MILO ĐUKANOVIĆ, President of Montenegro, said that global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, reinforced the need for the United Nations to lead global cooperation. In light of recent events, he regretted that nationalism still prevailed, noting that the only path for dealing with global challenges was through multilateralism. Applauding the Secretary-General’s initiative on the COVID-19 response and the United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan, he referenced the words of Mr. Guterres, noting that humanity was at a crossroads and would have to choose between isolationism or the “common agenda”. “Post pandemic recovery and revitalized multilateralism must be based on fair globalization, respect for human rights and dignity of all, environment protection and responsible attitude to nature,” he said.
Montenegro will continue supporting a multilateral approach and it invited the world to collaborate on digitization, he continued. He expressed support to the United Nations reform agenda and the “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative. As a member of the United Nations and NATO, his country urges other States to further develop multilateral agreements in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.
On human rights, he called for a better alignment between the work of the Human Rights Council and the United Nations. He also requested solidarity to handle the migration crisis and he reminded that Montenegro did its share in the 1990s by accepting over 100,000 refugees. In this regard, the conclusions of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the context of climate change were alarming. Considering the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, he invited other countries to further their ambition towards reducing global warming. Integrating human rights actions into the future climate framework and the new global biodiversity framework would be critical.
Although 2021 marks the 15-year anniversary of Montenegro’s independence being restored, the geopolitical situation in the Western Balkans remains unstable and has slowed development in the region. Consequently, tensions have been raised and could have a detrimental impact in a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional community. He deplored that Bosnia and Herzegovina had been suffering destabilization attempts. Montenegro wanted to warn the world of the perilous future in the Western Balkans region. Concluding, he said that Montenegro would continue to build a better future for its citizens, as well as maintain its good relations with its neighbours and other strategic partners.
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