Message from Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs :

Dear members of the Conference of INGOs,

On the occasion of World NGO Day, we wish to pay tribute to the work of civil society that is focused on Human Rights, Reconciliation and the Rule of Law, in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Unresolved conflicts continue to affect certain parts of the European continent, putting at risk the safety, unity and democratic governance of societies and threatening the populations concerned, including NGOs. The Council of Europe has to contend with such situations. In these territories NGOs contribute significantly by documenting all kinds of human rights violations, bringing them to light, caring for victims and assisting them in seeking justice. While certain information about the human rights situation in these regions is publicly available, little is known about the situation about civil society and NGOs, the environments they operate in and the challenges they are confronted with.

Conflict situations are also those that NGOs encounter when operating in polarized societies. Growing polarization within societies in Council of Europe member States is endangering democracy and the rule of law in Europe. In political debates, extreme groups amplify the tensions within communities that operate in a hostile climate marked by hate speech, negative stereotypes and prejudices addressed towards the “other side”.

In this perspective, on Friday 26 February from 10.00 to 13.00 an online discussion will take place.

I invite you to read the attached concept note (in English) and contact me ( if you wish to contribute with a longer intervention (7 minutes) in English and be registered on the list of speakers on the first or second panel.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely.

Anna Rurka

President of the Conference of INGOs

concept note World NGO Day 2021