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Together against Discrimination Conference Held in Budva

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Yesterday, March 19, 2012, the Balkan governmental conference on the rights of LGBT community “Together against Discrimination” was held in Budva, Montenegro. In his opening address, the Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Lukšić said that we have to be aware of the need for constant testing of dominant social attitudes and the need to face stereotypes and prejudices directed at the LGBT persons.

From the opening of the Conference in Budva (Photo website of Government of Montenegro)From the opening of the Conference in Budva (Photo website of Government of Montenegro)

Lukšić added that Montenegro will remain open and dedicated to the implementation of democratic principles and securing justice and equality for all, and will continue to improve and monitor the ongoing processes, as well as creation of opportunities and space for new projects.

“We want to ensure that the concrete actions that everybody expects from us will respond to the real needs of the community and its individual members. That is the sole correct approach that will take us to the ultimate goal – the creation of a social ambience in which persons of different sexual orientation will enjoy full legal protection and social inclusion”, Lukšić said.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Milanka Opačić noted that the old principle that the level of democracy and development of a country and society is judged on the situation of its weakest members, still applies.

"We have to build countries that provide space for all, especially for persons that are different on any ground. There is enough space for all of them and we need to build a society that will support their rights, not trample them under”, Opačić said.

Deputy PM and Minister of Justice of Kosovo Hajredin Kuqi said that Kosovo, thanks to its good leadership, international cooperation and good will, managed to avoid the discrimination of many minority groups which, in his words, could become “the bane of the whole society”.

"We therefore proved that a nation that has suffered from discrimination for decades could turn into an excellent partner in the fight against discrimination”, Kuqi said.

In his address, the Director of the Serbian Government Office of Human and Minority Rights Nenad Đurđević said that Serbia was dedicated to the fight against discrimination on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, reaffirmed in the newly adopted national strategy document.

The afternoon session was reserved for the panel discussion on the creation of LGBT community in the Balkans and the increase of its visibility, accompanied with the legal debate on freedom of expression and association.

Representatives from Macedonia, but also from institutions that work in the area of equality and equal opportunities from several EU member-states and the U.S. participated in the Conference. Minister of Human and Minority Rights of Serbia Milan Marković didn't take part in the opening session because „Kosovo representatives were note presented in accordance with the decision from Brussels”.

The conference was organized by the Government of Montenegro, in cooperation with the International Academic Conference Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in the United States; The Lund University Department of Sociology of Law from Sweden; and the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL). (Source: Pobjeda/GayEcho/Vjesnik.hr/gov.me)

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