Secretary Clinton's Message on International Roma Day

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 8, 2009

In recognition of International Roma Day, Secretary Clinton delivered the following message via video:

International Roma Day is an opportunity call attention to the history, experience, and human rights of Europe’s largest ethnic minority.

Promoting and protecting the rights of Roma has long been of personal interest to me. I saw firsthand the plight of the Roma – particularly Romani women and children – when I visited Roma communities in Central and Eastern Europe as First Lady. As a member of the Helsinki Commission, I urged governments to do more to protect and promote the 10 million Roma who live in Europe.

Despite important progress that has been made in the past decade, many Roma still live on the margins of society. They continue to experience racial profiling, violence, discrimination and other human rights abuses. Too often they lack identity documents or citizenship papers, which excludes them from voting, social services, education, and employment opportunities that would enable them to participate more fully in the countries in which they live.

The United States is committed to protecting and promoting the human rights of Roma through our bilateral relations and through our involvement in organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Governments have a special responsibility to ensure that minority communities have the tools of opportunity they need to succeed as productive and responsible members of society. I urge governments throughout Europe to continue their efforts to address the plight of Roma, end discrimination and ensure equality of opportunity in education and employment so that Roma can fulfill their greater promise of success and achievement.

Roma have a rich artistic and cultural heritage, which has left an indelible mark across Europe and the world. It is in the interests of the larger European and global community to create conditions that maximize success for all people within our borders and beyond. I hope that events taking place at our embassies and missions around the world on International Roma Day will be one more step on the path to helping Roma reach a better, brighter future.

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
April 8, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Save Roma in Sofia: Roma community being evicted near Sofia Airport for airport expansion. Save Roma in Sofia. Why should people be sacrificed for development; when development is primary for enhancement of peope's lives?

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 8, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

I know this sounds far-fetched and counter to the Roma's traditional way of life, but I think they need their homeland, where they'd live free of harassment by other ethnicities, and be in control of their own affairs. Just like Israel, or Ireland. they cannot forever be like candles in the wind, dependent on free will of surrounding majority, that so often treats them hostile.

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
April 8, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Dear Hillary,

Once again you teach us why leaving any people on the margins is disadvantageous to all of us. Providing Roma children with education benefits all of society. Children left without education too frequently turn to a life of crime. Unfortunately, criminal activity is part of the stereotype attached to the Roma. Children exposed to a variety of occupational and career opportunities and given the educational means to achieve those ends are more likely to escape the lures and traps of an itinerant life at the edges of society.

You mention the artistic contributions of the Roma people. Their is hardly a region in Europe where their influence is not felt and the cultures are richer for them.

I know I tell you this all the time, but you never make a move or a public statement that does not demonstrate your depth of knowledge, empathy, compassion, and good will. You are a golden example of a truly Christian attitude toward your fellow humans. It shines from you every time your speak, even when you are exhausted and losing your voice, you still glow with a good heart and a fair and reasoned assessment of the issue.

I want you to know that I am a part of a very large community of women and men of all ages, races, and walks of life. We follow your work, are intensely strong supporters, and sometimes we worry about you. Mostly, though, we simply cheer you on as you tear your way through phenomenal numbers of appearances and sheaves of policy and briefings without ever faltering. We are proud of you. I am.

I wish you a Wonderful Easter. God bless you, dear Hillary.

Rosemary in NJ

Margita
|
New York, USA
April 8, 2009

Margita in New York writes:

It is heartening to see this public recognition of the holiday celebrated and the issues faced by many Romani communities around the world. I hope Secretary Clinton will also help us Roma honor our families' victims and raise awareness of anti-Gypsyism by supporting the nomination of a Romani representative to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. The fact that we do not have a single representative on the Council should be considered an embarrassment to those parts of the U.S. government who are responsible. Thank you.

Dragan
|
Sweden
April 8, 2009

Dragan in Sweden writes:

Super, best ever!!!

Greatings from Sweden, thanks Hillary and President Obama.

