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United States of America Joins the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015
06-02-2012 - Press release

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 society!

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.

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