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ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AT THE UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE COP 26 HELD IN GLASGOW

2nd November 2021


"Your Excellences,
distinguished delegates,
dear Sarah,

At the very beginning, I feel obliged to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Her Majesty’s Government for exceptional hospitality.

I feel privileged to represent the Republic of Serbia at this important place and at the highest-level world forum, in working on the most important topic of today – promoting climate awareness.

We all agree that we must make investment into climate and environment.

We all, likewise agree, that future generations must be educated in order not to repeat the mistakes we made, by hurting the only Planet that makes life possible.

I am very honoured that the Republic of Serbia is co-chairing this year’s Conference as a Non-EU representative of the Eastern Europe Group.

In concrete terms, we see the special contribution of our expert team in finalising negotiations on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which refers to the establishment of the global market and non-market mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to remaining provisions referring to advanced transparency framework and common timeframes for Nationally Determined Contributions, which are the key provisions of the Agreement that have not yet been covered by the decision that is to be adopted by the Conference, i.e. all member states.

We, therefore, believe that this is an exceptional opportunity for Serbia to give its full contribution to the finalization of negotiations, which, we hope, will secure full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

As a result of strong economic development, modelled for Serbia by 2050, the impact of the implementation of climate measures to employment will be optimal, through new jobs creation and creation of new industries which have not existed so far.

One billion euros was raised at the first green bonds auction in Serbia, which clearly confirms the trust of international investors in our green agenda, but also to the economic and political stability of our country.

Incomes from green bonds issuance will be used for financing renewables, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, prevention of pollution and circular economy development and biodiversity preservation.

And as you can see, dear friends, my people made a terrific speech for me, but I am going to add a few more words and a few more questions for those that are coming from big powers and that haven’t answered yet several questions:

Number one is: how are we going to finance all these activities?

We’ve heard the story of trillions of dollars that are at our disposal. My question would be: what would be the interest rate, what would be the terms for taking these amounts of money, and actually how are we going to tackle that issue?

Number two: how are we going to treat the nuclear power plants? Are we going to shut them all or are we going to build them more?

Then, how are we going to build more renewables if we already started endorsing populist movements against wind parks, new hydropower plants, and are we going to put in jeopardy the level of our public debt to GDP ratio if we raise huge amounts of money?

How are we going to treat natural gas, and how are we going to secure decent prices of natural gas and electricity power as well?

And, I came here using an electric car from Edinburgh to Glasgow. But, how are we going to do mining and refining of lithium, nickel, cobalt and many other very important minerals?

In the end, we all know what is our final aim, what is our final target. But, it’s not a fairytale – we’ll have to work a lot, we’ll have to be 100 per cent dedicated, and we’ll have to be more honest with each other.

The health of people living in Serbia depends directly on the implementation of this Agenda, just like the health and life of each living being on Earth depends on arrangements that will be reached here and on national implementation of the respective arrangements.

Perhaps it is the right time to listen and hear the cry of Mother Earth because if we lose this race against time, our children will inherit an irreparably polluted Planet.

Thank you very much for listening to me."

Source: www.predsednik.rs
Photo: Dimitrije Goll


Foreign Minister Selaković in UNSC
 

15th October 2021

Selaković in UNSC: Dialogue and the implementation of the agreements reached are the only right way to resolve all open issues


Distinguished President of the Security Council,

Esteemed members of the Security Council,

Distinguished Special Representative,
I would like to thank Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Guterres and Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK Mr. Tanin for the report submitted and for their efforts made towards the implementation of the UNMIK mandate. I would also like to thank the members of the Security Council for the continued attention they have devoted to the issue of Kosovo and Metohija. The Republic of Serbia highly values the activities of the Mission of the United Nations in Kosovo and Metohija and supports it in carrying out its work as efficiently as possible, pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, and undiminished in scope, aiming to build and preserve lasting peace, stability and security in the Province.

Mr. Tanin,

Please accept the expressions of our gratitude for your engagement and the cooperation we achieved during your term of office.

Mr. President,

Deep regret and concerns are raised by the fact that the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija in the past period has been marked by an increasing number of various ethnically motivated attacks and incidents targeting Serbs, which was also stated in the Report; that the provisional institutions of self-government (PISG) in Pristina continue to take unilateral steps and refuse to implement the agreements reached in the Brussels dialogue; and that institutional discrimination against Serbs, attacks on the sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the undermining of the economic sustainability of Serb communities in the Province have continued.

We are witnessing that dangerous provocations by Pristina are taking place every day, at an accelerated pace, thus seriously threatening the safety of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and directly violating the agreements and arrangements reached within the Brussels dialogue.

The latest violent incursion of the so-called ROSU units into the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, on 13 October, is the ninth incursion of its kind. Tear gas, shock bombs and unbridled violence are becoming a matter of everyday life for Serbs in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, and that must be stopped immediately.

