The City of Kristiansand is proud to be hosting the third European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights on 5 May 2022. The conference is organized jointly with the Council of Europe, the University of Agder, Kilden Performing Arts Centre, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (SKMU), Arkivet Peace and Human Rights Centre, Cultiva Foundation, and Agder County Council.
Democracy and respect for human rights are essential in the development of a prosperous society as we know it. These values must be at the core of the cooperative order in Europe and its nations. We share the concern over the many challenges to the fundamental values, and Kristiansand wants to add its voice in support of safeguarding democracy and human rights in Europe.
The European order has never been challenged more profoundly than through the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is in every way contradictory to respect for democracy, human rights and fundamental values.
The European Conference 5 May 2022 will focus on the situation in Ukraine and will also address questions that are important for the institutions and nations of Europe, in order to support prosperity and peace. The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights are cornerstones of trust and confidence for our citizens in uncertain times. The Council of Europe is committed to defending and upholding the Convention and the Court.
In this connection, the Council of Europe has stressed the importance also of local initiatives to support the respect for democracy and human rights. It is important to keep up our focus and attention on these matters. Therefore, Kristiansand has entered into an agreement with the Council of Europe to use the occasion of the Europe Day to convene, every year, a European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights.