Thursday, 26 May 2011

Inter-Ethnic Relations Committee Members Talk to St. Gallen Town Parliament Social Democratic Party Councilmen

A delegation of councilmen of the Social Democratic Party of the St. Gallen Town Parliament, Switzerland, is in a four-day visit to the City of Belgrade. As part of its visit, the delegation met with the Chairman and members of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

Committee Chairman Miletic Mihajlovic briefed the guests on the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia which, in addition to the rights guaranteed under the Constitution to all Serbian citizens, also guarantee individual and collective rights and freedoms to the ethnic minorities in our country, as well as on the laws directly related to the protection and improvement of rights and freedoms of ethnic minorities in the Republic of Serbia. He emphasised the competence of the Law on National Minority Councils in the spheres of education, culture, information and official use of ethnic minority languages and script. The Committee Chairman informed the Swiss guests that Serbia boasts 20 ethnic minorities which have created their national councils as legal bodies of minority self-government in the areas covered by the Law on National Minority Councils. The Committee Chairman also informed the guests about the manner of election of ethnic-minority representatives at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and presented the work of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations.

The head of the delegation of councilmen from St. Gallen Martin Boesch informed the hosts on human and minority rights in his country, particularly the way in which the official use and equality of languages is regulated in Switzerland.

In the meeting, the officials exchanged opinions on certain issues relating to the realisation and protection of rights of ethnic minorities, resolution of the problems relating to Serbian asylum seekers, as well as the right to official use of ethnic minority languages and script in Serbia and official use of languages in the Swiss cantons.

In addition to the Chairman of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations Miletic Mihajlovic, Committee members Vitomir Mihajlovic, Viorel Zura, Gabor Lodi and Bajram Sehovic also took part in the meeting.

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