UIA Associations Round Table Brussels, 2022


Cyril Ritchie

President of UIA

Keynote: 'Do Associations need a Code of Good Practices? If so, What?'

Recognizing the enormous diversity of associations and of their "causes", the speaker will raise the question as to whether common standards (good practices) are even possible.

There will be three main headings:

  • The Independence of associations
  • The Cooperation that is needed to achieve social justice, human rights and all other aspects of human wellbeing
  • The Personal Responsibility and standards of association leaders and representatives, including sensitivity to issues of diversity, inclusivity, vulnerability.

Workshop: 'Why is the United Nations relevant to YOUR Association?'

It is mainly the UN General Assembly or Security Council that are the subject of items in the media, plus perhaps some coverage of major humanitarian actions for refugees or disaster victims.

But the United Nations System has over 50 organs, departments, agencies, commissions and other entities, working every day to set standards, safeguard the environment, restore and maintain peace, protect rights and much more.

The Workshop will illustrate examples of collaboration (existing and potential) between UN bodies and associations, and indicate entry points.


Union of International Associations: President since 2017 - Bruxelles

Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO): President 2011-2018; First Vice President 2018-2025 - Geneva, New York, Vienna

Council of Europe Expert Council on NGO Law: President 2008- 2018; Honorary President from 2018 - Strasbourg

World Future Council: Senior Policy Advisor since 2012 - Hamburg

Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI): Chair since 2000 - Nairobi

Titular of the World Order of the Smile (since 1979) – Government of Poland

International Civil Society Forum for Democracy (ICSFD, 2006): President - Doha

World Civil Society Conference (WOCSOC, 1999): President - Montreal

International Council of Voluntary Agencies: Executive Director 1964-1978 and 1990-1991 - Geneva

Edoardo Guglielmino

Business Development, visit brussels

Workshop: 'Associations’ life made easier – Support initiatives at your service'

International Associations’ life in Brussels has been on the table during the whole pandemic and the decision was taken to try to make it easier. From practical toolkits about VAT, safety and legal aspects to a brand new concept of site inspections and the decision to support even more our associative key partners, you might find the right answer to your questions.


Edoardo Guglielmino was born in La Spezia (Italy) and graduated in International Relations at the University of Genoa in 2009. In the same year he moved to Lyon and started working in the events industry representing Italian companies in international trade fairs. In 2015 he joined GL Events as a business developer, promoting Lyon as a destination for international association’s congresses. Edoardo is a founding member of the ICCA France Benelux Chapter Educational Committee and was “ad interim” Chair of the summit of 2019. Co-organiser and host of the 2018 UIA Round Table in Lyon, in 2019 he decided to join the visit.brussels Convention & Association Bureau in order to work closely with international associations and support them in organising their events in Brussels.”

Marijke Roelants

Managing Partner BoldLAW

Workshop: 'Revising Your Association’s Statutes: How to get Started. Ready, set, go!'

Revising statutes is not generally something one looks forward to. Nonetheless, you will soon have no choice than to embark on this journey, because the Belgian legislator obliges all non-profit international associations with their seat in Belgium to align their statutes to the new Companies and Associations Code.

Do not worry too much. In this legal session, we give you from start to finish an outline of the five-step revision process. On top of that, we discuss hot legal topics that you may encounter along the way. Being aware of the pitfalls beforehand, will avoid time consuming mistakes when revising the statutes. This session is interactive, so we are happy to answer questions from participants during the session.


Marijke is Managing Partner at BoldLAW, a Brussels based law firm specialized in the management and operation of companies and associations. Marijke is an experienced lawyer with extensive experience in the assistance of both international and Belgian firms and associations. Clients praise Marijke for her clear communication and analytical skills helping them to move forward quickly and constructively.

Apart from being a lawyer, Marijke is also academically active. She has written valued publications in her fields of expertise and since more than 10 years she is a member of the editorial board of the most distinguished corporate and association law review in Belgium, TRV-RPS (‘Tijdschrift voor Rechtspersoon en Vennootschapsrecht- Revue pratique des sociétés’).

Katarina Oja, Feriel Saouli & Vanessa Terrier

SEC Newgate EU

Workshop: 'The future is digital: how to stay in tune with the latest social media trends?'

