members to be excluded of the exclusion resolution and its reasons. The member to be excluded is entitled to submit a question for reviewing to the General meeting”) and Article 3.2, subparagraph 2 (“Inform the Steering Committee through the Secretariat of the Association of their valid contact data for the Secretariat to could keep correct records of the members of the Association”), it had been decided to cancel ECOM membership for those organizations and initiative groups who have repeatedly failed to confirmed their membership.

The Steering Committee has also approved new membership application requests from NGOs “Human Health Institute” (Kazakhstan) and “Single Step” (Bulgaria), and individuals Petr Polyantsev (Ukraine) and Vitaly Lavrick (Ukraine).

With membership-related amendments introduced to the Charter, the initiative groups which are currently ECOM members are requested to re-register within one month and appoint a single member of the group to represent the entire group at ECOM, or apply for ECOM membership following group’s official registration.

Due to recent changes in Russia which have resulted in reduction in the number of preventive programs and associated funding, the ECOM Steering Committee decided to elaborate a position paper to advocate for support of services and allocation of funding to Russia.

The ECOM Steering Committee has requested the Secretariat to strengthen monitoring of harassment and violence on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the region, and to establish a harassment and violence response system.

Following the meeting, the Steering Committee members attended the conference and other events in the frame of the Baltic Pride and the Tallinn Pride.

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