General Debate
    Her Excellency
    Ana Brnabić
    Prime Minister
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    Statement summary

    ANA BRNABIĆ, Prime Minister of Serbia, said that in addition to the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, the Balkans is still confronted with pressing and extremely emotional issues.  Serbia is trying to change the future through the Berlin Process and the Open Balkan initiative, but others are trying to disrupt those efforts and recreate the past, whatever the cost might be.  She credited the reforms which Serbia launched in 2014 for enabling the country to weather the pandemic, with stable finances and a stronger-than-expected economic recovery.  By putting geopolitics aside, Serbia acquired vaccines more quickly than most other countries, she added.  It did not discriminate between East and West, but negotiated instead with all manufacturers whose vaccines were deemed safe by regulators.  It also donated or allocated more than 1 million doses to other countries or to foreign nationals who came to Serbia to be vaccinated.

    Climate change must be addressed boldly and without delay, she said, emphasizing that her country has redoubled its efforts to become safer and cleaner for its citizens.  Serbia is strongly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, and it will meet its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  It is about to submit its revised nationally determined contributions and it is making expensive investments in the energy sector.

    The most worrisome challenge for Serbia is the maintenance of peace and stability in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, she continued, noting that for two decades, her country has been drawing international attention to the problems faced by the non-Albanian population there.  Attacks targeting Serbs, their property and their religious heritage are growing, with the number of incidents up to June this year surpassing the total for 2020.

    Serbia remains strongly committed to finding a compromise-based solution to ensure lasting peace and stability, but almost nine years after the signing of the First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalisation of Relations between Belgrade and Pristina, the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities —a key part of that text — has yet to begin.  The international community, especially the European Union as the First Agreement’s guarantor, must firmly insist that Pristina implement all of the agreements it has entered into.  Going forward, Serbia expects the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to continue to implement its mandate, she added.


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