With communications and advocacy entering the digital space, international associations have had to rethink how to effectively engage online. So how do you strengthen your digital presence and adapt to this new, fast paced digital world? In this workshop, you will discover the latest digital trends, understand how they have evolved and what to expect next. These insights will be brought to life through a selection of creative campaigns from some of the digital champions in the EU to get your creative juices flowing and provide some tips and tricks on how to sharpen your digital presence, particularly on social media.


Katarina Oja

Digital Consultant, SEC Newgate EU

Katarina is a digital communications professional I, with experience in driving social media content creation, developing apps and websites and designing data-driven digital campaigns and strategies. Katarina specialises in digital analytics and data visualisations, using a story-telling approach. She is an Utrecht University graduate with a Master’s degree in New Media and Digital Culture.

Feriel Saouli

COO, Director of Association & event management, SEC Newgate EU

Feriel is a seasoned and passionate association executive. She has over 20 years of experience in the management of non-profit organisations providing her clients with strategic advice, spanning from recommending best legal set-up, sound governance, managing their government relations, designing and implementing communication campaigns and membership strategies, ensuring their financial and legal compliance, overseeing their congresses, events and day-to-day operations. Feriel has managed over 10 organisations ranging from trade associations to large professional societies in a variety of sectors (environment, energy, healthcare, etc). She launched SEC Newgate EU’s association management practice.

Vanessa Terrier

Senior Communications Consultant, SEC Newgate EU

Vanessa has over 10 years of experience in PR, corporate and digital communications. She has successfully conceptualised and rolled out digital campaigns across various sectors, platforms, and target audiences. Vanessa gained in-depth knowledge of social media management, significantly improving the social media reach and relevance of the companies she has worked for across various channels. She holds a Master’s degree in European Affairs from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Vanessa is a native English, French and Spanish speaker.

Nienke van der Malen & Bregje Frens


Workshop: 'Is there a need for a new way of tendering, after the pandemic?'

Times have changed – and so have the decision-making factors for finding your conference destination. Nowadays, topics like sustainability, legacy, ecosystems and health and safety measurements take precedence in your thoughts. However, are these already incorporated into your tendering process? How are your local hosts dealing with these new parameters and how can you take matters into your own hands? Topics that will be covered during this session will be:

  • Which factors contribute to the economic growth of your association?
  • Which factors are the most important in the search for your next destination?
  • How do you keep local hosts involved?
  • Did your tendering process change recently, and if so, how?
  • Can the tendering process be simplified?
In a group discussion we will come to some answers.


Nienke van der Malen

CEO & Founder, Conferli

Nienke van der Malen – van der Horst, CEO & Founder, Conferli, is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history in marketing, branding and acquisition.

Bregje Frens – de Leeuw

Association Manager, Conferli

Bregje Frens – de Leeuw, Association Manager, Conferli, is a talented coach and trainer with a strong track record in sales and business development.

Philippe Noirhomme

European VAT Desk

Workshop: 'VAT and related issues concerning international associations'


Philippe Noirhomme is a certified tax adviser working with European VAT Desk. He previously spent 11 years with Ernst & Young Tax Consultants in the Indirect Tax department, and is currently a Lecturer at the Tax Institute of the University of Liège and Teacher at Solvay Brussels School (Executive Master in International Association Management). He is co-author of “VAT Package : the new rules applicable to services”, published by Editions Larcier in January 2010.

Ryan Brubaker

UIA – Union of International Associations

"Achieving goals, finding partners: UIA’s Global Civil Society Database"

UIA provides tools and data to help associations with their outreach, event planning and more. Ryan will present a number of UIA's tools, including a live demo of 'Open Yearbook' and 'Open Calendar', explain the history and future plans of the Global Civil Society Database, and will answer questions about how associations can best take advantage of these free resources.


Ryan has worked as a web and database developer at UIA since 2011. He is responsible for the user interface of UIA's databases, the ongoing development of its website and the visual identity of the organization. He also provides regular training sessions on the use of UIA's Yearbook of International Organizations and International Congress Calendar digital publications. Before joining UIA, Ryan ran a communications design studio crafting online identities for associations and small businesses.