Podgorica, Montenegro (22 September 2014) — Montenegro can rightly be considered an example in the region as to the support of the UNHCR Office, but also its commitment and dedication to resolving the status of refugees and displaced persons and their integration into the society, UNHCR Representative in Montenegro Indumathi Mohandas underscored at the farewell meeting with Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Duško Marković earlier today.
The outgoing head of the UNHCR Office noted that the situation in this area improved significantly in terms of legislation, documentation, projects (including regional projects) and infrastructure plan. In that context, Ms Mohandas praised the commitment of the Government of Montenegro, in consultation with other countries of the region, to finding sustainable solutions for those refugees who wish to return to their country of origin, in particular referring to the recent voluntary return of 12 families with 57 persons to the municipality of Klina in Kosovo.
Deputy Prime Minister Marković thanked the UNHCR for its continued support in resolving the matter of refugees and displaced persons in Montenegro, helping institutions that are directly responsible for the protection of the population’s rights, their integration and support for return to their countries of origin.
The two officials stressed the significance of working together on these issues, noting that out of the total 12,030 applications filed for the status of foreigners with permanent or temporary residence, 10,615 claims have already been resolved.
DPM Marković reiterated his Government’s firm commitment to solving the refugee issue in line with highest standards of the UN and the EU, which in his words, has been confirmed by Montenegro’s positive ratings in the European Commission’s annual reports.
Issue of asylum seekers in Montenegro was also on the meeting’s agenda. In that regard, DPM Marković and Ms Mohandas of UNHCR welcomed the opening of the Asylum Seekers Centre and its successful functioning, and the legal solutions which are to be adopted soon with a view to more closely regulating this particularly sensitive area.
Source: Government of Montenegro