International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions

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Global Civil Society Cohesion for a Sustainable Response to Global Crises


On August 24-25, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation organized its traditional regional “Community” Forum, which this time was hosted by Kazan, capital of Tatarstan. The topic of the Forum was “Russia: Diversity of Cultures, Unity of Citizens”.




More than 2300 representatives of Russian civil society, local and foreign nongovernment organizations, government officers attended more than 33 events and discussion sessions of the Forum.


Top Russian federal and regional authorities participated in the plenary session moderated by the President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, President of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS) Lydia Mikheeva.


Lydia Mikheeva reminded to the audience that the “Community” Forum is an open working platform for a tripartite dialogue between society, business and government and is held in different regions of Russia so that representatives of the nonprofit sector can exchange their views and experiences. In her speech she emphasized the growing role of public diplomacy.


“Against the backdrop of an unprecedented crisis in international relations, the role of civil society in organizing international dialogue is constantly growing. Whereas cancel culture faced by officials has become the new normal, it does not exist at the level of communication between common people. Ordinary Europeans treat us very well, especially in those countries that we have long-standing friendly relations and cultural commonalities with. Our connections must be used in order to preserve civilization, reason and peace,” Lydia Mikheeva said.


Rustam Minnikhanov, Head of Tatarstan Republic, stressed that the cohesion and unity of citizens is the basis of socio-political and socio-economic development, with interethnic and interreligious peace and civil harmony being the subject of special concern.
Apostolos Xyrafis, Secretary General of the AICESIS, in his speech highlighted the role of AICESIS in fostering intercultural dialogue and bringing together the representatives of civil society.


“The world continues to face serious challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis to growing inequality and divisions. It’s clear that achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will depend on stronger international solidarity and more inclusive multilateralism and collective global action. And for doing so the world needs to work together on risk reduction to ensure a sustainable response to future global crises”, Apostolos Xyrafis stressed.


Banu Nurgaziyeva, President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, called on Russian colleagues to continue effective interaction and change the world together for the better.


“Let's do everything in our hands together to make life wonderful in our countries. That is what really matters,” Banu Nurgaziyeva said.
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