Welcome Message by Ms. Fatma SAHIN, the Minister
As the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, we are proud to host the international event entitled "Progress in Women's Human Rights in the Third Year of the Istanbul Convention", which will be held in Istanbul at the WOW Hotel on November 6-8, 2013 with the cooperation of the Council of Europe, and UN WOMEN.
Respect for human rights, fundamental rights and freedoms and equality of women and men have become common values of the international community, as result of the historical experience accumulated on the path towards civilization. Thus, the principle of “promotion of equality and prevention of discrimination” has become the basis of all international human rights documents. Today, women’s benefitting from fundamental rights and freedoms and their participation in decision making mechanisms at all levels, more effectively and efficiently in all societies are of critical importance for sustainable development and the establishment of peace on the path towardsdemocratization. Combating violence, which is the most severe obstacle before attaining these objectives, is a challenge, which we should spare no effort to overcome.
I am proud to underline that Turkey is the first country to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention, not only with the belief that the Convention will be one of the most powerful tools in combating violence against women, but also as an indicator of the importance we give to women’s rights. As a result, we have undertaken the organization of this event with the hope of ensuring that more countries will sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention.
In this event we expect to host senior officials from the Council of Europe, the UN, the EU, Ministers from the member countries of the EU and representatives of various institutions and non-governmental organizations active in Turkey.
I deeply believe that this very special eventwill contribute to the rights of women all over the world.
Minister of Family and social Policies