God bless.

jackie
|
Michigan, USA
April 8, 2009

Jackie in Michigan writes:

thanks Hillary,
smiles
j

Slavko
|
New York, USA
April 9, 2009

Slavko in New York writes:

Great job Ms. Clinton. Hope this will help but we need more help to safe the Roma in Eastern Europe. OPRE ROMA

Janette
|
Finland
April 8, 2009

Janette in Finland writes:

I thank You so much for your attention towards my own ethnic group who has been standing on marginals too long time especially in Balkan and in East-Europe.

Ljiljana Z.
April 8, 2009

Ljiljana Z. writes:

I appreciate Secretary Clinton in her effort to bring the situation of Roma out. I am first generation born Romani-American, and feel that there is not enough media coverage within the U.S.A. of the racial discrimination that occurs in Europe concerning it's biggest minority population. Finally with a Black president in office, I feel there might be hope in shedding some light on the Roma Human Rights Struggle in Europe! Opre Roma!

Antonio
|
Brazil
April 8, 2009

Antonio in Brazil writes:

Thanks a lot Ms Hillary Clinton, I'm an overseas Move On member and an admiror from Mr Barack Obama , and for the fist time in my life I could watch an american State Secretary give endorsement to some urgences of Roma people.

And thanks a lot Mr Barack Obama

Betty
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 8, 2009

Betty in Washington writes:

I am so glad to see the plight of set of beautiful humans brought forward to the world where before so many have been silent.

Rana H.
|
California, USA
April 8, 2009

Rana H. in California writes:

Dear Mrs. Hilary Clinton

I too am concerned about the plight of the Roma in Europe especially currently in Italy and Hungary. In Italy , I toured the Camps throughout in 2001 where children were living in extreme poverty and without education which they desperately want. It would be a privledge and immensely helpful if we could work with you or one of your people -especially children and to bring awareness of their plight: their need for safety,education and acknowlagdement of the gifts the Romani people have given the world.

Suzanne
|
California, USA
April 9, 2009

Suzanne in California writes:

Woohoo! Go Sec'y Clinton! A beautiful message, beautifully delivered. What the Roma have to put up with day in and day out is crazy and crazy-making, with many parallels to the hard road of African-Americans. It's all rooted in prejudice, which has to be beaten by law, creativity, proximity, commerce, and the daily efforts of decent human beings. The Roma have responded to their challenges with intelligence, toughness, persistence, extraordinary family values, faith, and beauty. Never forget that the Roma are fellow human beings, and bnever let anyone else forget it.

Wendy
|
California, USA
April 9, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Dear SecState Hillary,

Your appeal on behalf of Roma is yet another reason why on our way to a deeply sane and fruitful peace on our precious planet, your work, the Obama Administration, and all the dedicated work of the folk at State in DC and around the world are building the framework for eventually using most human resources for construction not destruction.

I long for it in my lifetime, but am sure we are closer to those halcyon times with all the fine and kind and smart work all of you are doing each day. So many gratitudes.

('Halcyon' is a word describing the kind of kindly, beautyfull day when a kingfisher can build her nest upon the bosom of the sea.)

Aleksandra
|
Macedonia
April 9, 2009

Aleksandra in Macedonia writes:

Thank you Ms. Clinton for this statement. It is a very important message to the Europe's governments, including the one of Republic of Macedonia.

I hope that U.S. will provide the support announced in the statement and it will be effective and contribute to the improvement of the life of Romani people.

I also hope that U.S. will remember its own Romani community and the Romani people throughout Americas.

Happt Roma Day and best wishes to all,
Aleksandra

Thomas
|
United Kingdom
April 9, 2009

Thomas A. in the United Kingdom writes:

This is a welcome statement from the wife of a descendant of the famous Romani Blythe familiy of Kirk Yetholm in Scotland.

Edis
|
Kosovo
April 9, 2009

Edis in Kosovo writes:

I`m a young roma student from Kosovo and It`s a great honor hearing all this words from secretary Clinton.

