F. Vujanović: Address to Peace Summit 2023, Session VI-A: Europe and the Middle East

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Ambassadors for Peace and dear friends, I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the UPF leadership and organizing team on the successful organization of this Summit, which promotes UPF’s values of freedom, understanding, cooperation and, most essentially, peace. It means lasting and sustainable peace. It is our duty to contribute to it. We are dedicated to do everything necessary to have lasting peace in the Western Balkan region, as President Moisiu and Dr. Marion here mentioned.

In keeping with the topic of this discussion, I would like to point out three things. First, the Western Balkans region has had a turbulent history of conflict, violence and instability. The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s produced devastating wars with the loss of countless lives and displacement of hundreds of thousands.

The last century, which included two world wars, was a tragic century for the Western Balkan region. During that time, Montenegro saved the peace by accepting numerous refugees and displaced people. We are so proud of it. It was and it is one of the reasons for our good relationship with all the neighboring countries. We are so proud not to have open issues with neighboring countries. We have only room for cooperation. Montenegro is a good example and we are dedicated to continue it and to contribute to a better and stable situation in our region.

Second, after such a tragic time, Montenegro succeeded in realizing the most significant historical achievements. Montenegro democratically restored its state’s independence, becoming a neighbor of NATO and leader in the European Union integration process.

I have to say that we are surprised that the European Union in practice has a very slow enlargement procedure. We estimated that that part of the policy of the European Union is the most important and successful. Montenegro is ready to accelerate our activities and show that Montenegro is a good example concerning enlargement of the European Union. It is necessary to have the Western Balkans in the European Union if the EU is to be a viable competitor on a global level. European Union integration is a very important process. Delays in enlargement is a great mistake because it is necessary to accelerate our activities concerning European Union integration.

Third, the current sensitive internal, regional and international situation in Europe is burdened by Russian aggression against Ukraine. Montenegro is broadly dedicated to affirming the values of peace, stability and prosperity. All of these values should be and must be implemented through dialogue, compromise and the common interests of citizens of all countries of the Western Balkans and the region as whole. We are dedicated to respecting a welding process within the European Union accession. It is necessary to be together and it is necessary to realize European standards. It is our great task and we are ready to work together concerning pressing process interests.

This approach and those principles should be used to solve the biggest unsolved issue of the Western Balkans, the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo. Montenegro is a good neighbor of both countries and our state policy never suggests anything else. We only hope Serbia and Kosovo can solve it as soon as possible. After encouraging dialogue mediated by the European Union, Montenegro is satisfied that both sides are ready to accept and implement European Union’s proposals. That is significant for both states and the Western Balkan region.

I think it is so important, as mentioned by Prime Minister Kurti, that we are ready to implement the Berlin process activities in the economic area and to be in a situation to realize a common regional trade area. It is very significant to have a better atmosphere and economic area in our region and to affirm all countries’ economic needs.

Let me conclude with the statement that promoting a world culture of peace and emphasizing dialogue, cooperation and respect for human rights is essential. This culture of peace should be granted in the principles of the UN charter and the rule of law. These are the principles UPF strongly advocates and I sincerely support them.

Thank you for your attention.

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