23 October 2012 - Pristina - In an effort to strengthen the process involved in integrating Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, international organizations were invited to a joint conference on 23 October organized by the Office of Prime Minister and its local and international partners.
The conference was essentially a launching activity, as nine sectoral meetings and municipal discussions remain to be held. Its goals included prioritizing and developing the monitoring framework to demonstrate clear and quantitative results in the improvements in the lives of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities - bearing in mind Kosovo's aspirations for the European integration. The conference also unfolded the process for identification of priority activities for an Action Plan and the development of the monitoring framework.
The issue of Roma integration is central throughout all of our work, stated UN Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Osnat Lubrani, acknowledging the coordinated efforts of UNICEF, OSCE, Kosovo foundation for Open Society, inclusive of cultural minorities.
Lubrani praised the publication of reports by Kosovo’s Office of Good Governance and OSCE in highlighting gaps in employment, representative participation, security, and justice, while also recognizing the progress made in civil registration and education.
“We are very committed and want to work with government institutions to address cross cutting challenges in better coordinating improved function of institutional arrangements and data collection,” added Lubrani. ‘We hope to contribute in addressing the need for a more general outreach to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.”
UNMIK Senior Human Rights Advisor Anne Fuller applauded the developments and discussions at the conference. "The conference aims to reinvigorate efforts to harmonize and coordinate government actions to implement the Strategy and Action Plan for the integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities,” said Fuller. “It is important that we ensure that these strategies are translated to people’s lives.”