During the opening ceremony of the summer university, the participants were greeted by Dr. Boglárka Koller, Dean of the Faculty of International and European Studies, Anna-Mária Bíró, Director of the Tom Lantos Institute, as well as Dr. Balázs Vizi, Head of the Department of International Law at the Faculty of International and European Studies. The professional lectures started following the opening ceremony. The first lecturer was Réka Izsák-Ndiaye, who is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues and who shared her practical experiences regarding working in the field of minority rights. Following the interactive lecture, an exciting discussion developed on the definition of what it means to be a minority. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye highlighted, how this current summer university connects perfectly to the United Nations’ slogan of „Unity in Diversity”, which she considers to be a guiding principle of her own work too. In the following lecture, Yousef T. Jabareen, expert on Palestine minority issues, showcased the theoretical framework behind minority rights, using the definitions and resolutions of the United Nations. His theory was backed up with examples from his own practical experiences working for the Palestine minority in Israel.
During the week, and following the theoretical introductions, students will learn in detail about the particular ways, differences and similarities of the United Nations’, as well as American, African, Asian and European approaches to systems of minority protection. Following this, systems of minority protection in concrete countries – China, India and Hungary among others – will be expounded. In the second part of the week, students will be able to present their own research in this field. The summer university will be concluded with a study trip to Pécs where all international participants will be able to look into the life of Hungarian minorities with the guidance of Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities.
The 32 participants of the summer university, who have been selected from more than 200 applicants, have come from all over the world to the Ludovika Campus. Participants are from Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and the United States.
The event has been supported by the European Union, co-financed by the European Social Fund, in the "KÖFOP-2.1.2-VEKOP-15-2016-00001 - Public Service Development Establishing Good Governance" tender.