Werner Fayman
Federal Chancellor

“Everyone hast the right to life, liberty and security of person” says Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in the 21st century millions of people continue to live with the threat of war, disasters and terror. This does not only mean destruction of people’s livelihoods, but also of victim’s hopes and dreams, leaving a long-term negative impact on their future.
The tireless work for peace and the creation of a humane society are central goals of both politics and science – and we must not accept any trade-offs in our efforts towards reaching them.
Due to its own past experience, Austria is committed to an uncompromising respect for Human Rights. This conference is an important signal to the international community, stressing that politics and science must strive for one common objective – the reduction and prevention of suffering.
My special thanks go to the organisers of this conference, Dr. Brigitte Lueger-Schuster and Professor Manfred Nowak and their assistants for their valuable work and commitment. But I would also like to thank all of you, speakers and participants, for your efforts and great personal contribution.

With my very best wishes for a constructive and successful meeting,

Werner Fayman
Federal Chancellor



Dr. Michael Häupl
Mayor and Governor of Vienna

I am very happy that Vienna was chosen as a venue for one of the most important conferences in the field of psychotraumatology and Human Rights, the ECOTS 2011 (European Conference on Traumatic Stress).
The trust, which the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) is putting in our city, reflects the high reputation which Vienna acquired in this field. Vienna offers a political, economic and institutional basis for interdisciplinary research platforms like “Human Rights in the European Context”. Also, the Boltzmann-Institute for Human Rights (BIM) bundles solid competences in the research of fundamental rights. However, the creation of an appropriate framework is not only restricted to the academic field, as can be seen by the establishment of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2007. Lots of different private initiatives, like the Society for Human Rights Austria, find a connecting factor thereto.
As the mayor and governor of Vienna I stand for diversity, openness and tolerance. The sensitization of people for the protection of fundamental rights, respect for human dignity and mutual respect in everyday life is my highest political priority. With all my heart I wish you a good success – may this conference bring all the anticipated successes.



Dr. Michael Spindelegger
Federal Minister for European and International Affairs

Strengthening human rights and the rule of law, ending impunity as well as making the voices of victims of egregious human rights violations heard was among our main priorities during Austria’s membership in the UN Security Council in 2009-2010. We have successfully advocated for better mechanism to prevent and to protect against sexual violence, in particular of the most vulnerable members of society. We have made particular headway in advancing the protection of civilians in armed conflict during the Austrian presidency of the Security Council. The adoption of Security Council Resolution 1894 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict was a noteworthy major breakthrough in advancing human rights standards, in particular victim’s rights, such as care, rehabilitation and economic and social reintegration of victims. This resolution offers specific approaches for integrating the victim assistance concept into the international community.

Austria also played a leading role among the states which promoted the signing of the 1997 Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. As part of the Austrian mine action programme, Austria co-funded projects for mine clearance and victim assistance with 8 million Euros in the last five years, especially in the Balkans, in Africa, and in Afghanistan.

The serious consequences of human rights violations on physical and mental health, strategies for healing as well as the links between traumatisation, justice and reconciliation are important issues to be discussed by the 12th European Conference on Traumatic Stress. I wish the organizers and all participants much success in their endeavors and a successful conference.



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