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PRESS RELEASE

 

IDAHO 2015: Montenegro’s government contributes significantly to holding of 14th Roundtable of European Governmental LGBT Focal Points Network

Budva, Montenegro (12 May 2015) -- Session of the 14th Roundtable of the European Governmental LGBT Focal Points Network was ended earlier today in Budva under the auspices of the IDAHO Forum 2015. Opening remarks were made by Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties of Malta Helena Dalli and Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa John Jeffery.

The panel discussion titled "Human rights of intersex person: challenges ahead," coordinated and chaired by the Council of Europe and European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), was also completed successfully. The panel was addressed by Laura Sivonen, Advisor, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Council of Europe); Dennis Van Der Veur, Head of Sector Cooperation with EU Institutions and EU Member States (FRA); Silvan Agius, Expert Consultant to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as Kitty Anderson and Dan Christian Ghattas, representatives of the Organisation Intersex International Europe (OIL Europe).

IDAHO Forum 2015 also supported the NGO side event entitled "Human rights of LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro: current practice and biggest challenges".

  
Third Ministerial IDAHO Forum 2015 ended late this afternoon in Budva, Montenegro

Budva, Montenegro (11 May 2015) -- Third Ministerial IDAHO Forum 2015 entitled "Ending hate crime and violence" and sponsored by the Government of Montenegro ended late this afternoon in Budva.

The forum, organised on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, brought together more than 230 representatives from Montenegro and abroad, including: Serbian Minister without Portfolio Jadranka Joksimović, Minister of Public Administration of Croatia Arsen Bauk, Finland’s Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands Jet Bussemaker, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties of Malta Helena Dalli and Minister of Culture and Democracy of Sweden Alice Bah Kuhnke.

IDAHO Forum 2015 was attended by high-level delegation from the following countries: South Africa, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, as well as from international organisations such as the European Union, Council of Europe and OSCE.

At the IDAHO 2015 opening ceremony, key speeches were delivered by: Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković, Vice President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Gender Equality Vĕra Jourová, Director General of the CoE Directorate General of Democracy Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Member of the European Parliament Terry Reintke and Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa John Jeffery.

At the first plenary session, participants were addressed by: Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Lukšić, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands Jet Bussemaker, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties of Malta Helena Dalli, Minister for Culture and Democracy of Sweden Alice Bah Kuhne and Minister of Public Administration of Croatia Arsen Bauk.

Third IDAHO Informal Ministerial Meeting, chaired by Montenegro’s Justice Minister Zoran Pažin, also took place in Budva today. The meeting was attended by ministers, state secretaries and deputy ministers of the participating countries, as well as representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Europe. All participants of the meeting praised the high quality programme and the Montenegro government’s successful organisation of the 3th Ministerial IDAHO Forum.

Belgium’s Secretary of State for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People With Disabilities, Combating Fraud and Scientific Policy Elke Sleurs announced Belgium’s candidacy for the organisation of the 5th IDAHO Forum in 2017.

Following the meeting, ministers and deputy ministers from Montenegro and the region signed the Joint Statement.Ten different events and discussions that brought together prominent international experts and representatives of the academic community, members of NGOs and other international organisations dealing with human rights of LGBT people took place in Budva today.

At the closing session of this year’s IDAHO Forum, the participants were addressed by: Minister of Justice of Montenegro Zoran Pažin, Serbian Minister without Portfolio Jadranka Joksimović, Finland’s Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson and Italian Undersecretary of State for Constitutional Reform Ivan Scalfarotto. On behalf of the host country, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković made the closing remarks.

Fourteenth Roundtable of the European Governmental LGBT Focal Points Network will continue its work tomorrow, as well as the panel which will be coordinated and chaired by the Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). IDAHO Forum 2015 also supported the event entitled “Human rights of LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro: Current practice and biggest challenges”, which will be organised by NGOs on Tuesday, starting at 17.00.

The 2016 IDAHO Forum entitled "Building bridges and communities" will take place in Denmark on 10-12 May.

 

 IDAHO 2015: Respect for difference leading value of Montenegro’s multiethnic and multicultural society, DPM Marković says

Budva, Montenegro (10 May 2015) – "Respect for difference and tolerance towards convictions of all social stakeholders is the leading value of Montenegro’s multiethnic and multicultural society. Equality of LGBTI people before the law is undeniable and the Government of Montenegro will resolutely fight against discrimination of LGBT persons at all levels, including the implementation of stricter punishment policy," Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković told the press conference on the occasion of the Third International IDAHO Ministerial Forum 2015, which will be opened in Budva on Moday.

DPM Marković commented on the distinctive policy the Government of Montenegro has been pursuing in the area of safety of LGBT people and their inclusion in all spheres of social life.

