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CONSEU meeting promotes democracy and human rights

Aren Grimshaw newly elected Assistant General Secretary of the Celtic League recently attended a further meeting of CONSEU.

The latest conference, entitled European Stateless Nations and the Reform of International Institutions, was organised by CIEMEN (The Centre for Ethnic Minorities and Nations), based in Catalonia.

The conference, which is now in its 7th year as CONSEU (Conferencefor Nations without a State), is held each year to look at the way in which nations existing inside recognised state borders often have their interests marginalised by political institutions to the detriment of local interests.

This year's conference focused on the establishment of international institutions after the last world war, and how their creation served the interests of a specific group of states at that particular moment in history. Through a series of speeches and discussions the conference looked at how reform of institutions such as the UN, European Union and International Courts, would ensure all citizens within wider states had their interests represented fairly. Speakers at the conference included political and legal figures from across Europe, including contributions from respected lawyers; Jann Chooq and Kevyan Sayer and Scottish Parliament Convener / Rural Affairsand Environment Committee member, Roseanna Cunningham MSP.

Aren Grimshaw said, "It was great to share knowledge with a series of leading experts and delegates from other unrepresented nations across Europe. In my Celtic League role I am proud to represent both the interests of my home nation, Cornwall, as well as the wider interests of the Celtic Nations of Ireland, Scotland, Mannin, Brittany and Wales. "In coming together with other nations across Europe we had a chance to celebrate the diversity of our cultures and look at ways in which we can increase our citizen participation in democratic politics. Unfortunately, it is often the case that our interests are ignored by our own states, and it is only in looking at reform options on a wider scale that greater participation for all people can be achieved."

The conference was hosted by the regional Valle d'Aosta Government, an autonomous region within Italy. Delegates included representatives from Sardinia, Corsica, Galicia, The Basque Country, Brittany, Aosta Valley, Catalonia, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.

J B Moffatt
Director of Information Celtic League

The Centre for Ethnic Minorities and Nations

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