United States of America Joins the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015|
The Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation congratulates the
Government of the United States for its decision to join the Decade of Roma
Inclusion 2005-2015 Initiative as an observer.
Announcing the decision in Sofia, Bulgaria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said: "For too long, Roma citizens have been marginalized and
isolated, prevented from contributing their talents and participating in
their societies. This is a critical matter of human rights, and it affects
millions of men, women, and children across the continent." The U.S. move
highlighted the international community's interest in Roma inclusion and
gave new impetus to the political commitment of the European countries to
improve the socio-economic status of the Roma.
The Decade of Roma Inclusion is a unique forum that brings together
governments, international organizations and civil society to address
exclusion of Romani communities. Seven years into the initiative, it is
time for intensifying cooperation and synergies between Decade partners and
transforming the commitment into results.
We urge the Western European countries to join the initiative and jointly
reinforce the core mission of the Decade of Roma Inclusion: to eliminate
discrimination and close the unacceptable gaps between Roma and the rest of
The Decade Secretariat warmly welcomes the United States of America into the
Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 family.
Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 -2015 is an international initiative of 12
European governments: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,
Montenegro, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia
and Spain. Slovenia has an observer status. Partners of the initiative are
the non-governmental organization from mentioned countries and following
international and intergovernmental organizations: World Bank, the Open
Society Institute (OSI), the Roma Education Fund (REF), the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe
Development Bank, the Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues of the Office
for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE ODHIR), the European Roma
Information Office (ERIO), the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF),
the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the United Nations Human Settlements
Programme (UN-HABITAT), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), European
Network Against Racism (ENAR), the World Health Organization (WHO).
The initiative was launched on February 2, 2005 in Sofia - Bulgaria.