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KorrikSummer - Gusht | 11  New Waste Management Solutions for Regional and Local Government Presented at National Conference Introduction of modern and effective waste management solutions was the topic of a conference organised on 3 July 2012 under the care of the Swiss Cooperation Office and the Ministry of Interior. Representatives from central government, regional and local governments, public and private institutions, and international donors were present at the event where examples of successful and effective waste management practices from the regions were shared and discussed. “Waste management is a key aspect that calls for more action and initiative from elected authorities at regional and local levels”, said the Swiss Ambassador, Yvana Enzler. She emphasized that the Swiss program for decentralization in Albania is in full harmony with the Government’s priorities as set out in strategies and plans, including the issue of waste management. “Local government units must be able to administer their territories themselves”, said Deputy Minister of Interior, Ferdinand Poni. “This requires commitment from both citizens and the authorities”. Thematic sessions during this conference were led by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, and focused on planning and implementing waste management at local level (municipalities and communes), as well as on the organisation of waste collection and transport at regional level (Qarks and Prefectures). Cost reduction was a particularly interesting topic for partic-

      Photo: Conference discussing new Waste Management Solutions for Regional and Local Government, held on 3 July 2012

ipants with examples presented by Swiss and Albanian experts. During the event, a new publication on “Manual on Waste Management Planning” was presented, which is expected to help local and regional authorities in carrying out practical steps towards improving waste management and territorial cleaning. In addition, several examples from within Albania and other countries were discussed as models that can be used by local and regional government elsewhere in the country.

 EU and UNDP expand their support for the Roma and Egyptian Communities in Albania On July 2012, the European Union Delegation in Albania, the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities launched in Korca, a Joint Project which will support the Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyp-

       Photo: The artisan fair organized in the Korça traditional market.

tian Communities of Albania (SSIREC). The event hosted by Municipality of Korça , was attended by representatives of regional and local authorities, in particular from the three project regions, representatives of line ministries, international donors, NGOs involved in social inclusion, business associations, academia and the media. The new project aims at contributing towards social, economic and political empowerment of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania. Implemented in the regions of Berat, Korça and Vlora over the course of two years, the project main components include infrastructure development, capacity building for civil society organizations and entrepreneurial support. SSIREC project will also assist the MoLSAEO`s Technical Secretariat for Roma to strengthen its capacities for implementing and monitoring social inclusion policies. Deputy Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Filloreta Kodra, highlighted: “This project will help to improve the life of Roma and Egyptian communities and will also assist in expanding and consolidating the monitoring system of the Action Plan for the Roma Decade”. UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, amongst others highlighted: ”We should work with a multi-dimensional approach to address issues related to social exclusion. This project will enable the implementation of national policies and strategies for the benefit of Roma and Egyptian communities. In this regard, the cooperation between local and central authorities is of essential”. Mr. Francois Begeot, Head of Economic Reform and Infrastructure department, EU Delegation in Albania, during his re-

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