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2019-11-22 › Turkmenistan representatives discuss national minorities issues on OSCE-organized study visit to Lithuania

The creation of a mechanism for consultations with the representatives of the national minorities was the focus of an OSCE-organized study visit, from 18 to 21 November 2019, to Lithuania for representatives of the Ombudsperson’s office, the Ministry of Education, the Institute of State, Law and Democracy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.

Representatives held meetings in the Department of National Minorities under the Government of Lithuania, House of National Minorities, the Seimas (Parliament) and the Municipality of Visaginas. They discussed the legislative framework related to the rights of minorities and the activities of relevant institutions aimed at fostering national cultures and promoting the integration of national minorities in the society.

“The OSCE attaches special importance to the participation of national minorities in public life which is a meaningful precondition for a peaceful and democratic society and an essential aspect of good governance,” said Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.

“The study visit is a part of the Centre’s support for the implementation of the provisions of the 2016–2020 National Human Rights Action Plan,” said Drozd. ”We strongly believe that the visit provided a unique opportunity for a first-hand experience in the area of addressing national minorities’ issues and the exchange of views between the two countries,” added Drozd.

Representatives participated in events hosted by the Department of National Minorities on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance, including a ceremony to honour and award nominees for their contribution in consolidating and strengthening multinational civil society and intercultural dialogue.

Representatives from Turkmenistan also visited the Polish Culture House and the Belarus Pranciskus Skorina Gymnasium in Vilnius.

The visit was organized in close co-operation with the Department on National Minorities under the Government of Lithuania as a joint initiative of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat and the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.

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