At 10 am on December 10, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation will host the international conference, From Inequality to Justice: World Experience and Solutions for Russia.
Members of the Civic Chamber and foreign participants will discuss various aspects of inequality − economic, social and environmental, as well as societies’ demand for equal opportunities in healthcare and education.
The participants will discuss in detail the reasons behind the high level of inequality in society and ways to reduce it using the world’s best practices.
The conference will be attended by experts, academics, politicians and public figures from Cambodia, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. The economic and social councils and other Civic Chamber partner institutions within the AICESIS will be widely represented at the conference.
“The issue of inequality in its different manifestations is typical in the world,” said Secretary of the Civic Chamber Sergey Ordzhonikidze
. “Existing inequalities create serious barriers to development,” he explained.
Amb Ordzhonikidze recalled that for the first time the need to resolve problems of inequality on a global scale by eliminating poverty and hunger, and ensuring access to universal primary education and environmental sustainability were formulated in the Millennium Development Goals that were later changed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals that promote the improvement of life on the whole planet.
“To make progress all representatives of civil society must pool their efforts. The Civic Chamber believes it is necessary to discuss and consolidate world practices in overcoming inequality with a view to meeting the needs of society for justice. Over the next two years the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS) will focus on ways to reduce inequality. The Russian Civic Chamber takes an active part in its work. The conference is the beginning of an expert dialogue at the Russian domestic and international levels on this subject,” Ordzhonikidze said.
Adviser to the President of Russia Valery Fadeyev who was the Civic Chamber Secretary until recently, recalled that the right to work for reasonable wages is a constitutional human right in Russia, along with the right to healthcare and education.
“According to social polls, millions of Russian citizens are concerned about inequality and a huge gap in incomes, as well as poverty. People have a demand for social justice and we cannot ignore it, all the more so since inequality not only affects social life but also impedes economic growth. The wealthy consume exclusive luxuries whereas an increase in poverty leads to the erosion of the middle class,” he added.
, Deputy Chair of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on development of economy, entrepreneurship, service sector and consumer market said that the Civic Chamber of the sixth convocation made the issues of reducing inequality and ensuring social justice one of the four key themes of its work.
“We have consistently advocated the increased role of civil society in determining ways to reduce inequality and we have submitted this agenda at international venues. This international conference will logically continue this work, which will make it possible to collect and analyse successful world practices and draft new decisions that will facilitate the achievement of the national goals mapped out in the president’s May executive order,” he said.
Two plenary meetings will take place during the conference: “Justice for everyone: Curbing inequality as a key goal of our time” and “Strategy to overcome inequality in the Russian Federation: New approaches based on the international experience.”
It will also include six thematic sessions: “Education for everyone: How to ensure equal access to modern education,” “Economy for everyone: narrowing the opportunity gap and lowering income inequality,” “An ideology platform for fighting inequality: Looking for a fair way,” “Healthcare for everyone: how to provide universal access to high-end medicine,” “Social policy: fighting social inequality and polarization of society,” and “Spatial development: how to secure equal quality of ecology, housing and urban environment.”