The Istanbul Declaration was adopted today at the 2nd Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Social Cohesion. The Declaration "Building a secure future for all" will serve as a major guideline for effective and innovative social cohesion policies and actions in Council of Europe member states, especially during times of financial and economic crisis.
The event takes stock of the implementation of the Council of Europe's "New strategy and action plan for social cohesion", highlighting good practices and developing new approaches to foster social cohesion in diverse European societies based on human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law.
Ministers responsible for Social cohesion focused on two subthemes: "Protecting and empowering groups of vulnerable persons, particularly in times of crisis" and "Achieving social sustainability through intergenerational solidarity", and on "The Way Forward".
A debate held during the conference tackled issues related to equitable access to social rights, social justice and reinforcement of social protection mechanisms to provide "deep security", and to promote living together peacefully in multicultural and socially cohesive societies.
"Social cohesion cannot be achieved without intercultural and interreligious dialogue and successful policies cannot be devised without the participation and involvement of civil society", has declared Councıl of Europe Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, at the Conference.
Azerbaijan offered to host the next Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Social Cohesion in 2015.