IRU meets the UN Secretary General

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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 10:20:39 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: IRU meets the UN Secretary General

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IRU meets the UN Secretary General

International Romani Union (IRU) press release
On the 5th June 2001, the UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan recieved
Dr. Emil Scuka, the President of IRU. This was the first historical
meeting of UN Secretary General with the representative of a Roma
The following topics were discussed on this meeting:
- the situation of Roma in Europe, particulary in Central and Eastern
- Declaration of Nation
- activities of Roma representation during last year.
The Secretary General declared, that this meeting was implemented in
order to encourage the Roma Nation in Europe and in the World. The
Secretary General also showed his respect and esteem to Roma Nation
and expressed his belief in the proper attention to Roma issues in the
frame of UN.
Meeting with UN Secretary General is an important milestone for Roma
in Europe and in the world. The milestone in precieving Roma
problematic as part of European and international politics.

Internet Network Assistant with The International Romani Union
P.S. Photo from the meeting will be send to you after your special
request. If you want to receive it, please, type the word "UN Photo"
in the subject line of a letter to:
Mr. Ariel Eliyahu 

5 June 2001
At a historic meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations
Kofi Annan, this morning, the International Romani Union had asked for
a representation of the Roma Nation, which did not want to become a
State, correspondents were told at a Headquarters press conference
this afternoon.
Taking part in the press conference were the Union's President, Emil
Scuka, and its Commissar for Foreign Policy, Paolo Pietrosanti.
Mr. Scuka further said that during this morning's meeting, which was a
source of hope and pride to his people, he had presented to the
Secretary-General the Declaration of the Roma Nation, which had also
recently been forwarded to high Government officials of many
countries, including Austria, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, India and
Bulgaria.  Also, a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation had
recently been signed between the International Romani Union and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which sponsored
today's press conference.
During the discussion with the Secretary-General, the representatives
of the Union had described the Roma Nation as a colourful and
optimistic people living all around the world, its structure similar
to the structure of the United Nations itself, Mr. Scuka said.  The
Secretary-General was well informed about their situation, in
particular in Hungary, which he had visited last June.  The
Secretary-General had also mentioned the high level of discrimination
and racism against the Roma people in many parts of the world.  From
the meeting, the representatives of the Union had got the feeling that
Mr. Annan was prepared not only to hear the voice of the Roma people,
but also to help them.  
For over 20 years, the Union had had the status of a non-governmental
organization at the United Nations, he continued, and the question was
how a nation could be perceived as such and how an equal status with
other nations could be achieved.  He was sure that the situation would
evolve in the future, for many questions could not be answered right
Mr. Pietrosanti added that on presenting the Declaration to the
Secretary-General, the representatives of the International Romani
Union had emphasized that it included an affirmation of the Roma as a
nation that did not want to become a State, but was seeking
representation at the United Nations and at the European level, since
the huge majority of the Roma people lived in the so-called "Old
Citing Europe as an example, he said that the Roma were considered a
minority there.  However, had the dream and the political will of
prominent European federalists, including Adenauer, come true, had
Europe been differently organized, the Roma would not be a minority
today.  That was a matter of viewpoint.  Having suffered
discrimination and "a forgotten holocaust", the Roma Nation was not
only asking for memory and respect - it also had much to offer. 
Giving an answer to the Romani Union would also mean an answer to many
questions before the international community today. 
In conclusion, he thanked Mr. Annan for giving the Romani Union
representatives an occasion to express their views.

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