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Positive Progress in Yaroslavl


Representatives from a number of organizations came together in Yaroslavl last week to hold discussions on a wide range of important local matters. The discussions had a truly international flavour, with representatives from as far as Canada, Germany, and Great Britain as well as representatives from ethnic minority leaders from Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Chechnya. Ashot Ayrapetyan, the director of the Centre for Interethnic Cooperation led a delegation from Moscow to attend the meeting and also acted as chair for the conference.

Topics under discussion included the difficulties in combating ethnic discrimination and prejudice in Yaroslavl and progress towards improving the image of ethnic minorities in the region. Local youth organizations and professors contributed to the discussions and lent their expertise and considerable experience, while representatives from other regions added weight to the discussions by recounting successful solutions from their own areas.

It was decided that a productive and practical way of improving relations between Russians and ethnic minorities was through the positive education of young people regarding the importance of the values of tolerance and cooperation.

The discussions were long and productive - many of the representatives from the southern republics commented on the sunny, warm weather in Yaroslavl, which reminded them of their hometowns. The warm-hearted spirit of the meeting continued for the entire weekend as the Moscow delegation was given a guided tour of Russias beautiful and oldest city and treated to the luxurious hospitality of their Yaroslavl hosts.

I hope that the success of this meeting acts as an inspiration for other groups to work together, meet and discuss methods in which to advance the self-evident human values of tolerance and cooperation, said Sandro Henschel a member of the Moscow delegation.

1993-2003
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