By Claire West,

Equalities Minister Jane Hutt has stressed the importance of everyone working together to make Wales a fair and equal country when she addressed a conference organised by the Welsh Government and the School for Social Sciences (SOCSI) at Cardiff University.

Speaking at the conference — Equality 2020: Creating our vision for Wales - the Minister outlined her vision for equalities in Wales alongside representatives from the Third Sector and academics from Cardiff University.

Jane Hutt said:

"I have always been an advocate for equality and inclusion and I'm fully aware that prejudice and discrimination are still alive. But I also think we need to be able to recognise our successes and move forward, adopting an approach which learns from the past but is designed for the future.

"The Welsh specific equality duties give us a unique opportunity to build on the solid foundations that have already been laid in Wales. We need as a Government to work even more closely with public authorities to make Wales a fair and equal country.

"We need to continue to recognise the vital role of the third sector in understanding the barriers people face, in delivering innovative ways to tackle inequality, and in holding us to account.

"I strongly believe that the way forward is to emphasise our positive vision of the kind of country we want Wales to be in 2020 and beyond. A place where inclusion is the norm, where services and facilities are genuinely accessible and welcoming to everyone.

"We can only achieve this by working in partnership, to re-invigorate and strengthen our resolve to work together to achieve genuine equality, inclusion and human rights in Wales."