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Book Launch

"Between Past and Future - The Roma Center for Eastern Europe", Will Guy (ed.), 2001

"State of Impunity, Human Rights Abuse of Roma in Romania" - European Roma Rights Center, 2001

"On the Margins, Roma and Public Services in Romania" - Open Society Institute, 2001


OSCE Conference

... read the entire news coverage OSCE Conference

55 COUNTRIES INVITED TO CONFERENCE ON ROMA ISSUES

Between 10th - 13th September the OSCE Conference "Equal opportunities for Roma & Sinti: translating words into facts" will take place.

300 delegates are invited from all 55 OSCE member states. The conference is co-funded by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU Phare Programme. It will take place at the Bucharest Marriott Hotel and will be officially launched by Prime Minister Nastase on Monday 10th September at 1500.

The aims of the conference are:

  • To review the way in which OSCE participating States fulfil their commitments in respecting the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, in combating discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
  • To compare Roma policies from the EU Candidate Countries and to assess Roma policies from the EU Member States;
  • To offer the opportunity of a concrete and substantial review of measures and policies for Roma and Sinti population adopted in the last decade, especially since the OSCE- Council of Europe's Conference in Warsaw, 1994.
  • To raise awareness of governmental institutions about the necessity to create structures and legal official instruments to combat racism and discrimination.
  • To gather motivated human resources and the necessary expertise for outlining a Draft OSCE Action Plan on Roma and Sinti according to Instambul Summit documents.

The Conference is organized in plenary sessions, working groups and round tables.

The Opening Plenary's aim is to review the OSCE commitments and actions on Roma and Sinti during the decade of 1990- 2001, and to identify elements for an OSCE Plan of Action on Roma and Sinti Issues.

The topics to be disscussed in the Conference are:

  • For the 1st Working Group: combat of discrimination, effective policy making for the improvement of living conditions of Roma and Sinti, tackling the roots of East- West migration and asylum seeking;
  • For the 2nd Working Group, the topics are: advancing political rights of Roma and Sinti; innovative practice for an enhanced political participation of roma and Sinti in national and international policy making.
  • The 3rd Working Group will have the following topic: Roma in situation of crisis and post- crises rehabilitation in the OSCE region.
  • The Round Table will be organised by the EU Phare programme and its theme is to analyse and compare the efforts of the EU canditate countries for the improvement of the Roma situation. In addition, all 15 EU member states are invited to make short presentations about their national policies relating to the Roma minority.

Apart from the Opening Session on Monday 10th, the conference is closed to the media - but daily updates will be posted on the National Office for the Roma website, in the special section "OSCE Conference News"

The Closing Plenary will contain reports of the Workiong Groups and Presentation of the OSCE Representative: elements to outline an OSCE Plan of Action on Roma and Sinti Issues.

Roma and government minority experts will be invited from the OSCE participating States, as well as from EU member states and EU candidate countries. 300 participants have been invited from all over Europe and north America.

The conference will be officially declared open in the presence of :

  • Romania's Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase,
  • Foreign Affairs Minister, and CiO of OSCE Mircea Geoana,
  • the OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights advisor on Roma and Sinti affairs, Nicolae Gheorghe,
  • and the Charge D'Affairs of the European Commission in Romania, Andre Lys.

Over the three day conference, a series of Roma cultural events (book launches, art exhibitions, updates from the region) will be organized. These will promote the creative and intellectual capacity of the Roma minority as well as address a series of key issues of the day (e.g. an update on the Roma situation in Skopje).

The conference was organized by the following groups:

  • OSCE / ODIHR (Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) developed the concept, agenda and guest list;
  • The Chairman in Office (CiO) of OSCE promoted the conference as part of its annual agenda
  • The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-financed the evant and organised it
  • The EU- Phare Program co-funded the event and organised the Round Table Session
  • Numerous Roma NGOs were also involved in the organising of the event and should be thanked: Aven Amentza, Romani CRISS. Phoenix, Roma Christian Centre (Sibiu), Roma News, etc
  • Numerous volunteers were also involved in the organising and implementation of the event and their names will be published in a separate announcement

DAILY UPDATES WILL BE POSTED HERE

 
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