I am pleased to congratulate Montenegro on five years of membership in the United Nations. As the organization’s most recently added member state, Montenegro has contributed to a wide range of United Nations activities, both through its membership of the General Assembly and through its efforts to promote peace, development and good neighbourly relations in southeastern Europe and the Balkans. In this regard, I thank you for chairing the South East European Cooperation Process this year, and for hosting the internationally recognized Regional Summer Diplomatic School of Gavro Vukovic.
I am also grateful to the Government of Montenegro for its commitment to the Delivering as One approach, which has involved working very closely with UN Agencies to ensure greater coherence and coordination in pursuit of the country’s development objectives. I also join you in looking forward to the construction of the eco-building that will house UN Agencies, which will not only benefit the UN’s work in Montenegro, but stand as testament to your commitment to sustainable development.
Montenegro has made visible progress since independence, particularly in state consolidation and reform, and I am pleased that close consultation between the Government, UN Agencies, civil society and other development partners has led to the approval of the second phase of the Integrated UN programme in Montenegro. Under this programme, we will continue to work together to address social exclusion, strengthen democratic governance and the rule of law, and achieve the sustainable economic growth that will take Montenegro further along the path to European Union accession.
As we look to the future, Montenegro can take pride in its place among the family of nations. We live in an era of integration and interconnection, in which no country can solve all challenges on its own and where every country should be part of the solution. Across our broad agenda – from combating climate change and responding to disaster, to keeping and building peace and standing firm for democracy, justice and human rights – our ultimate power lies in cooperation and collaboration. I look forward to continuing our close and positive partnership in the years to come.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon