Skopje, Republic of Macedonia 3-5th October 2018

SEEHN supporting European Safe Community Network (ESCON) as partner to the Conference


ESCON aims at strengthening existing International Safe Communities in Europe and promotion of the formation of new communities to be accepted into the Safecom movement towards Violence Free Community achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Injuries and violence are a major public health burden across the globe.  The Global Burden of Disease Studies has documented unfair distribution of violence and injury by socioeconomic strata in Europe. This gradient, existing within and between countries, must be addressed. Experts in injury prevention and safety promotion recognize the need for action and practice and consistently applying to policies and programs in the field.

ESCON is working against public indifference towards the burden of violence and injury and promoting safe community and community based interventions against violence and injury.

Address by Dr Mira Jovanovski Dasic within the opening session at the 6th European Safe Communities Conference Skopje, 3 October 2018

 Your excellences,
Distinguished guests,
Dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen

 It is my great pleasure to address you in the capacity of the Director of the SEEHN Secretariat and Partner in the organization of this Conference. South Eastern European Health Network includes the following 9 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State of Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania and the Republic of Serbia.

All 9 countries of the SEE Health Network at some point in the recent history have faced conflicts and participation to this Conference as a partner will bring not only first-hand experience but also innovative solutions and important practical guidance. SEEHN is providing support to its Member States to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and I am proud to state that all SEEHN Member States are developing and implementing national health policies aligned with Health 2020, committing to inter-sectoral government policies towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The theme of this Conference Achieving Sustainable Development Goals – Towards Violence Free Community”, is of outmost importance and targets our basic instinct of security in the hostile times we are living today. We all want to live safely in our communities and I wish us all during the following days to focus on finding new ideas, exchange good practices and experiences to come up with prerequisites on how to deal with this challenge and to make safer our neighbourhood and ultimately the world.

We all witness how one event on one continent can impact another or globally and consequently the global contest becomes common all over the world. SEE countries share geographic, demographic, economic and political specificities and thus face similar challenges, such as:

  • political turbulences, frequent governmental changes undermining the implementation of reforms and resulting in lack of continuity
  • economic constraints
  • less public health oriented services
  • inequities
  • migration and refugees challenge
  • climate change etc.

Therefore, I must highlight how complex this issue is and what factors can contribute towards achieving Violence Free Community – starting with safe water supply, violence free families, prevention of violence among young people, children abuse, injury prevention, suicide prevention, safety of the elderly, safety at work, in the transport, at school, public spaces and our homes.

The mentioned aspects of safe communities and violence prevention prerequisites make us aware that there are no universal and unique recipes and approaches, so, we need adjusted solutions, more efficient and integrated approach. Health systems play a crucial role and have direct involvement in many aspects in terms of safe communities and it should be reflected on providing services more efficiently and less costly to ensure health services of high quality, with patient safety at their core.

I am very happy to join you, representing SEEHN as partner, and personally, because safety is the condition sine qua non for daily activity and development for a society. That is why Safe Communities Conference is a very useful platform for us to share, discuss and exchange experiences.

In the light of the above mentioned, I would like to thank in advance the participants of the 6th European Safe Communities Conference, for the contributions and remind that they will have responsibility to spread this knowledge for achieving the aim of Violence Free Communities more efficiently.

Wishing you fruitful discussions I thank you for your kind attention.

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