MINELRES: Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on South Central Europe

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Mon Jun 12 20:53:02 2006


Original sender: Helsinki Commission News <news@csce.gov>


234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Senator Sam Brownback, Chairman
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman

www.csce.gov
Media Contact: Shelly Han
202.225.1901

For Immediate Release  
June 7th, 2006  


HELSINKI COMMISSION TO HOLD HEARING ON SOUTH CENTRAL EUROPE
Witnesses to Testify on Status of Human Rights, Democracy and
Integration

(Washington) – Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Christopher H.
Smith (R-NJ), Chairman and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission,
announce that on June 15th the Commission will hold a hearing to discuss
many of the human rights challenges that countries in South Central
Europe face as they seek integration into the European Union and/or NATO
Alliance. 
 
The primary topics to be discussed include legal restrictions on
religious activities and other attacks on religious freedom, lagging
efforts to combat trafficking in persons, discrimination and violence
against Roma, and the prevalence of official corruption and organized
crime.  In addition, witnesses at the hearing are expected to address:
 
- efforts to encourage Bosnia-Herzegovina to move beyond the limitations
imposed by the Dayton Peace Agreement despite the recent defeat of a
constitutional reform package, and to facilitate further returns; 
- the plight of the displaced and minority communities of Kosovo within
the context of Kosovo's status negotiations, and what steps are needed
to preclude renewed violence and foster interethnic tolerance; 
- the need for Serbia to cooperate fully with the International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and deal more effectively with the
nationalist legacy of the Milosevic years; 
- the implications of Montenegro’s recent declaration of independence; 
- the prospects for the July 5 parliamentary elections in Macedonia to
meet international standards; 
- progress in implementing the Ohrid Agreement in Macedonia; 
- consolidating democratic change and the rule of law in Croatia; and 
- enhancing anti-corruption and rule of law efforts in Albania.

What:              
Commission Hearing on “Human Rights, Democracy, and Integration in South
Central Europe”
 
Date:               
Thursday, June 15, 2006
 
Time:               
2:00 p.m.
 
Location:        
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
 
Witnesses:

Panel I

The Honorable Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasia Affairs
U.S. Department of State


Panel II

Daniel Serwer
Director of Peace and Stability Operations
United States Institute of Peace
 
Janusz Bugajski
Director of the New European Democracies Project and Senior Fellow in
the Europe Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies
 
Nicolae Gheorghe
Senior Advisor, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Joseph K. Grieboski
President and Founder
Institute for Religion and Public Policy

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the
Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress
in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords.
The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate,
nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the
Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

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