“A truly democratic society should guarantee the participation of national minorities in the political, economic, social, cultural and religious life,” said Monsignor Urbanczyk. He deplored “manifest or indirect forms of oppression or marginalization” of certain of these communities that “do not enjoy fully their fundamental liberties and rights.” They can also be “affected negatively” by the coronavirus crisis,” he stressed, “notably by the lack of access to health systems or lack of information in their own tongue.

Monsignor Janusz S. Urbanczyk, the Holy See’s Permanent Representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), took part in the first supplementary meeting on the human dimension dedicated to the “fight against all forms of intolerance and discrimination,” at Vienna, on May 26, 2020. He intervened in the 3rd Session on the theme: “From Early Alert to Early Action: Prevention of Discrimination, the Escalation of Tensions or Conflicts.”

National minorities have “specific rights and duties, affirmed the Holy See spokesman: the right to “preserve and develop their own culture, including their language” as well as to “profess and practice their religion, including the freedom of worship as a community.” They have “the duty to work, as all citizens, for the common good of the State” as well as “to promote the freedom and dignity of each of its members,” respecting “their decisions, even if these are different from their heritage,” he specified.

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