Non-Governmental Organisations


Strasbourg, 28 November 2008

CDCS (2008) 23 rev.

EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL COHESION
(CDCS)

21st Meeting

Strasbourg, 11-12 December 2008

COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS
RESPONSIBLE FOR SOCIAL COHESION

“INVESTING IN SOCIAL COHESION:
INVESTING IN STABILITY AND THE WELL-BEING OF SOCIETY”

Moscow, 26 - 27 February 2009

_________________________

PRELIMINARY DRAFT PROGRAMME


Thursday 26 February 2009
 

9.30am     Opening session

(Host Minister, Secretary General, representatives of the Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities)

This first Conference of Ministers of Social Cohesion will re-launch the debate on the important role of social cohesion for European societies in the context of globalisation and the economic crisis.  The Conference will assess the political commitment necessary in order to strengthen social cohesion as society’s capacity to achieve, maintain and improve well-being for all, while applying an inclusive approach based on shared values.

The Conference will explore the level of investment required to guarantee social stability based on equal access of all to social rights and opportunities.

In addition to respect for universal access to social rights, the Ministers will concentrate on the content and further development of those rights, including for the most vulnerable groups.

11.00am   Coffee break

11.30am   Presentation of the Report on Social Cohesion in the 21st century by Mary Daly, Chair of the High Level Task Force

followed by comments /
discussion by ministers

1.00pm  Family photo, lunch (offered by the Secretary General to Ministers)

3.00pm  Session I

“Reinvesting in social rights and building confidence in a secure future”,
moderated by…………..  Panel discussion

More than rapid solutions and immediate answers, social cohesion deals with the “how to proceed”, taking into account the process as part of the result. It is in the context of “how to proceed”, including “how to dialogue”, that discussion on social rights becomes a debate on social cohesion. Session I will emphasise the link between social rights and confidence in the future, the link between recognised rights, effective rights and the capacity to act together.

4.30pm    Coffee break

5.00pm Session II

“Social cohesion as a responsibility shared by all - strengthening mechanisms of representations and social and civic dialogue”

moderated by…….  Panel discussion

Shared responsibility, in the sense that everyone is also responsible for the society as a whole, demands each stakeholder to discover and value their own capacity to contribute to the life of society, which requires support and legitimacy from public authorities. Session II will explore the link between shared responsibility and civic and social dialogue.   Inclusive dialogue for shared responsibility needs to be transformed into indicators for well-being and action tools.  This session will invite reflection on how to develop and apply innovative forms and content of such dialogue.

6.30pm    End of session

7.00pm  Reception offered by the Host Minister

Friday 27 February 2009

9.30am    Session III

“Policies for social cohesion and for well-being for all – a vision for the future”

moderated by……. Panel discussion

Session III will seek answers to how to build a future for all in an uncertain and permanently changing world. Special attention will be paid to how young people can maintain their hopes and enthusiasm for living together peacefully, develop a positive outlook on diversity and strengthen the common good.  Only a firm political commitment to the common good can overcome the uncertainty felt by citizens about their individual and shared futures.

11.00am Coffee break

11.30am Adoption of the Political Declaration

12.00 noon  End of conference