ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ, President of Serbia, declared that, while his country is on the accession path to the European Union, it is not ready to abandon traditional friendships. He criticized world leaders for egoism and “telling fairy tales of the future with an insufficient realistic view of the issues”. He went further to warn that the breach of international public law can have dire repercussions, highlighting that the violation of the Charter of the United Nations in the case of Serbia was one of the visible precursors of numerous current issues. “The attempt of cutting my country into pieces, that had formally started in 2008 by the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and Metohija has not ended yet,” he lamented. Dual standards are an open invitation to achieve interests through war and violence, he emphasized, stressing that he will thus speak about principles rather than boast about his country’s achievements.
He pointed out that almost all Western Powers violated Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), defying the principles they are defending today. They forgot that it was the same pretext that the Russian Federation used to justify its attack against Ukraine, he noted. Serbia does not change its principles — it respects the territorial integrity of all States, including Ukraine. Unless the same rules start applying to all, the world will end up in the deepest divisions ever, he warned. Today, in Kosovo and Metohija, violence against Serbs is taking place, he said, accusing the “extremist regime” in Pristina of escalating the situation and sowing discord. Seven innocent civilians were shot by the representatives of the so-called “Kosovo” institutions, he decried. In addition, he expressed concern that more than 10 years after the Brussels Agreement, the community of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija is yet to be formed.
While being committed to preserving the European Union-facilitated dialogue with Pristina, it is not a solution that Belgrade always has to make concessions, he underscored. Turning to the role of the United Nations, he stated that the Organization is, in times of conflicts, the last substantial platform that brings all States together, regardless of their differences and divisions. Serbia thus supports the Organization’s strengthening through reform. He also expressed gratitude to the majority of Member States for supporting the territorial integrity of his country, underlining that this demonstrates their commitment to the Charter. “By safekeeping your borders, you preserve peace,” he reiterated, taking pride in friendly relations of Serbia with countries on all continents. In this regard, he announced that his country acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. He also informed that Belgrade will host the specialized exhibition EXPO 2027.
He went on to underline the importance of regional integration, pointing to the common toll collection from Belgrade almost to the Adriatic Sea, which will soon be extended to the Aegean Sea. Spotlighting the Open Balkan initiative, he praised that the borders are open, enabling the free flow of people, goods and capital. This has yielded concrete results and strengthened regional ownership of economic connectivity. He further welcomed that this initiative improved the political atmosphere in South-Eastern Europe. Such cooperation with neighbours is inseparable from Serbia’s key aspiration to become a member of the European Union. On the Sustainable Development Goals, his country undertakes maximum efforts to achieve them. Arguing that science is key to accelerate meeting these targets, he drew attention to a General Assembly resolution — co-proposed by Serbia — declaring the period from 2024 to 2033 the International Decade of Science for Sustainable Development.
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