24.07.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice/UN in Montenegro

UN Secretary-General looks to the future during his first visit to Montenegro

© United Nations Montenegro Country Team/The UN Secretary-General visits the construction site of the future UN Eco-Building in Podgorica

Six years after Montenegro joined United Nations the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon landed in Montenegro for the first time, as a part of his regional tour of the former Yugoslav countries.

The President assured his guest that Montenegro would remain fully committed to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. “For the last six years of membership in the UN, Montenegro proved to be a reliable partner and a member, and it will continue in that direction,” said President Vujanović.

The Secretary-General also met with the Speaker of the Parliament, Ranko Krivokapić, the Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nebojša Kaluđerović.

Secretary-General congratulated Montenegro on the opening of EU accession negotiations. He said that “the decision by the European Union Council to open accession negotiations illustrates Montenegro’s progress towards greater stability and prosperity in the six years of independence.”

In addition, he pledged that the United Nations would continue to support Montenegro in the process. “The United Nations will remain your partner in addressing key priorities during the accession process, especially in our main areas of expertise - human rights, durable solutions for refugees and sustainable development. We will continue to support the Government’s work to assist the most vulnerable - women, the rural poor, people with disabilities - especially children - the Roma, and children deprived of parental care,” stated Secretary-General. He also praised the country for setting a strong example as a middle-income country and applauded the joint work of the Government and the UN on the Delivering as One framework.

As part of his two-day tour, the Secretary-General visited the construction site of the future UN Eco-Building in Podgorica, hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nebojša Kaluđerović.

“This new UN Eco Building will reflect two United Nations priorities. First, it will be energy-efficient, carbon-neutral and sustainable. Second, it will provide common premises for all five UN organizations operating in Montenegro so they can truly deliver as one. I thank the Government of Montenegro for its significant financial support in realizing this project,” he said. The UN Secretary-General also expressed his gratitude to the Municipality of Podgorica for allocating the land on the bank of the Morača river, as well as to the Austrian Development Agency for funding the architectural competition for the building design and for providing photovoltaic panels.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nebojša Kaluđerović, pointed out that the corner-stone of the building was laid by the UNDG Chair Helen Clark, and he expressed expectations that the UN family will be able to work even more efficiently once they move into the joint premises.

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