20th June, 2017 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         
The 2017 Eurodiaconia Annual General Meeting officially opened today in Oslo, Norway, attended by nearly 90 participants representing churches and social service providers from 33 different countries and territories.
This year’s Annual General Meeting will provide the opportunity to reflect on the challenges that arise from precariousness and polarisation in its many forms; relating to work, financing our social systems, human and social rights, identities and values. This weakening of the social fabric allows diaconal actors to reassess their important role in fostering social cohesion in the face of increasing precariousness and polarisation.
As churches, NGOs and social service providers founded in the Christian faith, Eurodiaconia members are deeply concerned with the instability and fragility that is increasingly posing a threat to societies across Europe. Coming together as actors working for social justice on a daily basis, Eurodiaconia members acknowledge the value to be placed on all humans regardless of social, economic or religious status, and strive to better form the glue that holds us all together.
In her welcoming message, Eurodiaconia Chairperson Carla van der Vlist expressed how “during this General Meeting we don’t want to look away from the fact that there is a tangible precariousness regarding people’s lives. This is just why we are here, to strengthen our approach to advocate for better social and economic structures that bring about the possibility of a dignified life. We remain committed to those who contribute their talents for a fairer and stronger society for all Europeans with less poverty, inequalities and isolation.
Following the opening service and session, the three-day programme will allow participants to take part in member and partner-led workshops, broaching themes relating to precariousness, including migration, populism and Diaconia and healthcare. Building on the concerns regarding the social risks of precariousness, the programme will in addition give participants the opportunity to visit seven services and projects delivered around Oslo by our hosts, Diakonhjemmet and Church City Mission Oslo, to gain a better understanding of how social and health care services being run in and around Oslo are serving the most vulnerable.
An official declaration is expected to be issued by Eurodiaconia at the closing session on 22nd June, the final day of the Annual General Meeting.
Eurodiaconia is a Europe-wide network of organisations committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality and justice. We currently have 46 members in 32 countries who are churches and NGOs rooted in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia.
An official declaration is expected to be issued by Eurodiaconia at the closing session on 22nd June, the final day of the Annual General Meeting.