Williams Institute Co-Sponsors Balkans Conference on LGBT Discrimination
Williams Institute Co-Sponsors High-Level Meeting In the Balkans On Discrimination Against LGBT People
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On Monday, March 19, the Williams Institute is co-sponsoring the conference Together Against Discrimination in Montenegro. The goal of the conference is for countries in the Balkans to discuss implementation of the Council of Europe’s 2010 Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The historic high-level meeting is being hosted by the government of Montenegro, with Prime Minister Dr. Igor Lukšić giving the opening address. Delegations from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania and Turkey will be attending, as well as representatives from the European Commission and the Council of Europe.
In his welcome to conference delegates, Prime Minister Lukšić writes, “Exclusion on account of sexual orientation or gender identity may best be overcome by concrete actions…neither cultural, traditional nor religious values, nor the rules of dominant culture can be invoked to justify hate speech or any other form of discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The Prime Minster further writes that the conference “confirms the full dedication of the Government of Montenegro to the policy of combating discrimination and promoting human rights, as well as to the implementation of international standards…we are ready to deal with the prejudice both in the state and in the individuals. And we will not do it just for the sake of meeting the obligations that arise from the membership in international organizations, but because of our sincere and true aspiration .. to send the message that we will work together on the promotion of protection and visibility of LGBT persons.”
The meeting is the latest in a series of conference and judicial and law enforcement trainings co-sponsored by the Williams Institute. The principal organize of the conference is by Jovan Kojicic, 2011 Williams Institute Visiting International Scholar and current Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights and Protection from Discrimination.
Click here for the agenda.