Permanent Secretariat of the Decade of Roma Inclusion

As agreed upon at the 9th meeting of the International Steering Committee of the Decade of Roma Inclusion held on November 16-17, 2006, a Permanent Secretariat of the Decade of Roma Inclusion (“Decade”) will be established in Budapest, Hungary.

The creation of the Permanent Secretariat (PS) is supported by the Open Society Institute (OSI), which is founding the PS on behalf of the International Steering Committee (ISC). Legal procedures establishing the PS are expected to be completed by June 2007.

The PS will be responsible for supporting the Decade Presidency in the organization of ISC meetings and sectoral workshops, ensuring coordination among the main Decade stakeholders, and supporting and facilitating the accession of new governments. It will also assist in further developing and updating National Action Plans in the Decade priority areas.

The Permanent Secretariat will be a private foundation registered in Hungary, with an office in Budapest that serves as the main facilitation body of the Decade. The Decade Presidency-in-office will serve as the Chair of a Board of Trustees consisting of six members. The primary staff member of the PS, the “Facilitator,” will serve as secretary to the Board of Trustees.

Building a knowledge management system based on national and international experiences and compiling annual reports about Decade activities will be among the main activities of the PS. It will also design and implement communication strategies linked with significant initiatives to promote Decade achievements.

In addition to assisting with the annual transfer of know-how and initiatives between the rotating Decade Presidencies, the PS will facilitate a smooth transition and enhance coordination of all joint activities.

The staff of the PS will be recruited internationally through a transparent and competitive process based on clear task descriptions. In addition, seconded staff and consultants may be hired subject to the needs of the PS. Staffing costs and operational costs will be covered by the governments and international organizations participating in the Decade.

Seed funds for the first year of operations—amounting to 150,000 USD—will be provided by the Open Society Institute. While OSI has expressed its long-term support for the PS, further financial support is also expected from other Decade stakeholders.