Session of UN General Assembly in New York: Speech by Prime Minister Đukanović at Summit on Refugees and Migrants

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    Prime Minister Milo Đukanović: “I wish to thank UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the organisation of the summit devoted to this important topic. Close cooperation at the international level, under the auspices of the UN, is an indispensable element of creating a single voice and reply to this, dare I say, humanitarian crisis. The problem of refugees and migrants is a global issue, even though Europe, as many times before in its history, due to its geopolitical position, remains the most open and vulnerable to the consequences of conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, while the Balkans remains an indispensable witness of the process in which people find themselves fleeing from war and poverty… Session of UN General Assembly in New York: Speech by Prime Minister Đukanović at Summit on Refugees and Migrants

    MILO ĐUKANOVIĆ, PRIME MINISTER OF MONTENEGRO
    (Address at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants,
    Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, 19. September 2016)

    Mr Chairman,
    Excellencies,
    Ladies and gentlemen,

    Pokrenite
    PHOTO GALLERY

    I wish to thank UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the organisation of the summit devoted to this important topic. Close cooperation at the international level, under the auspices of the UN, is an indispensable element of creating a single voice and reply to this, dare I say, humanitarian crisis.

    The problem of refugees and migrants is a global issue, even though Europe, as many times before in its history, due to its geopolitical position, remains the most open and vulnerable to the consequences of conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, while the Balkans remains an indispensable witness of the process in which people find themselves fleeing from war and poverty. It is a common observation that after the Second World War there were no migration flows as today. And it is true. But, it is also true that there are powerful international organisations whose mechanisms must be used in dealing with such complex political and humanitarian challenges. Responsibility for assistance and acceptance of refugees and migrants must be evenly divided.

    Montenegro knows very well what human approach and moral and political responsibility and solidarity mean. Although small, and at that time part of a common state with more than modest capacity, during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, as the only republic that preserved peace and multiethnic harmony, Montenegro opened its borders for all people who were fleeing from the horrors of war. At one point, we had over 120 thousand refugees, which is a fifth of our population.

    In recent years, 15,000 refugees and displaced persons from the region have been integrated into the Montenegrin society. We have done much to solve their housing problems, especially of the most vulnerable category. Our participation in the Regional Housing Programme, financed mainly through EU funds, helped us a lot, within which we have provided funds for housing over 6,000 internally displaced persons and the Roma people. The project is worth EUR 28 million, and Montenegro’s contribution amounts to15%.

    Montenegro has not been directly affected by the current migration routes. However, we have taken the necessary measures for eventual acceptance of migrants and refugees in the event of a sudden influx, in compliance with all international standards. We have prepared the Draft Schengen Action Plan, which, in addition to issues of border security under the Schengen standards, sets out plans for the control and prevention of irregular migration and dealing with other asylum issues.

    As a country that is negotiating the EU membership, Montenegro welcomes the defining of a new strategic framework of the EU foreign and security policy, which, inter alia, points out that the European Union remains committed to the strengthening of relevant agencies and addressing the causes of the migrant crisis with full respect for human rights and international law. We are also looking forward to the EU Migration Partnership Framework of July 2016, which launched a new set of actions to address the causes of the migrant crisis. Also, we welcome the agreement reached this March between the European Union and Turkey.

    The best way to respond to the displacement is to solve problems that cause them as soon as they emerge. That means to prevent and resolve conflicts by political means, in a sustainable and long-lasting way; strengthen institutions and the rule of law; eradicate poverty and reinforce social, economic and political inclusion and perspective. Easier said that done. But we must strive for these goals.

    Montenegro declares its willingness to take all the measures in order to establish close cooperation with its neighbours, with the countries of possible destinations, as well as the countries of origin of refugees with a view to finding a sustainable solution to the problem of refugees and migrants.

    We strongly support the adoption of the global compact on refugees and migration. We voice readiness to fulfil our obligations and contribute constructively and in line with our capabilities to international efforts to reaffirm the principles of refugee and migrants protection.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Source: Government of Montenegro