First Time Mapping of National and Local Capacities to Enhance Inter-Ethnic Dialogue

75 representatives from all stakeholder groups at national and local levels, covering the municipalities of Kičevo, Kumanovo and Struga have mapped for the first time national capacities and systems for strengthening inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration, while also identifying gaps.  For a period of few months, the groups worked on this assessment and then put forward detailed recommendations for addressing the gaps, which are contained in the Report “National and Local Capacities for Strengthening Inter-ethnic Dialogue and Collaboration”

The participants who came together expressed that they rarely had the occasion to jointly work together and that the time they spent identifying capacities and gaps provided them with a unique opportunity to get to know one another.  For example, members of the Orthodox Christian and Islamic religious communities referenced positive cases of working together and with local self-government to resolve outstanding issues in their municipalities.

“Being part of the process was very useful for our organization, both for better understanding the situation with inter-ethnic relations from all aspects, but also for networking with other participants with whom we can have joint efforts for improvement of inter-ethnic relations. We had the chance to share experience with the other municipalities involved in the process, and we realized that we face the same problems. During the workshop we gained some ideas to develop a project that is now being supported through the Small Grants Scheme of the Joint UN Programme Enhancing Inter-ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration”, says Dragica Pavleska - Poposka, President of Organization of Women "Ezerka" from Struga.


The main findings of the Report confirm that a strong infrastructure is in place to support inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration in the country. This infrastructure includes institutions and organizations at the central level that share a mandate to improve inter-community dialogue and collaboration—namely, the Secretariat for the Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the Ministry of Local Self-Government, the Agency for Minority Rights Realization, and the Parliamentary Inter-Community Relations Committee. It also includes local government, civic, business and religious leaders and the media. The participants have concluded that the capacities of the institutions need to be strengthened, as well as the capacities for adequate interpretation of the laws and their implementation. Among other, the participants concluded that the leaders from the civil society, as well as the leaders from the religious communities, the local and national media and the business sector are crucial for finding solutions together with the local government.

“It is a report that draws on the knowledge and expertise of the people most directly engaged with the issue – both at national and local level. It looks at the broader aspects of the inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration and assesses capacities both at the national and at the local level. It is an outcome of in-depth discussions and workshops held over a period of several months and its realization could not have been possible without the active participation of many stakeholders”, pointed out Ms. Deirdre Boyd, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative at the official launch of the Report. 

Mr. Abdilaqim Ademi, Deputy Prime Minister in charge for the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, welcomed the findings of the Report, and underlined that: “The Secretariat will continue to support future activities that are in function of promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and the building of a multiethnic, multicultural and multi-confessional society. In cooperation with our partners, we will work hard to identify new sensitive points which could influence the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.” 

This Report, produced in English, Macedonian and Albanian, with Executive Summaries in these and additional 5 languages (Turkish, Roma, Serbian, Vlach and Bosniak) is a product (result) of one process, but is the beginning of another. In specific response to the assessment and ideas and recommendations generated in the Report, the UN Joint Inter-ethnic Programme has already designed several activities – such as leadership seminars, debates and inter-ethnic business forums. The grants scheme open to civil society organizations and organized by UNDP, selected 9 civil organizations through an open call for proposals and will finance their activities. 

“Civic Movement WAKE UP! is proud that our proposal is being supported by this UN programme. We are convinced that the planned activities will raise the awareness about the importance of tolerance and good interethnic relations amongst the youth in the pilot municipalities”, stated Artan Grubi, the President of Wake Up!.  

“Successful implementation of our project “Unity in Diversity” will help local people overcome prejudices and increase the tolerance and trust among each other. It will also strengthen the abilities of the Commission for Inter-community Relations as all the activities will be implemented jointly with their members. General public will be informed on all the activities through the media and invited to participate on all public events”, said Katerina Vasileska from the Local Development Agency from Struga, one of the civil society organization supported through the Grants Scheme.

This Report and the activities that are being prepared as follow-up of its findings and recommendations are examples of the results being delivered under the UNDP project, which is part of a larger UN effort, the UN Joint Programme to Enhance National and local-level capacities to effectively maintain and bolster cohesion in multi-ethnic communities. It has been funded by the Government of Spain through the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund and is implemented together with the Secretariat for the Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the Ministries of Education and Science, Culture, and Local Self-Government, the Association of Local Self-Government Units, the surrounding micro-regions and municipalities of Kičevo, Kumanovo and Struga, and members of civil society, with the support of UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO.


To access the Report please click on the follwing:
Results of a Participatory Assesment: National and Local Capacities for Strengthening Inter-Ethnic dialogue and Collaboration
Резултати од партиципативна проценка на националните и локалните капацитети за зајакнување на меѓуетничкиот дијалог и соработка
Rezultatet e Vlerësimit Pjesëmarrës: Kapacitetet Kombëtare dhe Locale për Përforcimin en dialogut dhe Bashkëpunimit Ndër-etnik

To access the Executive Summary click on one of the languages below:
English; Macedonian; Albanian; Roma; Turkish; Vlach; Serbian