In the last attack with firearms and chemicals used by Pristina special forces, 71-year-old Verica Djelic died as a result of chemicals used in the intervention, 10 unarmed civilians were wounded, one of them 36 years old Srećko Sofronijević was critically wounded in the back with of an automatic rifle. A three-month-old baby, who miraculously remained unharmed, was also the target of the shooting.

The false excuse for the latest unilateral action, as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell called it, was the fight against organized crime and smuggling. Ladies and gentlemen, Serbia is strongly against organized crime and smuggling, but the members of the UNSC should know that such an important and general global goal, which we all share, was cynically used for an armed attack on unarmed civilians, which began with an automatic rifle raid of pharmacies in which patients of Serbian and other nationalities are supplied with vitally important medicines. Four days before the local elections in Kosovo and Metohija, in order to gain votes in an irresponsible and inhumane way, fully motivated by separatist goals, the current PISG regime used medicines on which people’s lives depend to prove its position on the status contrary to UNSCR 1244.

Only a few days earlier, another provocation on the part of Pristina led to a dangerous crisis, when personnel of the so-called ROSU unit, armed with long firearms and reinforced with armoured vehicles, were deployed to administrative crossings between central Serbia and Kosovo and Metohija - Brnjak and Jarinje – in order to remove Serbian license plates and replace them with temporary ones, thus violently preventing the free movement of citizens.

These events do not fall within the reporting period covered by the latest Report of the UN Secretary General on the work of UNMIK, but it is incumbent upon us to address them on this occasion, in order to have everyone understand how dramatic the situation on the ground has been and how serious the consequences of Pristina's unilateral actions can be.

The incursions of heavily armed Pristina police formations, composed exclusively of Albanians, into the north of Kosovo and Metohija, under various pretexts and motives, with the use of excessive force, are provocations that have an extremely dangerous potential to destabilize the already sensitive security situation on the ground. The goal of the latest incursions of Pristina’s special force personnel into the north of the province was to provoke the Serbs and additionally intimidate them with a demonstration of force, as well as to provoke Belgrade to react hastily in some way.

It is obvious that with such moves Pristina aims to erase the 10 years of dialogue, which is the only way to resolve open issues. These provocations once again demonstrate that the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina, not only do not intend to implement everything agreed in the Brussels dialogue, but that their goal is to completely deny dialogue as a means of resolving problems. An effective response to Pristina's lack of credibility and their dangerous play with fire, which could have unforeseeable consequences, cannot be provided by calling on "both sides" for constructiveness and restraint, which has long been a manner in public communication of some important factors in the international community. There is only one source of destabilization, it has a name – and that is the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina - and after the events of 13 October, it is clear that it can and needs to be stopped by urgent and decisive action of the international community. It is now quite obvious that these are no longer sporadic and isolated provocations by Pristina, but that this is an organized campaign of ethnically motivated violence and discrimination against Serbs.

We also express our concern over the latest imposition of tariffs by Pristina on certain products originating from central Serbia, which was made public on 8 October. We remind you that the unilateral decision of Pristina to impose duties on products from central Serbia in November 2018 resulted in a de facto complete trade blockade and a long-term stalemate in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. In contrast to Pristina, which persistently seeks to raise barriers towards central Serbia through unilateral acts, Belgrade is persistently and consistently working to liberalize the flow of people, goods, services and capital, which is the basic goal of our "Open Balkan" initiative. North Macedonia and Albania joined this initiative, but Pristina did not.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

In the period from March to September this year, which is covered in the latest Report, close to 100 ethnically motivated attacks were carried out against Serbs, their private property, religious and cultural heritage sites. The increase in the frequency of attacks was accompanied by the strengthening of the intensity of ethnically motivated violence, which more and more often targets children, the elderly, women, the few returnees present there, as well as churches and other property of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

This systematically intensifies the ubiquitous sense of insecurity of the remaining Serbs, but also deters potential returnees, who are in fact being told that local Albanian communities can attack them with impunity and prevent them from returning to live in their own homes.

The most striking example of the position of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija is the case of the displaced person Dragica Gašić, who moved into her apartment in the municipality of Djakovica again in early June. In that town – to which local Albanians proudly refer as a place forbidden to Serbs - Ms. Gašić, on her return, first faced physical and verbal attacks by citizens of Albanian nationality living there. Instead of being provided protection, that seriously ill woman then became a victim of institutional persecution as well, that the local self-government bodies and the police unleashed against her. Since this is a person who is the first and only Serb returnee to Đakovica after more than twenty years, it was to be expected that, at that moment, at least civil society organizations would attempt to protect her rights. However, NGOs from Djakovica soon joined the activities aimed at the expulsion Ms. Gašić, including those receiving funding from international donors for projects related to strengthening democracy and the rule of law.

I must also mention the latest attack on the house of the only remaining Serbian woman in the center of Pec, retired teacher Rumena Ljubić, whose windows were stoned twice in just 24 hours on 13 October.

