The Humanitarian Forum of the 60Th Parallel Regions Has Started in Ugra
7 december 2019
Department of Public and External Relations of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra informs:
The Governor of Ugra Natalia Komarova has opened the fourth international humanitarian forum “Civil Initiatives of the Regions of the 60th Parallel”, which is being held in Surgut from December 7 to 8.
“It is very important that the relations built in the region are accessible to a large number of people. It will allow us to understand whether we are moving in the right direction, whether our points of view coincide with global trends,” said the head of the region before the event. “Any development plan must be oriented towards social models. The forum is a testing platform for such ideas and projects. In the future, they must become a tool for responding to challenges. ”
The head of the region emphasized that, at present, the civil society is reaching the level of international humanitarian cooperation. Therefore, the strengthening and development of communication between the regions of the 60th parallel, and generation of ideas and practices for the development of civil society were chosen as the forum ideology. And the participation of the non-profit sector in solving social problems, involving volunteers in this work, improving the mechanism of public control are the relevant areas for each of the forum participants.
“Hundreds of people take part in the 4th international humanitarian forum “Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel”. These are the representatives of non-profit organizations and NGOs, volunteer movements, authorities and business community from 22 municipalities of the okrug and the guests from 9 regions of Russia. Our foreign partnership is represented by the colleagues from India, Serbia, Latvia, Australia and Thailand. Together, we strive to create an atmosphere of cooperation and trust in society, to act on the same agenda, to expand the space of freedom for civil initiative,” said Natalya Komarova.
She also mentioned that the agenda of the forum covered all areas, without which the development of society would become impossible: economics, culture, science, sociology, digital technology, the social sphere, and education. Each of the Russian regions and the foreign states participating in the current event, have their own unique achievements in these areas. “We can concentrate and turn them into a new impulse for the development of civil society,” said the Governor. “I am sure that the memories of the participants will be replenished with interesting ideas, the right connections that will help in the implementation of the effective development of civil society.”
During the opening ceremony, Michael Collins, CEO of Salym Petroleum Development, emphasized that the foundation of a civil society is a partnership between government, society and business. In his opinion, it is business that must stimulate its development, be a connecting link between citizens and authorities, and build this dialogue.
“We believe in the value of partnership with the government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug,” he said. “The Forum is an opportunity to share the best practices, learn new things, and explore unique ideas for building a civil society.”
Ms. Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum of Countries, who arrived in Surgut from India, noted that the forum of the 60th parallel regions has long gone beyond the Eurasian continent, expanding its influence and the circle of participants.
She especially noted that in modern society, women leaders are beginning to play an increasingly important role in the world arena, achieving serious success in various fields of activity. “Women are very important in strengthening peace, security and resolving key social, economic and humanitarian issues. Often, it is they who make decisions that become the turning points for entire countries and continents. In this regard, I believe it is very important that Natalya Komarova proposed
an initiative of organizing the Eurasian Association of Women – Regional Leaders. This is a large platform for organizing the joint work of local leaders, sharing experiences and developing modern solutions,” said Purnima Anand.
She emphasized that women of the BRICS countries face the same problems, despite the difference in their cultures. Thus, they have the opportunity to consolidate their efforts in working on a wide range of issues.
“Women, who participate in this forum, represent a wide variety of areas: governmental, non-governmental, non-profit organizations, business, science, culture and others. Working on this platform, we will be able to achieve serious successes in developing solutions to enhance the role of women in an actively changing world,” expressed her confidence Purnima Anand.
However, she said that in 2020, in India and Thailand, many events are planned dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. In this regard, they invited the Ugra residents to participate in them.
A deputy of the City Assembly of Belgrade, Draginia Vlk, noted that globalization in modern society significantly affects the national security of countries. In this regard, in her opinion, the development of more advanced mechanisms to strengthen the security of countries is required. Women leaders will also be able to play a significant role in this process, including during the work of the international humanitarian forum “Civil Initiatives of the Regions of the 60th Parallel”. “The Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug has long become a reliable partner of Belgrade and the whole of Serbia. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this event, and to share experience,” she said.
The UN Goodwill Ambassador for Industrial Development Veronika Peshkova, in her turn, emphasized that the development of humanitarian initiatives, women's entrepreneurship and leadership is an integral part of the UN agenda. The potential of women’s contribution to the economy is estimated at the level of some $ 28 trillion. This is roughly comparable to the economies of China and the United States of America. “It is a very significant contribution to the world gross product. Therefore, the development of women's entrepreneurship and leadership, of women's humanitarian initiatives is not only a human and legal aspect, but also a serious potential for economic growth. Humanitarian initiatives and joint international projects are the most important elements of public diplomacy, which make it possible to unite different countries, peoples, companies and non-governmental associations,” she stated.
At the panel discussion “Development of civic engagement: results and new trends”, Leonid Shafirov, Member of the Russian Public Chamber, President of the Association of Honorable Citizens, Mentors and Talented Youth, said that Ugra is traditionally human-oriented, which is reflected in all projects implemented in the region. He particularly highlighted some successful practices in socialization of children with disabilities and in the support of their parents.
“The whole country is aware of the practices of the Autonomous Okrug in supporting people who turned out to be in difficult life situations and ended up in prison. Here, we even have temporary shelters for such people. They have an opportunity to keep in touch with their families and even develop their own business,” he said.
In addition, Leonid Shafirov highlighted the okrug’s unique experience in supporting orphans - mentoring.
“The residents of Ugra take part in the management decisions making process. This is not the case in many other regions. The Governor’s resolutions also pass through public examination. This practice needs to be replicated,” he concluded.
He was supported by the director of the “Grani” Civil Analysis and Independent Research Center, co-chair of the presidium of the Russian Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Svetlana Makovetskaya, who added that
in 2019, the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug once again confirmed the high status of the leading region in the ranking of state entities, for their work in creating a support system for socially oriented non-profit organizations, social entrepreneurs and the transfer of services in the social sphere.
Natalya Komarova extended her gratitude to the experts for their high estimate and underlined that this year for the region has become a time of mobilizing resources to achieve national goals set by the President of Russia. “This is a significant phase of work. It is important that the Government of the Russian Federation brought our approach to notice – we have received a grant in the amount of 1 billion 165 million rubles. And the Government of the Autonomous Okrug has decided to fully transfer it to the municipalities,” told the Governor to the discussion participants.
It should be noted that the forum “Civil Initiatives of the Regions of the 60th Parallel” is a unique platform for sharing their best practices by the representatives of the government, non-profit sector, and businesses.
Its participants, the number of which exceeded 700 people, discuss the issues of public control and human rights work, share their ideas on attracting citizens to local self-government, and present their best practices in terms of civil initiatives.
The program of the event includes a plenary meeting, foresight sessions, lectures, panel discussions, a training seminar, as well as the ceremony of awarding the winners of the Recognition-2019 Award for socially significant projects and successful civil practices.
Let us remember that the first forum of civil initiatives was held in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2016. Then, its participants presented the best practices in development of the social services market, volunteering, and the formation of a single digital space. According to its results, the Charter of Civil Participation in the Development of the Arctic Regions was adopted, which is being implemented to this day.