Honoured Mr. Zhbogar,
Honoured Minister for Communities and Return Mr.Jevtic,
Honoured Dep. Minister Mr. Usmen,
Honoured Deputy, Honoured Mr. Merxha ,
Honoured resident representative of UNDP Mrs. Osnat Lubrani,
Initially I would like to congratulate to all of you 8th April the International day of Roma as this is a day of celebration for the history, culture and Roma tradition as well as one of the most important days in the history of Roma community, the Day of keeping first Roma International Congress in 1971 “Comité International”. Keeping of this Congress is considered not only as a great achievement but also as a new political movement that promoted and strengthened worldwide emancipation activities for the Roma community by influencing creation of different active political organizations of Roma within and outside Europe. Thanks to the establishment of the Roma organizations, world lobbying, cooperation with international organizations and institutionalization of their issues, today Romas are also in position to impact political process in the international level.
However, since then, even though many years have passed, this community is continuing to face numerous difficulties and problems all over Europe which mainly stems from the simple fact that they remain to be among the most stigmatised and misunderstood communities worldwide.
As a Minister of European Integration I feel necessary to use this meeting today to remind all of you the promise that Kosovo people have made through its elected representatives on the date of Declaration of The Independence of Kosovo that Kosovo will be a multi ethnic state where all its citizens will be equal regardless of their ethnicity, religion, colour or the language that they speak. Our Constitution also, especially in the articles 22, 59, 60, 61 and 62 guarantees representation of the Roma community and at the same time fights discrimination against them.
Without a doubt, this is a great promise and Kosovo in its way towards consolidation of the state is facing lot of challenges at the same time but the institutions of Kosovo and especially us as a Government haven’t forgotten our obligations in the field of respecting human rights.
For this reason, we are constantly working on creation of legislation and relevant policies that will ensure affirmation of the equal rights for all minorities that live in Kosovo and in particular for the Roma community.
In this regard one of the most serious and important steps in the process of integration of the Roma community that Kosovo Government has undertaken is drafting of Strategies, concrete plans for the implementation of these strategies and also monitoring, reporting and implementation of the concrete plans and projects for this community. In addition, relevant mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and assessment of this Plan were created with a broad institutional representation, whose main role is to:
• to follow the implementation of the Action Plan for the implementation of the strategy for Integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Community, 2009 – 2015,
• to examine issues in the political level and to take constant steps for the improvement of the situation and
• to harmonise and coordinate the investments from the Government and donors .
I will personally monitor this process closely, which will ensure improvement of the situation for your community, contribute to the joint development of the Kosovo and communities that live here and we also hope that it will impact the reduction of the need for illegal migration.
I want to emphasize that our success doesn’t depend only on the work of institutions but also from the support of the citizens in this regard. Therefore, in this occasion I want to address all citizens of Kosovo to show their generosity and tolerance in order to grant Kosovo inter-ethnic understanding and reconciliation as this is a key for a better future, where our children will grow in the spirit of peace and democracy.
Allow me once more to use this opportunity on the behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to invite you all to continue to work and cooperate in order to establish a truly democratic society where every individual has equal opportunities in education, vocational training and employment.
In the end I would like to reiterate that the important task of our institutions is to promote, initiate and protect the values and traditions of Roma community, because in fact these values enrich furthermore cultural and political life in Kosovo. Integration of all citizens in the social and institutional life of Kosovo is not a matter of achieving one criterion or certain standard but much more than this. This has to do with accepting each other as people that are born equally with rights and equal opportunities, concepts that are determined and protected with highest acts on human rights at the European and worldwide level.
I am very happy to be part of a society and at the same time state institution which in the essence of their existence have created the culture of inter-human tolerance regardless of race, religion, ethnicity etc. This represents the true force of the Kosovo society and presents a concrete example for the other countries in Europe and broader on how to build a successful multi-ethnic society.
Thank you for your attention
Last modified: August 16, 2022