I can see that everyone is saying that we should help roma people to reach a better and bright future, I`m a guy who really needs that.

I`m roma, and I already finished my high school. I would really like to go further. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME ON THIS ISSUE, like finding me some scholarship, or somethng similar so I can continue my studies abroad.

Pleriminarely Thanks
Edis

Bumbac
|
Romania
April 11, 2009

Bumbac in Romania writes:

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

Who entitled that ETHNIC Minority to call themselves ROMA???, is a contradiction with the capital of Italy ROMA, as for my vaste knoledges they ..ARE ORIGINARY FROM...I N D I A!!! IS a deliberately confusion to put together this ETHNIC group from INDIA with the name of a NATION AS : ROMANIA!!! Why the western democracies are still supporting such a confusion?? People of Romania totally disaproave any linguistic links with the name of our country or our ethnicity!

Best regards,
Bumbac

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 12, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

their own ethnonym entitled them. the word 'Roma' in gypsy language means 'man', or some like that. it just so happens that there's such a thing as 'coincidence' in the world. after all, Romania only became Romania after Roman conquest; it really should be called Wallachia ;) which doesn't make your country any less important or beautiful

Bumbac
|
Romania
April 12, 2009

Bumbac in Romania writes:

Dear Ole from New York,

I agreeve with you when you mention that international community to ... give wright to the GYPSIES to have their OWN COUNTRY!!! as jews create Israel! But i strongly believe that they have aldready their OWN COUNTRY ALDREADY, that is I N D I A!!! By the way, ROMANIA doesn`t create from her national teritory any... GYPSY enclave STATE not for now or in FUTURE!!! And as a personal remark, Ole , Romania doesn`t take the name after the roman conquist!!! The ancient province name was...DACIA, and after that, were created the principate of WALLACHIA, TRANSYLVANIA AND MOLDOVA who get united and take name of R O M A N I A!.

Best regards,
Bumbac

John
|
Greece
April 12, 2009

John in Greece writes:

Nice "ahtarmas": as we say in "Greek". Relax guys. You tend to make it an ahtarma.

What Roma has to do with Gypsy, what Gypsy has to do with Israel, what India has to do with Romania, and what Dacia has to do with FIAT, or NIVA?

DO NOT STOP HISTORY by putting the button where your ego is OK.
History is a "travelling channel and it goes back -- to caves -- even deeper than caves, concerning time.

Where and when we had no borders or ethnicities.

Tonia H.
|
California, USA
April 16, 2009

Tonia H. in California writes:

I am happy to see attention focused on the state of affairs of the Roma people worldwide. Their gifts have made our world a richer one in many senses. Thank you for honoring them with this day!

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 17, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

@ Bumbac, I am not suggesting at all that Romania apportion some territory for Gypsy autonomy -- although its worth noting that Spain has Basque, Catalan and other autonomies, as does Germany have Bavaria, United Kingdom -- Scotland, Wales, and Ulster; Russia -- Tatarstan and other republics; and your neighbors/brothers Moldova, have Gagauzia. I do not know where the Gypsy homeland should better be located, moreover that i fully recognize the utopianism of my suggestion, but as for India, it's a country that has many ethnicities living there, so it's hardly going to be a place where Gypsies would be able to feel free of outside pressures, by the way, as purported hotbed of all Indo-European family of nations, one could say that India's also the original home of, say, English, Russian, and even Romanian people -- but nobody's gonna suggest them all moving there at this time ;)

I know about Dacia, Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldova; but if the name 'Romania' did not originate with the Roman conquest, why did it appear in your country's history at all? your people call themselves 'Romanians' because they speak a Romance language, descended from Latin; their original state was titled 'Tzara Romanesc' -- 'Roman kingdom', if i'm not mistaken; now why would they call themselves 'Roman', if not due to connection to ancient Rome?

Richard
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 25, 2009

Richard in Washington writes:

Dear hillary clinton, we need your Help, for decent housing for roma, men, women, and children! we have the souloution!

