Thursday, 8 April 2021
MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT XHAFERI AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ROMA COMMUNITY ON THE OCCASION OF APRIL 8 – INTERNATIONAL ROMANI DAY
On the occasion of April 8 - International Romani Day, President Xhaferi met with Latifa Shikovska, MP from the Roma community, Zoran Dimov, President of the International Roma Group, Ferat Asan, businessman from the municipality of Shuto Orizari and Muhamed Toci, representative of the NGO Moon - Gostivar. The coordinator of the parliamentary group of SDSM and the coalition, Jovan Mitreski, also attended the meeting. The day is even more important because it marks the 50th anniversary of the First World Romani Congress, as well as 20 years since the addition of the Romani in the Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia.
At the beginning of the meeting, the guests presented President Xhaferi with a solemn document entitled Commitment to the integration of Roma people in all spheres of social life, as well as a Plaque for his special contribution. On his behalf and on behalf of the Members of the Assembly, President Xhaferi handed them a Greeting Card on the occasion of the Day. He underlined that unfortunately this year, due to the pandemic, the celebration of the International Romani Day is celebrated in a different form, considering the experience from previous years when he would be involved in the work of state institutions on several levels, as well as the experience of the Roma Decade and long-term cooperation with representatives of the Roma community who were active political and institutional actors, and sought to contribute to the advancement of their position in society. He stressed that changes are needed, and that, essentially and certainly, the presence of the coordinator of the parliamentary group of SDSM and the coalition, Jovan Mitreski is a confirmation of this joint commitment.
MP Shikovska thanked for the honour and shared with President Xhaferi impressions from the meeting with the President and the officials of the Government and the fruitful discussion regarding the processes of inclusion, and expressed optimism that the progress of the Roma community, although a slow process, is still moving upwards, especially in the field of education but also health, social protection and the most important achievement so far, the provision of personal documents. The fact that there are already Roma representatives in managerial positions in the institutions is very useful because they themselves know best the problems faced by the Roma community and only with a systemic approach and political support will the Romani be made to feel equal.
Presenting his personal and professional portfolio, Zoran Dimov confirmed that he is working to improve the position of Roma people throughout the Western Balkans and is open to any cooperation that would be of interest to the Roma community, and stressed that the participation of Roma representatives in the adoption process of quality laws in that area would be of great benefit, citing the Rules of Procedure confirmed by President Xhaferi. It is equally important that this cooperation takes place also in the business sector, in the field of culture, and a greater representation in the public broadcasting service. Other guests present at the discussion, Ferat Asan and Muhamed Toci, also highlighted that better access to information, resolving social cases and other difficulties facing the community is essential.
The coordinator of SDSM and the coalition, Jovan Mitrevski said that efforts are being made to meet the needs of the Romani in every possible way and extended sincere congratulations on the occasion of April 8.