Statement on Cooperation of Equality Bodies in South-east Europe

The Statement on cooperation between Equality Bodies in SEE was signed at the “First Regional Forum of Equality bodies of South-east Europe” Conference, held in Belgrade on 16 November, on the occasion of the International Tolerance Day, starting from the key role these bodies have in suppressing discrimination and facilitating the implementation of full equality of all members of society.

In addition to the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković, the Statement was signed by representatives of eight institutions from five countries of South-east Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

By signing this document, signatories agreed that priority of their joint action and cooperation would be suppressing discrimination and implementation of full equality of all people, with special attention attached to the exchange of experience, best practices and innovative approaches.

Joint efforts will be made to create environments where protection against discrimination and improvement of equality will be among most significant segments of social life and a way to build better and more tolerant societies.

The Statement expresses strong belief that respect of human rights and prohibition of discrimination present fundamental values and starting point for socio-economic development of each country, as well as for personal development of every individual. The cooperation between equality bodies and institutions will be based on principles of coordination, mutual respect, partnership and equality, joint planning, harmonization of activities and intercommunication, while following meeting will be held next year in Zagreb.

Apart from Commissioner Janković, the Statement was signed by Ardiana Hala, Deputy of Commissioner for Protection of Equality from Albania, Ombudsmen for Human Rights from Bosnia and Herzegovina Jasminka Džumhur, Nives Jukić and Ljubinko Mitrović, Deputy  Ombudsman for Human Rights and Freedoms from Montenegro Siniša Bjeković, President of Commission for Protection against Discrimination from Macedonia Aleksandar Daštevski and from Croatia there were Deputy Ombudsman Tena Šimonović Einwalter, Gender Equality Ombudsperson Višnja Ljubičić, Disability Ombudsman Anka Slošnjak and Ombudsman for Children Ivana Milas Klarić.

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