MINELRES: Personal observation of Zoran Dimov, Secretary General of IRU

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Feb 14 16:24:18 2005

Original sender: Roma Network <romale@zahav.net.il>

From: TV BTR <ria@tvbtr.com.mk>


I believe as General Secretary of the International Roma Union (IRU),
that I am entitled to express my own opinion and viewpoint regarding the
Roma Decade 2005-2015. 

My insights regarding this event and project regarding the Roma from
Europe and their integration and organization, within the period of
2005-2015, is important for all of us as members of the IRU. I may seem
like a sceptic in this insight, and it may seem that I am doubtful, but
baring in mind all that has been happening to the Roma centuries back,
I'd say I have a reason to be like that. Time will show how much has
been done for better integration of the Roma in society. We need to be
mobile and prepared to reveal all of the irregularities and anomalities
in the conducting of the action plans prepared by the Governments that
are participating in aiding the Roma in the Roma Decade.  As for the
preparations of these draft action plans, very few of the benefiters of
these action plans were included in the making, the ones who would have
the main role in the Roma Decade, i.e. the Roma. 

Therefore, I alarm to all of You, and the task of the IRU should be to
be carefull for the Roma not to be manipulated in these action plans so
that everyone could get more and the Roma would get less. This should be
controled and precautioned from every aspect (meaning the citizen's
associations, media and similar). We should also be careful for this not
to become a political issue, meaning there should not be any political
marionets for the Governments involved. 

One of the more crucial moments is when attention should be dedicated to
who will be leading the Roma Decade. 
According to the statements of the Governments, young Roma leaders will
be included. 
Who are theese young leaders? 
Who appoints these young leaders? 
What kind of a background do these young leaders have? 
What have they done to prove themselves and what have they achieved? 
What is meant by "young" leaders? (young leaders aged 18-30 or young as
over 40 with a rich political pedigree). 

There are a great number of "what", "who", "why", "when", "how", "how
much" which gives me the space to be hesitant and with a lower trust. I
need to stress more that the achivements should be presented with a
greater ammount of transparency regarding the activities of the Roma
Decade. Let us not be just "slaves" of the ideology. If we obtain a
crumb we should not shut our mouth, and shut our eyes for the
irregularities. So I recommend "eyes wide open" for all of the
activities during the Roma Decade and also active acceptance of all of
the opinions and attitudes for the activities even if the same do not
benefit your "blood related brother". This is my recommendation to all
that would like to give meaning to the "Roma Decade 2005-2015". 

And, at the end, a small insight in my viewpoint about the conference in
Sofia held on 02.02.2005, for the launching of the Roma Decade. One
unpleasant moment happened when Roma journalists from the whole Europe
were unpleasantly surprised. At the same time, a meeting of the
journalists with the Bulgarian Prime minister Simeon Saxcoburgotsky was
announced in the protocol before the conference, but it didn't happen. 

Afterwards, a difficult atmosphere was felt in front of the theater in
Sofia where there had been protests of the Roma journalists. When the
Roma leaders saw what is going on they canceled their meeting so that
they could show a solidarity with Roma journalists.  

I hope that if during The Roma Decade we shall regularly see and monitor
all the facts and act on time, 
then a lot can be done for us, the Roma. 

Receive my regards and good luck.

Secretary General of IRU,

Zoran Dimov