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Roberta Anastase: Romania made significant progress in minority rights observance

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Bucharest, May 18 / Agerpres - Romania made significant progress in ensuring both the observance of minority rights, as well as of their political representation, Chamber of Deputies Speaker Roberta Anastase declared on Tuesday.

Attending the launching ceremony of the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative organized at the Palace of Parliament, on the International Day of Cultural Diversity, Roberta Anastase stressed that Romania can be viewed as a model for the promotion of intercultural dialogue.

On this occasion, the Chamber of Deputies's Speaker reaffirmed the necessity to establish a European agency for the Roma that should be responsible for the Europe-wide integration and coordination of the programs intended for this community.

'At international level, the interreligious, intercultural and interethnic dialogue is a first step towards ensuring a climate of stability and cooperation. The promotion of this dialogue is a fundamental commitment assumed by Romania, because, beyond the belief in the importance of these principles, we consider that they are a way of promoting the interests of our citizens at European and global level,' the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies declared in the opening of the event. Anastase expressed her belief that, through concrete actions that will be released as part of the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, Romania will prove itself a responsible global citizen.

In the conclusion of her speech, the Chamber of Deputies leader said that in a democratic, modern and legitimate state, cultural diversity is an opportunity, not a threat.

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu argued that the most advanced strategy for intercultural cooperation of the Civilizations Alliance is that addressed to Southeastern Europe.

'The Balkan countries are open to cooperation and political action based on the values of tolerance and understanding, as well as on confidence in the force of dialogue,' said Aurescu.

MPs, diplomats and representatives of the civil society attended the launching ceremony at the Palace of Parliament.

Horia Dorin Uioreanu, president of the Houses' Joint Standing Committee for UNESCO liaison; Vasile Timis - Secretary of State with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; Petru Dumitriu - national coordinator of Alliance of Civilizations; Ayse Sinirlioglu - Turkey's Ambassador in Bucharest; Estanislao of Grandes Pascual - Ambassador of Spain in Bucharest; actress Maia Morgenstern, are just some of the personalities who took the floor on Tuesday to highlight the importance of intercultural and interethnic dialogue.

The event was organized at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with support from the Houses' Joint Standing Committee for UNESCO liaison, the government's Department for Interethnic Relations and the UN resident agencies in Romania, under the auspices of Chamber of Deputies' speaker Roberta Anastase.

The major purpose of the Alliance is to provide a framework for discussing the importance of intercultural, interethnic and religions dialogue in Romania.

The launching ceremony was followed by the signing of the Charter of the Alliance of Civilizations, a document that represents a joint commitment of the Initiative partners to promote cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.

The Alliance of Civilizations was launched in 2005 by the UN Secretary General, having Spain and Turkey as co-sponsors.

 Source: Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES

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