Dragica's and Rumena’s fate is a frightening reflection of the real situation of human rights that almost every one of over 200,000 displaced Serbs and non-Albanians would face in Kosovo and Metohija - provided that they gather the courage to return to their homes in the Province after more than twenty years. I would like to remind you again that since 1999, only around 1.9% of internally displaced Serbs and other non-Albanians have achieved a sustainable return to Kosovo and Metohija.

Therefore, I believe that the aforementioned will encourage the members of the Security Council and the international presence on the ground to devote priority attention in the future

to the issue of the return of displaced persons, which is an important part of the UNMIK mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

I therefore thank the Secretary-General in particular for keeping this extremely important issue in focus and for calling again, in the conclusions of his Report, for the creation of conditions for the sustainable return of internally displaced persons and the sustainable reintegration of returnees.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

Serbian medieval monuments in Kosovo and Metohija, including monuments that, due to their exceptional value but also constantly being subject to threats are inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger, are still among the most endangered cultural heritage in Europe.

I wish to recall that there are over 1,300 Serbian churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija. Attacks on Serbian cultural and religious heritage are at the same time attacks on the identity of Serbs in the Province and directly affect their sense of safety.

A striking example of disrespect for Serbian cultural and religious monuments in the Province is the case of the Visoki Decani monastery. The monastery, which has been the target of attacks and shelling several times since 2000, is still secured by KFOR forces due to being under a threat. It is faced with a series of hostile actions, and the perpetrators are not deterred by the fact that this is a World Heritage Site. Despite frequent declaratory statements, even the decision of the so-called "constitutional court" of the PISG in Pristina five years ago confirming ownership of Visoki Decani Monastery over 24 hectares, is not respected. We welcome the assessment made by the UN Secretary General in his Report.

Dear Mr. President,

The Republic of Serbia remains committed to finding a compromise political solution, as prescribed under Resolution 1244, which will ensure lasting peace and stability. We firmly believe that dialogue and the implementation of the agreements reached are the only right way to resolve all open issues.

As a state committed to the respect for international law and a member of the United Nations, Serbia opposes any attempt at establishing an artificial balance between the parties in the dialogue, as well as the relativization of responsibility for unilateral acts.

We note with concern that not even eight years after reaching the Brussels Agreement, the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities has not been initiated, although Belgrade has fulfilled all its obligations under that agreement.

There are also numerous and repeated examples of Pristina violating or obstructing agreements reached in dialogue, in the areas of energy, justice, freedom of movement and visits by officials.

One such example is the verdict sentencing Ivan Todosijevic to two years in prison, which is also pointed out in the Secretary General's Report. The Brussels Agreement was directly breached, which was also stated by the representatives of the European Union. With its conduct Pristina caused immeasurable damage to the reconciliation process in Kosovo and Metohija.

Despite the interpretation from the European Commission that this is a violation of the Brussels Agreement, because Todosijevic had to be sentenced by a panel consisting of the majority of judges of Serbian ethnicity, Pristina still does not take any action in this regard.

Pristina also continued with the practice of banning Serbian officials from entering the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.

We believe that it is important that the international community, and especially the European Union, as the guarantor of the agreement, firmly insists that the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina start implementing all the agreements reached.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

As before, the Republic of Serbia remains fully committed to resolving the issue of missing persons, as also demonstrated through full cooperation with relevant international mechanisms as well as participation in the work of the Working Group on Missing Persons. We expect that the representatives of the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina will fulfill their obligations.

Bearing in mind everything I delivered here today in my address, we hold the position that the international presence in Kosovo and Metohija, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, is still necessary. In addition to UNMIK, the presence of KFOR as the main guarantor of security and EULEX, due to its engagement in the field of the rule of law, is also important. I would like to emphasize once again that Serbia fully supports respect for international law, comprehensive implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and activities of UNMIK in an undiminished scope and with adequate financial resources, so that the Mission fulfills the mandate entrusted to it under the Resolution.

Thank you.
 

 


Baghdad: Ambassador Balov with the Minister of Defense of Iraq
The Ambassador of Serbia to Baghdad, Uroš Balov, met with the Minister of Defense of Iraq, General Juma Anad Saadoun.

On that occasion, the interlocutors exchanged views on the current political and security situation.

The Iraqi Minister of Defense expressed satisfaction and conveyed the impressive impressions of the Iraqi delegation that recently visited Belgrade at the Arms and Military Equipment Fair. He emphasized that this opens the door to additional cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense and security.

The next steps in the process of renewing the contract, which would successfully repair Serbian "Lasta" planes and return them to the use of the Iraqi Air Force, were also discussed at the meeting.

Ambassador Balov congratulated his interlocutor on the successful conduct of the early parliamentary elections and pointed out that it was a strong proof of the overall social progress and strengthening of the democratic system in the Republic of Iraq.

 


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