STEVO PENDAROVSKI, President of North Macedonia, reflecting on the lessons learned from the pandemic, stressed that “we can deal with all global challenges — be [they] security, pandemics or climate change — only with more empathy, cooperation and solidarity.”
Turning to Afghanistan, he said that his country has readily hosted a considerable number of Afghan refugees, particularly the vulnerable ones, and called on States to work together to address the root causes of terrorism.
Describing climate change as the “greatest challenge of our time”, he reiterated North Macedonia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and noted that his country looks forward to COP26 in Glasgow.
He went on to point out that the Western Balkans faces serious challenges in light of its European integration aspirations. “The current impasse in that process frustrates citizens and constantly diminishes their enthusiasm for positive change,” he said, stressing the urgent need for a break-through in European integration. Having resolved the “name issue” with Greece, under the auspices of the United Nations, “the effects of the Prespa Agreement being implemented in good faith will benefit both our countries and the region as a whole”. He added that his country is ready to engage in dialogue with Bulgaria, to ensure full implementation of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighbourliness.
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