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Keynote Speech: Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue of the Republic of Serbia 

October 12, 2023 by BSC0


 Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue of the Republic of Serbia started his address by stating that the Republic of Serbia had worked on the protection and promotion of human and minority rights, which had been acknowledged by international institutions. He added that Serbia has a satisfactory framework for fighting discrimination, that laws have been amended in this field, and that new ones have been passed, including reinforcing the independence of the Ombudsperson of the Republic of Serbia.  



While talking about the international aspect of human rights protection, Minister Žigmanov stated that the Republic of Serbia adopted the UN 2030 Agenda, which includes the principle of leaving no one behind, and that the Government, the National Assembly, and the civil society can be proud of the improvement of human rights standards and the alignment of legislation to international standards. 

The Minister reminded the audience that the Constitution of Serbia states that general rules of international law and international agreements apply directly and that all documents ratified by the Republic of Serbia have functioning reporting systems.  



Minister Žigmanov stated that the very existence of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue is proof of the existence of political will to advance the protection of human rights in Serbia. He also added that the Government is not the only actor in human rights protection, as civil society strongly participates in decision-making about strategic documents and in passing legislation in this field. 

The oversight on the implementation of UN recommendations is at a satisfactory level since 26 civil society organizations are part of a council that monitors the implementation of these recommendations. This body will start making an annual report on the progress made in this regard from this year onward. 



The Minister stressed that the greatest challenges Serbia faces are the reduction of hate speech present on social media, striving to accept differences and enhance the level of tolerance to reduce the level of violence in various parts of our society, the security of LGBTQ+ persons, building a society without discrimination, dealing with refugees, regular and irregular migrants, and particularly the rights of the Serbian community and other non-Albanian minorities in Kosovo and Metohija.  



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