Fifth National Platform on Roma Integration in Albania
- 11 May 2021
The fifth National Platform on Roma Integration in Albania took place in the beautiful surrounding of Sculpture Reja - the Cloud, by Japanese architect and artist Sou Fujimoto.
The meeting was organized by the Regional Cooperation Council Roma Integration Action Team, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and encouraged the public dialogue between non-governmental and civil society organisations and relevant officials from all levels of governance in charge of Roma integration. The topics of discussion were the new National Roma Integration Strategy and the Action Plan for the years 2021-2025 for Albania.
The opening address was given by Mr Orhan Usein, Roma Integration Head of Office, who expressed enthusiasm and hope that life is slowly getting back to normal after the world faced the COVID-19 pandemic, underlining that Roma can not be left out in the post-COVID times. "The Roma Integration Action Team will continue to provide its support in achieving all goals set in the Poznan Declaration, but also with any other challenges", stressed Mr Usein.
Mr Usein’s opening address was followed by Ms Merita Xhafaj, National Roma Contact Point from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, who presented the content of the new Strategy and Action Plan.
The goal of the meeting was to find the common ground between all participants so that everyone can take an active role in implementing the Strategy and the Action Plan. The mentioned documents are structured around six main areas: employment, housing, education, health, civil registration, and non-discrimination, as defined in the Poznan Declaration.
This meeting was particularly remarkable not only because it encouraged the public dialogue between government representatives and civil society organisations, but also because it was the first meeting held live, in an open space, respecting all COVID-19 measures, after more than a year of solely online meetings. Namely, the accelerating vaccination rates in the region, and the number of new coronavirus infections that are continuously dropping down have spurred optimism and were a precondition of organising this live event.