Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Fifteenth Sitting of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations

The Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations held its fifteenth sitting on 26 October. The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Miletic Mihajlovic and attended by Minister of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government Milan Markovic and Director of the Human and Minority Rights Directorate Nenad Djurdjevic and an associate.

The sitting focused on the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government (sphere of national minority rights protection) for the period March – September 2011. Minister Markovic informed the Committee Members on the Ministry’s activities pointing out that the application of some of the provisions of the Law on National Minority Councils is somewhat vague. Markovic stressed that the law could stand to be improved as the document would not give the expected results in the long-term. The Minister also informed the assembly on the difficulties in the formation of the Bosniak National Council. He also explained why it would be necessary to adopt a Manual amending and modifying the Manual on keeping birth and death records and birth and death records forms which enable the issuance of bilingual birth and death certificates. Markovic also stated that as part of the affirmative action as regards the members of the Roma ethnic minority in the sphere of education, 380 students have been enrolled in high-schools and 154 students into faculties in the 2011/2012 academic year.

The Committee members went on to discuss the Ministry’s work pointing out the problems relating to the functioning of National Minority Councils. Committee Chairman Miletic Mihajlovic said that the Report should be accepted and opined that the Law on National Minority Councils has exhibited some flaws in practice which could bring the work of other state institutions and their authority into question, adding that certain amendments and modifications could help improve the existing law. The Committee accepted the Report by a majority of votes.

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