He particularly emphasised the government's determination to deal with prejudices against LGBT persons, both individual and institutional, not only because Montenegro has to meet the requirements deriving from the country’s membership in international organisations, but because it seeks for cultural change and better life as well.

"In recent years, we have worked hard to create a social and legislative environment willing to accept LGBT people. We are recognised as leaders in the region, and we provide the highest quality access to knowledge in terms of learning about standards in this field, for which we are grateful to our reliable and sustainable partners," Deputy Prime Minister Marković told the press late this afternoon in Budva.

Media representatives were also addressed today by Advisor to Montenegro’s Prime Minister Jovan Kojičić, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties of Malta Helena Dalli and Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke.

Following the press conference, the host of IDAHO Forum 2014 - Swedish Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke and Malta’s Minister Helena Dalli, handed over the IDAHO Forum flag to the 2015 host - Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković.

  

IDAHO 2015 hosts first-ever LGBTI business forum in Balkans

Budva, Montenegro (10 May 2015) -- First-ever LGBTI Business Forum in the Balkans took place earlier today in Budva under the auspices of the IDAHO Forum 2015.

The business forum, sponsored by the Government of Montenegro and supported by the Williams Institute UCLA School of Law (the USA), Out Leadership (the USA/Europe), IBM Corporation, Parks Liberi e Uguali (Italy), VolklingerKreis – German Association of Gay Managers and Entrepreneurs, and American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro, aimed to provide support to organisations and companies in promoting LGBTI equality and inclusion in the workplace and business.

The LGBTI Business Forum’s participants pointed out that diversity, including LGBTI people, is good for business and companies that recognise inclusive strategies and realise benefits at the global level. They also commended the Montenegrin government’s efforts towards fostering unity of all social stakeholders, and improving and creating cultural values and assumptions that would support diversity and encourage visibility of LGBTI people in the community and workplace.

At the press conference prior to the opening of the forum, media representatives were addressed by: Advisor to the Prime Minister and Coordinator of IDAHO Forum 2015 Jovan Kojičić, Todd Brower of Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Igor Šuran of Parks Libery e Uguali, Michael Kauch of German Association of Gay Managers and Entrepreneurs, and Marijn Pijnenburg of IBM Corporation.

At the LGBTI Business Forum opening ceremony, keynote speeches were delivered by Montenegro's Minister without Portfolio Marija Vučinović, Advisor to Montenegro's Prime Minister and Coordinator of IDAHO Forum 2015 Jovan Kojičić, Ambassadors of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Laurent Stokvis and Ian Whitting, Bix Aliu on behalf of the US Ambassador to Montenegro, Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro Milica Dragojević, and Executive Director of Gay Street Alliance from Belgrade Mirjana Bogdanović.

 

IDAHO Forum 2015: Regional police and judicial training held in Budva today

Budva, Montenegro (10 May 2015) -- Regional Police and Judicial Training was held earlier today in Budva under the auspices of the IDAHO Forum 2015 titled "Ending Hate Crime and Violence".

Welcome and opening remarks were made by Director of the Police Directorate of Montenegro Slavko Stojanović, Advisor to Montenegro's Prime Minister and Coordinator of IDAHO Forum 2015 Jovan Kojičić, deputy ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania, Mijo Krešić and Elona Hoxha, ODIHR representative Azra Junuzović, Helen Kennedy of ILGA World and Todd Brower of UCLA School of Law Williams Institute.

The event focused on combating hate crime and bias-motivated violence against LGBTI people. Montenegro is among countries that have developed global examples of best practice, as emphasised in the opening speeches delivered by representatives of the most prestigious international institutions and partners dealing with this issue.

A special panel discussion, dedicated to the training of judicial officials, was addressed by Deputy President of Montenegro's Supreme Court Stanka Vučinić, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Serbia Marija Draškić, Zorica Mršević of the Belgrade's Institute of Social Sciences and Todd Brower of the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute.

Five years ago, the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, as the only institute in the world conducting research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, began its cooperation with the Montenegro government in creating and exchanging best practice regarding police officers' training programmes. Toronto police, Egale Canada, Amsterdam police and ILGA Europe joined the programme, which became a distinctive mechanism that ranks Montenegro among progressive countries.

Over time, numerous international partners, namely Gallop UK, ILGA World and Centre for the Judiciary, joined the government's initiative that became globally recognisable.

The key message of the training is that it is necessary to make police and judiciary understand the matter in a way that any action in these cases requires knowledge about real life of the LGBTI community. The training focused on practical skill and information to permit police officers, judges and prosecutors make the best informed decisions on this issue, without having misconceptions about the LGBT community.

The training programme, sponsored by the Government and Police Directorate of Montenegro, brought together 62 representatives of Montenegro's police and judiciary, as well as the countries from the region (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania).