Paving the way for the future through joint work and value added support

Discussing the future role of the United Nations in Montenegro dominated over the meeting of the UN Country Team with Kori Udovički, UNDP’s Director of Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, during her farewell visit to Montenegro.

“The UN is yet to explore its future position in the middle income countries such as Montenegro. I believe that pursuing new forms of value added support and joint work i.e. doing more with same, in the framework of EU accession, might be the right direction for the UN Family in Montenegro”, said Ms. Udovički and highlighted importance of developing more joint advocacy tools.

She transferred highly positive signals from the meetings with the Government high officials, including Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Foreign Minister.

“I was impressed to hear high officials of the Government saying: What ever happens on 9 December, we know that we are on a good path, and we feel that we owe special appreciation to the UN System for helping us get where we are now”, said Ms. Udovički and stressed she was pleasantly surprised by the level of Government’s receptiveness for the work of UN and growing ownership of the Integrated UN Programme.

“I was told that the value added support by the UN System is of crucial support for modernisation of Montenegro society”, Kori Udovički stated and particularly highlighted Foreign Minister’s reiterated commitment to boost construction of the UN Eco building.

Heads and representatives of UN agencies working in Montenegro, resident and some regional ones, briefed UDNP regional director on leading challenges, goals and achievement of the UN work in Montenegro.

Upon expressing particular interest in issues related to displaced and internally displaced persons, Ms. Udovički was briefed by the UNHCR Representative to Montenegro Brita Helelland on recent development in that particular area. Ms. Helelland praised noticeable change in attitude towards DPs/IDPs and improved cooperation with the EU, achievements on statelessness and registration. “Asylum is the next important issue UNHCR will deal with in the region. I sincerely believe that joint work will enhance our work in this filed, like it was the case in many others endeavors during 2010 and 2011”, said Ms. Helelland.

“Growing cohesion in the work of the United Nations in Montenegro obviously results in more value added outcome. Here, I would stress the support of the UN Coordination Office to the UN Family in Montenego. “Delivering as One” is a big challenge, but we have the reason to be optimistic”, said Benjamin Perks, Representative of UNICEF in Montenegro, highlighting the important aspects for future work like knowledge leadership, evidence based policy, internal management change and especially monitoring and evaluation. He also updated about the major highlights of UNICEF’s work in Montenrgo.

Representatives of regional agencies, UN WOMEN and UNESCO also referred to joint benefits of DaO, while the UN Resident Coordinator, Rastislav Vrbensky expressed commitment and belief that Montenegro is on a good track to became an excellent example of Delivering as One.

“In 2012 we all will apparently be working more jointly, more cost-effective, we’ll be increasing efficiency of our work and giving a new, coherent shape of the UN’s impact in the country”, said Vrbensky and expressed great appreciacion to Kori for her achievement in the UN System.

Meeting with the United Nations Country Team was part of the last official visit to Montenegro of Kori Udovički in her capacity of the UNDP’s Director of Bureau for Europe and the CIS, before she steps out of the duty in February 2012.

Her visit to the UN Country Office in Podgorica was concluded by the interactive meeting with all UNDP staff, on which she praised growth and strengthening of the UNDP Country Office within her mandate.