The IRU [International Romanì Union] was born out of the 1st World Roma Congress, opening in London on 8 April 1971. Grattan Puxon was among the chief organizers and founder members of the Congress and IRU. Today the IRU is headed by Zoran Dimov, elected at the 10th Congress in Skopje in 2016.
Therefore, in taking this path agreed at the London Conference, we recognize the vital and essential need to improve our existing organization and our collective capacity. All of us are willing to work with the International Romani Union and president Zoran Dimov, and those mandated from the 10th Congress in 2016.
As part of the 2 August events, we collectively presented at Europe House [home of the EU
in the UK capital] a memorandum in support of the IRU proposal for the creation of corps of Roma Ombudsmen, able to act effectively on complaints ofdiscrimination and racism perpetuated against Roma, and Romani and associated communities.
During the Conference, it was noted with
appreciation that the IRU following the regaining of NGO status with ECOSOC, has commenced activity at the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
Above all the Conference attached great importance
to the adoption by the 10th Congress of the programme for democratic reform, and the creation of the Democratic Transition Commission, which is working to carry through those changes. The basic task has involved setting up an electronic voting system, which can enable people in communities throughout the global Roma Diaspora to participate in the future democratic election of a mandated collective political representation.
The Democratic Transition, Grattan Puxon explains, holds the potential for the creation of a full-scale and recognizable Roma Nation Mandate. When [and only if] this potential is realized it will bring new legitimacy, ensure accountability and award a more powerful voice to a respected and recognized Roma Nation.
In a word, the political influence due our numbers – yes, scattered around the world but now linked through the latest technology and advancing collectively in a rapidly changing world.
The Voter List at its current stage, enables organizers to reach out to activists in all corners of the world, assisting those determined to mobilize joint action on Roma Nation Day; wishing to achieve greater immediate response to instances of abuse and attack as they happen. The first need for such action to which the London Conference found itself alerted was the brutal murder of Garni Rama in Pristina. Lokhi phuv leske.
The Conference was in agreement that in view of the crisis felt across Europe, and especially inItaly, we must work to build a network able to coordinate protest againstrising anti-Roma racism and violence. The aim is encourage communities throughlocal NGOs all to come out together withone common theme on Roma Nation Day 2020.
Let’s prepare together a great European day of protest for next “8 April”, with demonstrations in all countries and major cities. After that, we’ll organize a huge demonstration in Brussels to impress upon representatives of the European Commission our determination to end anti-Roma violence and hostile political policies – and gain in their place full protection and civil rights, together with respect and recognition of the Roma Nation.
The Conference endorsed the plans of the IRU to hold the first electronic elections in connection with the convening of the 11th World Roma Congress, scheduled to take place in 2020. Each of us present pledged to assist in the expansion of the Voter List in order to increase both grass-roots participation in the election process and enhance the potential for that larger-scale mobilizations when necessary.