Honorable Presidents and other dignitaries, members of the Podgorica Club!
Honorable members of parliament & representatives from 20 countries of Europe & the Balkans,
Distinguished Ambassadors for Peace from all over Albania and other Albanian-speaking countries; brothers and sisters,
As the Chairman of the International Summit Council for Peace in the Balkans, it is a special honor and pleasure for me to welcome you to this very important event held on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Balkans Peace Embassy. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude, but also that of all the Ambassadors for Peace, to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the co-founder of our Federation, for the precious gift she has granted us by investing in the construction of the Peace Embassy. I also take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Moon again for the donation of 100 thousand dollars to the Albanian government after the earthquake of 2019, following the communication I had with its representatives in Europe.
Given the successful cooperation between the Universal Peace Federation and the Podgorica Club over the past two years, beginning with the Southeast Europe Peace Summit held in Tirana in October 2019; after intensive discussions, it was agreed that today The Signing Ceremony of the Cooperation Agreement between the Podgorica Club and the Universal Peace Federation would be officially held. I am confident that this cooperation will play an important role in promoting peace and security in our Balkan region in particular, but also beyond it.
I want to express my gratitude and thanks to my friend, President Vujanovic, and to the Members of the Podgorica Club, who are here with us today.
Although two decades have passed since the meaningless wars in the Balkans, we still face great challenges that need to be overcome, which require courageous, responsible leadership and a strong will to take responsibility for the mistakes and tragedies of the past, and to open new paths for the future.
As we all know, the aspiration of all the countries of the Western Balkans is integration into the European Union, and I have stated before that the European Union must absolutely open negotiations with these countries. We are aware that, in addition to the homework and the problems that each country has within itself, we are lacking adequate cooperation in the region, and recently tensions have been growing. I want to emphasize once again that the leaders of the Western Balkans need to be aware of the mistakes of the past and take responsibility for them, as nations and as leaders, by showing courageous and visionary leadership. This is the only way to ensure that future generations will not inherit our failures.
Our responsibility is manifold:
- To our young people and future generations, we must leave behind a legacy of peace, providing them with a better future, within the European family. We must do our best to keep alive for them the hope for the future in their countries, because the potential is huge, and we must stop their displacement toward the West, which is causing depopulation.
- We must build the future of our region based on family values, which are an important part of our culture in the Balkans. The family is given special importance in all the activities of the Universal Peace Federation, and I think this is very relevant. Without strong and stable families, there can be no stable societies and nations.
- We need to work even harder to overcome the challenges that come as a result of the ethnic and religious conflicts that have occurred in our region and have had a significant impact on the history of the Balkans, and that apparently still continue to affect the mentality of our peoples.
I am confident that the cooperation between the Podgorica Club and the Universal Peace Federation, as well as the opening of the Peace Embassy will contribute to advancing the process of reconciliation between the peoples of the Balkans and building lasting peace in our region.
Finally, I hope that the inspiration you will receive during this conference, through the speakers’ messages, discussions and exchange of experiences with each other, will enable you to understand that we belong to each other and that together we are responsible for the future of our children and the generations to come.