Ms Raluca Popa, one of the key speakers at the Minsk International Conference on Gender Equality, Project Advisor of Gender Equality Division of DGII of the Council of Europe, in her interview to ODB-Brussels explains how equal rights and opportunities for men and women are being promoted, their connection to the protection of human rights worldwide, as well as why these values are universal and important not only for Belarus.

On June 15-16, Minsk hosted the international conference "Ensuring Gender Equality in Social Life". The event was organized by the Department on political matters of the Council of Europe, the Democratic Governance and Gender Unit of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Council of Europe Information Point in Minsk and Belarusian State University. The conference was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

On May 28-29 Minsk hosted the International Conference "Minsk after Riga: a Forum on Reforms, or How Can Belarus Adapt and Develop in the New Regional Contexts?"  During the event, experts from Belarus, the EU, Ukraine and Russia reviewed the results of the Eastern Partnership summit held in Riga, as well as prospects for reforms and attraction of investments to the Belarusian economy, accession of Belarus to the European Higher Education Area and new challenges that have arisen in the media-sphere in connection with the situation in Ukraine.

Swedish expert Fredrik Björk, lecturer at Malmö University, on the challenges facing the global economy and traditional business and why social entrepreneurship and social innovation are promising areas. The expert made his presentation at a panel discussion "Business Built On the Principles of Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship" that was part of scientific and practical conference "Management and Participation in Sustainable Development Processes" held during the Sustainable Development Week 2015.

How can a small or medium-sized business start a CSR project, what are the goals pursued by NGOs and how can corporate social responsibility affect long-term profitability of a business? - Expert Marina Saprykina, who co-developed the project of Ukraine's National CSR Strategy and is the head of the Centre for CSR Development (Ukraine), explained how corporate social responsibility is developing in Post-Soviet countries and shared practical tips on how CSR can be used to help grow a business. More details in her personal interview.

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