The most relevant actors in the field of protection and promotion of minority rights in Serbia were invited to look into ways to improve the functioning of National Councils for National Minorities in the country as well as to discuss related issues.
The gathering also served to strengthen the national network of minority rights bodies in Serbia. Together with their counterparts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and Kosovo* the members of these national networks form the "South East European Network of Minority Rights Defenders" set up for the purpose of the Project.
In the course of the Project discussions of issues of common interest and exchanges of experiences between the members of the network will be organised at regional level. It is hoped that good practices that emerge in the regional discussions will be brought back home by the members of the regional network and change practices in the region.
The conference in Belgrade was hosted by the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia. It was open to the media.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence