MINELRES: Press release: Conciliation Commission Members Share Best Practices in Mediating Inter-Ethnic Disputes - Chomutov May 10-12, 2006

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Tue May 9 07:43:09 2006


Original sender: David Ruiz <David.Ruiz@partnersczech.cz>


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact Person: 
Tomas Habart
Partners-Czech
Lomena 515/9, 162 00 Prague 6
Czech Republic
Phone: (420-2) 333-21-503
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Conciliation Commission Members Share Best Practices in Mediating
Inter-Ethnic Disputes

PRAGUE (3 May 2006) – On May 10 – 12, 2006, a group of 25 Roma and
non-Roma Conciliation Commission members from the Czech Republic,
Slovakia and Hungary will meet in Chomutov, Czech Republic to discuss
Conciliation Commissions.  Conciliation Commissions are neutral,
community-based structures that manage and prevent disputes, and
initiate activities designed to foster inter-ethnic dialogues in the
communities.  They are an integral part of the four-year, USAID-funded
Roma Integration Program (RIP), an initiative carried out by Partners
for Democratic Change (www.partnersglobal.org), an international
non-profit organization, and Partners-Czech, Partners-Hungary and
Partners-Slovakia. 

This two-day meeting will be dedicated to supporting the work of the
nine Conciliation Commissions established in the context of the Roma
Integration Program.[1]  It will provide a forum for Conciliation
Commission members to exchange information about their visions of the
Commissions, experiences to date, best practices in fostering
inter-ethnic cooperation, and other issues critical to the
sustainability of vibrant Conciliation Commissions.   The mediation
services of these Conciliation Commissions are available to all
community members.

The meeting will be attended by Mr. Nicolae Gheorghe, OSCE/ODIHR Contact
Point on Roma/Sinti Integration (Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights), and Mr. Orhan Galjus, the Roma Integration Program’s Regional
Coordinator. 

Participants will be available for interviews with the press during the
meeting with municipality officials and guests on Friday, May 12 at 11
am in the stateroom in Town Theatre (B. Nemcove 552, 430 01 Chomutov).

Roma Integration Program

The Roma Integration Program is being carried out in nine target
communities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia from
2003-2007.  The program organizes trainings in conflict resolution and
cooperative planning processes, which bring a broad range of community
stakeholders together to identify and prioritize social development
needs. Key representatives of local government, NGOs, social services
providers, schools, police and the private sector work together to
strategize and draft action plans to address these needs with funding
from small grants.  At the national level, Partners‘ Centers facilitate
policy roundtables, school-based initiatives, and media programs
designed to foster more effective and collaborative efforts by NGO,
government and media sectors toward Roma integration.

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[1] The Conciliation Commissions are based in: Chomutov, Pardubice,
Bruntal/Krnov (Czech Republic), Rimavska Sobota, Kezmarok, Presov
(Slovakia) and Ozd, Pecs and Hatvan
(Hungary).

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