Auditorium on rights of national minorities

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On July 14, 2015 the Ombudsman institution in cooperation with OSCE organized in Gjirokastra an auditorium on the rights of minorities in Albania. At this meeting participated Mr. Igli Totozani, the Ombudsman of Albania, Mr. Robert Wilton, Deputy Ambassador of the OSCE in Tirana, Ms. Konstantina Bezhani, Chairwoman of the Committee for National Minorities of Government of the Republic of Albania and representatives of national minorities. This event was attended by representatives of associations of our minority in Albania, the President of the Association of Serbian-Montenegrin national minority “Moraca-Rozafa” Mr. Pavlo Jakoja, the president of the Association of Serbs in Albania “Jedinstvo” Mr. Ekrem Dulević, and Serbian Ambassador to Albania Mr. Miroljub Zaric.
The National Ombudsman pointed out as a priority the protection of the rights of national minorities, as a valuable national treasure for the past and future of our country. However, despite the positive steps towards the development of a normative framework that will affirm the rights of minorities, he said that a need to improve the legal framework is present, because of existing gaps.
He presented the need to adopt a law by which will determine the definition of and criteria for “de jure” recognition of national minorities, in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Europe Framework Convention “On protection of national minorities.”
Mr. Totozani said also that emphasized necessary completion of the ratification process of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
He acknowledged that despite the earlier censuses including census from the year 2011, we are faced by the fact that encompasses debate between the official data on national minorities and non-recognition of the same by the national minorities. “This indicates a lack of comprehensive and generally accepted statistical data on national minorities,” he said.
According to him, it is necessary that a new census to be conducted whose results would be accepted by minorities and other communities to obtain real data about the same.
Mr. Pavlo Jakoja presented the problems related to our national minorities and stressed that national identity can be preserved only through Serbian language learning through organizing and holding various cultural events.

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