Vox Populi on SDGs in Montenegro

Citizens of the world created the new Development Plan 2030. More than 8 million of them.

Montenegro has played an important role in the process of elaborating the development agenda for the next 15 years. More than 8000 people from our country, i.e. 1,3% of the total population actively participated in the process of Post-Millennium national consultations 2013. They said loud and clear what kind of future they want by identifying 8 key developmental priorities, including employment, equality, fight against crime and corruption, healthcare, environment, development of infrastructure, education, and values.

Vision of a better future, chosen by Montenegrin citizens fully corresponds with global Sustainable Development Goals, which represent the basis for new Development Plan 2030. It is not surprising that Montenegrin citizens clearly recognize fragments of the new Development Agenda as very relevant for the upcoming 15 years.

Among globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, people in Montenegro underline, in particular, the economy and employment prospects, pointing to the fact that these are vital preconditions for securing one’s existence.
“Montenegrin citizens need economic stability,” says Maja Vujović from Podgorica while Darko Mršović from Kotor expreses scepticism about soon economic recovery, underlining that economic stability has been fragile for several years. ”We would need a lot of foreign investments, and implemented reforms,” he says.

According to citizens of Montenegro, accessibility of quality education is prerequisite for development of a knowledge-based-society.

“Development of an education system brings benefits to every country. By improving the education system and position of education professionals and students, the country will prosper and succeed,” said Jadranka Gavranović from Podgorica.

People also care about the environment, they feel threatened by pollution, and more and more they recognize the importance of sustainable use of resources.

Dubravka Vukotić from Podgorica believes that the environment will be at the highest price in the future. “With all my heart I want Montenegro to be a real ecological state. And I also want that all of us take more care on preservation of water, air and other natural resources we have. I believe this will be at the highest price on our planet by 2030,” said her.

“I think that Montenegro must have solar power plants, because we have large number of sunny days throughout the year. Those plants could provide both energy and savings,” said student Dejan Tomić from Podgorica while the entrepreneur Aleksandar Janičić from Nikšić sees Montenegro “as a country of renewable energy sources and clean energy in the future.”

But those are just some of the aspects of life which citizens of Montenegro pointed to. Sustainable Development Goals permeate almost all segments of everyday life.

Linking isolated parts with the centre of the country is among major priorities for the population from the North of the country.

“Road infrastructure is a huge problem because we are cut off the central part of Montenegro,” said Miket Musić from Berane.

On the other side, Elma Radončić from Plav sees advancement in gender equality as one of top priorities. “I would love to see Montenegro more focused on gender equality, to see more women in Parliament who are focused on decision making,” says her.

Her opinion is shared by Snežana Milić from Berane. “Montenegro is still a traditional society. I think that we can see this inequality even in other segments of our society, but primarily when it comes to unequal representation of women. I think women should be given more space to express themselves.”

“All the different issues are important but the peace is the foundation of everything. Without peace, there cannot be a good healthcare or economy. The peace is the foundation of good human relations; the peace and justice,” believes Milentije Đurović from Podgorica.

“In 2030, I want Montenegro to be the country without poverty and hunger,” saidAida Banda from Bijelo Polje.

The Sustainable Development Agenda is indisputably complex and its different fragments are relevant for different circumstances throughout the globe. However, the one thing most of the people agree upon is that what we have here is an ambitious but very much needed plan.

It is quite clear that identifying priorities is just the beginning of a journey. Their realization and making the vision of a better world come true, shall depend on all of us.