I am Richard Urich my family has been the fortunate Rom that live in the u.s.a. the greatist country in the world. My father Thomas J. Urich was considered for the seat for the united nations,by ian hancock, professor of linguistics at university of austin texas,my father was considered because he was well respected in the romania nation wide (he earned the respect of the people,by being real,he stood for rightchousness,intgrety,morals,honesty,and the unity of his people.) He had true pashion to help his people find their original,true lineage and to help improove lives of the roma. he spoke to us about education, keeping our culture, keeping our launguage, finacially to open small buisness, and he gathered hundreds of Rom to discuss, what we as rom can do to keep our culture alive, how to handle problems in the roma comunities,and to dicuss how can we help our relatives overseas, (proffesor ean hancock was at one of his gatherings),h e did not like the living conditons,the rom had over seas, he wanted to improve that,and that is still currently a problem now,as you know, my uncle, brother, and i have continued his work, and have now solved the housing problem for the roma people in urope and other third world countries!we are biulding geodesic domes that can be built,even with scrap lumber,they are green,minimum heating,minimum cooling, wind power for power,the can be built for pennies on the dollar ,compared to conventional structures,an individule dome can be finished in 1 week!

we now have the soulition for the housing problem for the roma,but not only the roma,all poverty stricken people internationally, but we have one more hurdle to overcome ,and we will,there is funding,billions of dollars that belong to the roma in the u.s.a. that was held in switzerland, then finally transferred to u.s.a. and is now be held and not released to help the roma becuse of buracracy,the funding is there to realize my fathers and our dream to have desent housing for the roma that why i am writing this letter to you,we need your help right this wrong doing,again atrosities against the rom, how long,how long,will this go on, please help us to help the roma in need,please! misses,Clinton you are our only hope for the decent housing for men,women,and children!

Dr.Momo N.
|
United States
April 26, 2009

Momo in U.S.A. writes:

Dear Secretary of State Mrs Hilary Clinton,

On behalf of millions of Roma people around the world who don't have access to viewing your greeting messages to Roma people on International Roma day I am taking the pride and honor to thank you Mrs.Clinton for your deep understanding for needs of children, women, and Roma people in general in 21st century. Mrs Clinton your care is historical for Roma people around the world.

Please let the United States of America with leadership of Mr.Obama and democratic views for Roma needs with your care lead Roma to achieve their Human rights around the world. I will be honored to share with you ideas for constructive programs for helping Roma people around the world. I am one Rom who made my own dream of "Roma American Dream" by living in America. Yes, my dream came true.

May god bless you Mrs Clinton, and your family,

God Bless America

Sincerely,
Independant Roma Rights Activist
Momo N.

P.S. I would be honored to present my biography to your department.

gratian
|
United Kingdom
June 18, 2009

Gratian in the United Kingdom writes:

hello there i m here to say that i m a gypsy boy originaly from transilvanya and i m so honord that we have are international day that is great for me i m in london but i vanna get to america no one know that i m gypsy in london i m not telling people cos i m scared please get in touch london

Bryce
|
Washington, USA
August 20, 2009

Bryce in Washington writes:

Well to be honest the actions of the United States have been disastrous to the Rroma community in Kosovo. The United States has blindly supported Albanian nationalists even when they have turned to racist and violent tactics to further their political aims. More than 150000 Rroma were forced from their home, many in trucks from the United States and other NATO countries into polluted refugee camps while their farms and homes are stolen. This is a fate that they have also shared with many Serbian families and even Albanians who object to the ultra nationalist terrorist tactics of the KLA. The United States interfered forcefully into a conflict we hardly understood and took the view that one side was totally right and the other side totally wrong. Yet again the Rromani suffer the most and for the longest. Sure the United States may occasionally wag its finger at this or that Eastern European country many of which are now allies jumping at the chance to join NATO. But will we ever recognize how we are at fault

.

Latest Stories

October 22, 2014

Attacks in Ottawa

In the wake of the tragic shooting incident in Ottawa, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "We condemn today's heinous… more

Pages