The UN System in Montenegro, composed of 5 resident and 10 regionally based UN organisations, works mostly in the areas of human rights and development. Different UN entities bring together specific knowledge and expertise to support the country in addressing key national priorities, primarily EU integrations. The UN implements its programmes and activities in cooperation with national partners, primarily Government but also NGOs, academia, private sector, citizens etc.

Areas of Focus

The work of the UN in Montenegro is extensive and covers a wide range of issues including:

  • Judicial reform
  • The promotion of human rights and citizens participation
  • The strengthening of institutional capacities at a central and local level
  • Addressing problems with the registration of RAE
  • The integration of displaced persons and refugees
  • The deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities, including, children
  • The promotion of active labour schemes
  • The creation of “green jobs” and youth employment
  • Addressing the challenges of climate change
  • Health issues and remediation of environmental hot spots

All our projects focus on key national development priorities and major strategic goals in the context of Euro-Atlantic Integration. While our programmatic areas are broad, our activities are tangible and improve the quality of life in Montenegro, especially for those who are most vulnerable, disadvantage or at risk of social exclusion.

Framework of UN Activities

The Integrated UN Programme for Montenegro 2012-2016 provides a strategic framework for the programmes and projects of all the resident and regionaly based UN organisations working in Montenegro.

The Integrated UN Programme has three result areas, or Pillars:

All three result areas are founded on the principles of human rights, gender equality and the development of national capacity.

Vision Statements for Montenegro

There are three Vision Statements, one for each of the programme Pillars. The process of EU accession, the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals and the adherence to the Millennium Declaration inform all three vision statements.


Vision: a Montenegrin society that is free of social exclusion and whose residents enjoy a quality of life that allows them to reach their full potential. Achievement of this vision will be obtained through investment and resource allocations for better housing, healthcare, education, social protection and employment.  In addition, greater opportunities for civic engagement should be sought to ensure genuine participation of all members of society in economic, social, political and cultural life.

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT GOAL 1 – ThatMontenegro’s society becomes progressively free of social exclusion and enjoys a quality of life that allows all individuals and communities to develop to their full potential.

In order to achieve this goal, the UN in Montenegro will:

  • Provide continuous, enhanced support to Montenegro in the overall reform process associated with fulfilling the EU accession criteria.
  • Support the implementation and monitoring of existing strategies and policies and, where applicable, help develop new ones.
  • Continue to assist the Government as it fulfills its international obligations, including the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals.
  • Support the continued integration of human rights principles into Government policies and actions.
  • Make use of research analysis, data collection, policy dialogue, capacity development, programmatic presence, and behavioural change in order to support the Government and civil society.
  • Give concerted attention to vulnerable groups such as, the poor, the hard to employ and unemployed, the disabled, children/youth in need of protection, persons of UNHCR’s concern [1], migrants, RAE, PLHIV, and LGBT populations, single parents and victims of violence.

The result of the partnership will include universally accessible social welfare, employment, education and health systems.  Ultimately we hope for the inclusion of vulnerable and socially excluded girls, boys, men and women through policy and practice of de-concentration, decentralization and standardization.


1.1 Montenegro’s legal framework is harmonized with EU/UN standards, and policies relevant to social inclusion are implemented and monitored.

1.2 Social norms are embedded in order to facilitate age and gender sensitive inclusive attitudes and practices towards vulnerable and excluded populations.

1.3 Montenegro reduces disparities and gaps in access to quality health, education and social services, in line with EU/UN standards.


Vision: a Montenegro that is a democratic society, which fully respects and protects human rights through rule of law, government transparency and accountability. We aspire towards a Montenegro that is able to meet the political criteria for EU accession and is ready to assume EU membership obligations.

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT GOAL 2 – Fostering a democratic society that fully respects, protects and fulfils human rights through rule of law, government transparency and accountability.

