National Civil Society Trainings
The EaP Minority Network held sessions throughout EaP countries with civil society to discuss the role of minority rights. The session in Armenia was quite an eclectic group, representing Yezidi, Assiriyan, Georgian, Molokani, Russian, Greek, Polish, and Ukrainian communities. With information from the session, the Sinjar Yezidi National Union applied and was accepted to join the ranks of other minority civil society organizations as the newest member of Armenia’s National Platform. Azerbaijan’s session focused on the role of economic development in minority rights and invited Vugar Bayramov, the former head of Azerbaijan’s EaP National Forum, to provide insight to participants. Participants hoped to open up stronger lines of communication with neighboring minority rights groups, such as the Georgian Minority Council, to gather experiential knowledge and best practices. Belarus’s session largely focused on the lack of minority organization representation in the National Platform or Civil Society Forum, and measures to increase minority presence in these entities.
The Eastern Partnership Minority Network held trainings in Kiev, Odessa, and Lviv, Ukraine to discuss issues related to minority advocacy. The session in Kiev focused on combatting hate crimes by using both national and international instruments. The program also offered an online kit for participants with materials and links to minority-centered periodicals. Two sessions in Georgia had great success in providing Russian, Ossetian, Udis, and Armenian organizations with the knowledge and incentive to apply for Georgia’s National Platform membership. All participant organizations indicated they would submit recommendations to the EU Delegation in Georgia for the 2014-2017 CSO/LA programme on measures to enhance minority focus in local governance. Similar trainings took place in Moldova in October 2013 and April 2014, and discussed measures for minority organizations to cooperate in order to be incorporated within the National Platform.