Welcome note by Dr Igor Lukšić, Prime Minister of Montenegro
Dear Conference Attendees,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to Montenegro for the Toward Europe, Toward Equality conference.
Antidiscrimination policy and promotion of human rights is a goal of my government. It is also important that Montenegrin society have free dialogue on the issues of openness, equality and harmony, particularly vis-à-vis LGBT rights and issues, in order for us to move towards our European future. Initiatives such as sensitivity and LGBT rights training for our law enforcement and judicial officials, discussions on the need for the LGBT community to express itself openly, including through Pride Parades, and the exchange of knowledge that occurs at conferences such as these will support these aims. By confronting myths and stereotypes about the LGBT community with facts we can break down the barriers between ourselves and put an end to discrimination. Nobody should have to live in fear, or invisibility, in Montenegro.
I encourage you to enjoy sessions on such topics as implementing the Council of Europe recommendations on combatting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, promoting equality, European integration, the role of police in protecting the LGBT community, and lessons to be learned as Montenegrins plan their first Pride Parade. We are very fortunate to have such distinguished speakers at this conference who are world-renowned authorities in their fields.
And finally, please feel welcome and completely at home while you are here in Montenegro. I hope you get a chance to visit other parts of our beautiful country, and it is my personal wish that you return to visit us again in the future.
My best wishes for a successful conference,
Dr Igor Lukšić
Prime Minister of Montenegro