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Building a Cohesive Society

BNRU hosted a conference on 'The Role of Local Government in the Formation of a Cohesive Society'

The conference was organised by the University in conjunction with the Belgorod Regional Association for Local Municipalities. Leaders and representatives of local administrations, regional authorities, and academics came from Russia, as well as from Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria and Ecuador to take part. The conference concerned issues around building a cohesive society, and also improving the way officialdom communicates with the public.

Dr Tatyana Bocharova, Executive Director of the Belgorod Regional Association for Local Municipalities, asserted that efforts at social cohesion begin at local level. Professor Valentin Babintsev, stressed that without social justice it is impossible to form a cohesive society, saying,

The problem of building a cohesive society is cultural. We need cultural cohesion, which is formed at local community level. Building cultural cohesion is much more difficult than building roads. First and foremost, you need to learn to listen to and to trust each other.
Professor Babintsev went on to say that even introducing ideas of a cohesive society into the public consciousness is complicated by those who formulate these ideas.

Professor Victor Sapryka, head of the Institute of Managements Department of Social Technology, spoke about getting the best out of project management at the municipal level. According to him, in order to build a successful, cohesive society, effective drivers are needed, one of which is project activity.

The conference also addressed the problems faced by local communities in improving the social welfare of older citizens, the role of education in the formation of a cohesive society, the role of local media as a force for local unity, and the availability of information and support for social cohesion in Belgorod Region's local municipal councils.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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