Statement by the Deputy Head of Mission Stein-Ivar Lothe Eide.

| Prishtina

Dear, Adrian, Minister, Deputy Minister, Deputy Mayor, Director, Friends and colleagues


Thank you for the invitation, and for the opportunity to address this Conference.

Let me also thank ECMI for the cooperation that we have developed, and which is set to continue in the years to come.

Education is of fundamental importance. We know that it is decisive to fight poverty, to unlock sustainable development, and that it is a crucial institution for promoting democratic citizenship, and reconciliation.

We all know how important education can be for individuals, not only to acquire essential skills and knowledge – but also to instil a sense of self-worth and dignity that everyone deserve, and need to be productive, content and creative members of society.

Against this backdrop, we congratulate ECMI for its efforts to map the state of play in Serbian language education in Kosovo. The report correctly emphasises the centrality of education in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities, and offers a useful baseline for discussing further steps to improve the education sector in Kosovo.

We encourage the institutions to make the most of this resource, and to continue their efforts to develop an appropriate and funded strategy for the provision of quality education in Serbian language in Kosovo.

We wish you a fruitful discussion, and thank you again for organising this event.

Thank you.