President Thaçi participated at the Regional Conference on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and the Rights of the Non-majority Communities

Prishtina, October 26 - The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, participated today at the Regional Conference on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and the Rights of the Non-majority Communities, which was organized by the Consultative Council for Communities, which functions within the Office of the President.

President Thaçi congratulated them for this conference and for promoting the dialogue on human rights, with special emphasis on the rights of non-majority communities.

“Kosovo is a good place for such a debate as it is a good example of policies for promoting and accommodating majority communities. The state, but also the entire Kosovo society, is built on the constitutional principles of all-inclusiveness, equality and freedom of every individual”, he stressed.

He further said that Kosovo has approved adequate measures to promote full and effective equality between community members in all areas of economic, social, political and cultural life.

“More specifically, this means that we have taken care for the non-majority communities to be represented in the country’s political institutions, to have the guaranteed opportunity to protect and promote their political rights”, continued President Thaçi, further adding that “We have installed the principle of the quota for employment in public institutions, to ensure that non-majority communities participate in the work of public institutions. We have installed the quota principle at public universities to ensure the right to high education to all”, he admitted.

The Head of State, further said that the Kosovo Constitution itself refers to the most important international documents guaranteeing human rights and freedoms.

He further said that inclusiveness and participation is one of the principles we promote in Kosovo.

“The Consultative Council for Communities has also such a role, where the representatives of all communities living in Kosovo contribute with ideas and projects to improve the life of their community or of all communities”, further saying that “This is one of the mechanisms we have built to promote one of the key values we have built as a society and as a state – the dialogue”.

The President of the country said that in Kosovo we are proud of the dialogue we have built, whether being it between ethnic communities, whether between religious communities, whether with the region.

“We have the INTER-FAITH conference that brings together religious and political leaders, scientists, media from around the world to discuss about coexistence between religions”, said President Thaçi.

He also talked about initiating the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a mechanism to promote the dialogue between ethnic communities, to close the conflict chapter and to build the chapter of peace and coexistence.

“We are committed to dialogue with Serbia to normalize relations, to build good neighborly relations”, he added.

Speaking about the good neighborly relations, President Thaçi said that “We promote regional cooperation as a region’s worth and as a mechanism that speeds up  our journey towards the EU. This conference here is also in the service of this regional cooperation, of regional dialogue, in order to exchange the best ideas and practices for the compilation and implementation of affirmative policies”, but according to him we can do much more on regional level, to improve the communication and cooperation between our states.

President Thaçi mentioned several issues here - the freedom of movement of the citizens and goods throughout the countries of the region.

“For example, the citizens of Kosovo can not travel freely to Bosnia and Herzegovina and vice versa. Goods from Kosovo can not be freely transported through the countries of the region. In order to find solutions to these, international mediation should not be needed”, he admitted.

In the end, President Thaçi said that in forums like the one of today it is best to seek solutions to pull down the walls that are still in our midst, “Therefore, I wish you fruitful, successful, concrete discussions that will contribute to the improvement of  the life of all communities in Kosovo and the region”, stressed President Thaçi.