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About the Conference

From January 29 – 30, 2018 the 5th International Mayors’ Conference NOW “Shaping the Future – Social Cohesion in our Cities”, under the auspices of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, took place in Vienna.

The conference addressed social cohesion on communal levels, with a special emphasis on children and young people, using a human and children’s rights based approach. Social Cohesion has become a burning issue for communities across Europe. The constant increase in social inequality, resulting in a rising polarisation of society, has recently been accentuated by the current subject of integrating refugees and migrants. A constructive approach to handling this challenge is essential if we are to make a change for the better.

Participants from various backgrounds – mayors, NGO-representatives, experts, local and new arrival children and youth – from Europe and the MENAT region discussed and promoted new political visions, public discourses and impactful policies to improve social cohesion from a human rights perspective.

The conference provided a platform for exchange on lived realities, existing challenges, promising and successful approaches on a municipal level with dedicated spaces to co-create, share and network. The 5th NOW Conference organized by Act.Now in cooperation with the Bruno Kreisky Forum for international Dialogue was curated by Dr. Viola Raheb, Ass. Professor, Faculty of Protestant Theology, Department of the Studies of Religions, University of Vienna.

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