In order to achieve this goal, the UN in Montenegro will:

  • Support the achievement of this vision through public administration reform and decentralization (central and local government), focusing on the EC’s political criteria, to ensure a transparent, depoliticized and accountable system.
  • Include planning, recruitment, improved public service, public expenditure management and public service management.
  • Focus on issues crucial to the European integration process (including the decentralized implementation system (DIS) for the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and readiness for absorbing EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, in order to guarantee relevant human development impact).
  • Contribute to the strengthening of the independence, efficiency and accessibility of the judiciary, with a special focus on the legal empowerment of the poor, access to justice, the creation of a juvenile criminal justice system, the strengthening of the judiciary’s ability to fight corruption and organized crime and a strengthening of the capacities of the Ministry of Justice especially in further development of international and mutual legal assistance and cooperation.
  • Implement a national anti-corruption strategy based on the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
  • Reduce corruption by raising awareness and by improving reporting and the functioning of the national parliament and municipal assemblies (“skupštine opština”)
  • Promote the role of the media in the democratic processes and ensure the implementation of laws on access to public information.
  • Improve the role of e-governance in the interaction between the inhabitants of Montenegro and State institutions.
  • Enhance the governance of science and technology governance.
  • Support the Ombudsman and other institutions, including the Parliament and the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, in order to promote action and adherence to international human rights standards and corresponding national legislation.
  • Promote gender equity and support the empowerment of women in politics, society and economics through technical support and expertise, capacity building programmes and awareness raising campaigns.
  • Increase human security through arms control and prevention, including small arms and military ammunition destruction, as well as improved mechanisms to combat trafficking and enhanced efficiency in border control and migration management, with full respect for the international obligations of Montenegro.


2.1 National legislative framework is harmonized with UN, EU, OSCE and CoE standards and relevant secondary legislation regulating implementation is developed.

2.2 State and independent institutions with increased capacity to ensure the realization and monitoring of human rights, support empowerment of women, enable equal opportunities for all inhabitants, including access to efficient service delivery, through a transparent system of public administration at national and local level.

2.3 Empower civil society and supportive institutional mechanisms to increase awareness on human rights and the benefits and obligations of participation in decision-making, advocacy, demanding quality services and accountability.


Vision: a Montenegrin society that lives up to its Constitutional commitment to being an ‘ecological state’ by attaining equitable regional economic growth based on sustainable planning and use of natural resources, providing a high quality of life and long term economic opportunities.

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT GOAL 3 – Create balanced and equitable regional economic growth based on sustainable planning and use of natural resources which in turn will provide high quality of life and long term economic opportunities.

In order to achieve this goal the UN will:

  • Provide support to the reform process pertaining to environmental protection and sustainable development associated with fulfilling the EU accession criteria.
  • Ground its support to the implementation and monitoring of existing strategies/policies.
  • Through the use of research, analysis, data gathering, capacity development, programmatic presence communication, support the Government and civil society in developing and implementing climate-resilient environmental and economic policy.
  • Continue to assist the Government as it fulfills its international obligations, including the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals, and will support the continued integration of sustainable development principles into Government policies and actions.


3.1 Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are designed and implemented to accelerate the use of renewable, clean energy, carbon trading and energy efficiency, thereby achieving low carbon emissions, climate resilient growth and better management of human health impacts.

3.2 Established system for conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, effective prevention, control and reduction of environmental risks, and enhanced environmental awareness and participation by children, young people and adults.

3.3 Established system for strengthening entrepreneurial capacity building and facilitating private sector partnerships for ‘green jobs,’[3] rural livelihoods and development of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) in order to improve economic choices and achieve balanced regional growth as well as address gender specific concerns and interests.


[1] The term ‘persons of concern to UNHCR’ (hereinafter UNHCR’s PoC) refers to the refugees from the Former Yugoslav republics holding the status of ‘displaced persons’, refugees from Kosovo under UNSCR 1244 holding the status of ‘internally displaced persons’, asylum seekers and refugees as per the Law on Asylum, former ‘displaced persons’ and ‘internally displaced persons’ who acquired the status of a foreigner with permanent or temporary residence as per the Law on Foreigners, and stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness.

[2] Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, and Preface of Montenegro’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development

[3] ‘Green Jobs’ are defined as positions in agriculture, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities aimed alleviating the myriad environmental threats faced by humanity.  Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help to protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy consumption, de-carbonize the economy, and minimize or altogether avoid the generation of all forms of waste and pollution (UNEP)