Tuesday, 30 October 2007

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOLUTIONS FOR ROMA REFUGEES, IDPS AND RETURNEES HELD AT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE

The International Conference on Durable Solutions for Roma Refugees: IDPS and Returnees in the Balkans was held on 29 and 30 October at the National Assembly House.



The International Conference on Durable Solutions for Roma Refugees: IDPS and Returnees in the Balkans was held on 29 and 30 October at the National Assembly House. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia was host, and Members of Parliament, representatives of the Government, Ministries, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, UNHCR and other organisations dealing with the issue of refugees and displaced persons took part in the conference.

The conference participants were greeted by Donka Banovic as host, Member of Parliament and member of the Standing Delegation of the National Assembly to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. She reminded all present that the gathering was organised in Belgrade as part of Serbia’s chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and that, under the slogan “One Europe – Our Europe” Serbia determined the main priorities of its engagement.

Stressing the problems of migration flows in the West Balkan region, Donka Banovic pointed out that there are several hundred thousand people with the status of refugee and that Serbia today is a country with the largest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Europe, among whom the position of the internally displaced Roma is the most difficult. She also spoke of the process of readmission warning that a serious task will be placed before Serbia – to find the best solution for the returnees, as around 100 thousand of Serbian citizens are expected to return to Serbia, among them 50 thousand Roma.

During the two days of work, the participants discussed the conditions for a voluntary and sustainable return, current obstacles and perspectives for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons. One of the topics dealt with civil status and stateless persons, as well as the regulation of their legal residence, registration, civil document and avoidance of statelessness.

Special attention was paid to the return on the basis of readmission agreements, the issues of their implementation and creation of national capacity for acceptance of people from readmission. The issue of the process of integration and access to socio-economic rights was also on the agenda, with a special focus on the access to health protection, education, employment and housing, as well as the inclusion of Roma refugees, displaced persons and returnees in the national programmes and action plans for Roma.



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monday, 3 october
  • 11.00 - the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee meets with the Cypriot Ambassador to Serbia (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

  • 12.00 - sitting of the Culture and Information Committee (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 4)

  • Following the sitting of the Culture and Information Committee - press conference of MP Sinisa Kovacevic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

  • 12.30 - press conference of MP Nebojsa Bakarec (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

  • 13.00 - the National Assembly Speaker meets with the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 1)

Full event calendar