“To us, respecting human rights, the democratic system and the rule of law means making them real, ensuring their vitality, making them part of our everyday lives […] The best way of instilling these skills and values is to incorporate at all levels of formal and non-formal education the minimum corpus that needs to be passed on from one generation to the next as the vital element unifying our diverse societies”, - pointed out Ambassador Josep Dallerès, Permanent Representative of Andorra, at the opening of the 2nd meeting of the International Contact Group on citizenship and human rights education, which was held on 11-12 April 2013 in Strasbourg. He welcomed the participants on behalf of the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, and expressed strong support for the inter-institutional cooperation.
This second meeting of the Contact Group allowed the participants to share information on the latest activities and on the future priorities in the field of citizenship and human rights education. The topics discussed included the implementation of international and regional legal instruments in this area, the focus of the third phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education and links to other related areas, such as inclusive education and intercultural education.
The Contact Group was set up in 2011 to ensure close cooperation among the partner institutions, and it brings together the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), the European Commission, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Organization of American States (OAS) and the Council of Europe.