Serbian foreign minister addresses NAM summit

This was heard from Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić, who on Friday in Tehran addressed the he 16th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

Mrkić told the representatives of more than 120 countries that Belgrade is also devoted to dialog with Priština, but added that Serbia will “never, under any circumstances, recognize the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI)”, made by Kosovo’s ethnic-Albanian minority authorities in early 2008.“This will remain our position not only because of the danger Kosovo separatists pose to Serbia’s constitutional order, but also because Kosovo’s UDI represents a precedent that secessionists across the world would be able to follow,” the minister pointed out.

Expressing sincere gratitude to the great majority of NAM member states that have not recognized the separatists in Kosovo, Mrkić stressed that “Serbia is firmly committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution on Kosovo.”

“We remain committed to negotiating with the province’s ethnic-Albanian authorities. Dialogue is the only road to peace in Kosovo.”

Serbia’s foreign minister also referred to the investigation into the deeply disturbing report by Council of Europe’s Rapporteur Dick Marty on illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo. He underlined that if proven true, this would constitute an entirely new category of war crime and crime against humanity.

In his speech at the summit that ends today, Mrkić also referred to one of the central topics – the efficiency of the United Nations and its main bodies.

“We need to reach a consensus on how to reform the Security Council, but also how to revitalize the General Assembly. In my view, enhancing its role is of unquestionable importance to all of us,” he underscored.

Mrkić voiced satisfaction with the fact that his predecessor, Vuk Jeremić, was elected President of the UN General Assembly for the forthcoming 67th session.

“Many NAM member states cast their vote for the Serbian candidature. Allow me to express my gratitude to each country that placed its confidence in our ability to preside over the body that the Millennium Declaration defined as the “main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations.”

The minister stressed that Serbia is deeply respectful of the Movement’s legacy and achievements, its fundamental values, principles and purposes.

According to him, the Tehran Final Document will be a part of a strategic blueprint for how to address both enduring and emerging geopolitical challenges.

“To do so, the structures of global governance will need to be updated, because their institutional architecture still remains much as it was during the Cold War era,” Mrkić noted.

Support will also have to be renewed for NAM’s longstanding efforts at collective emancipation from existing economic inequalities, he added. “To that end, existing international economic institutions should be restructured, in order to better reflect coming economic realities and implement in full the right to development for all.”

Nuclear non-proliferation, a nuclear weapons free world, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy will likewise need to be respected in line with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and all other relevant international instruments, the minister pointed out.

As Mrkić put it, the new Government of the Republic of Serbia will continue to deepen the nation’s active engagement with the Movement’s member states, through the use of a number of bilateral instruments of cooperation.

“For instance, we hope to increase the number of scholarships we have offered, as part of our “World in Serbia” Scholarship Fund. Already, hundreds of young people from NAM countries have been enrolled at the University of Belgrade,” he said.

Mrkić had a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the NAM summit.

According to the Foreign Ministry, on Thursday and Friday, Mrkić met with Foreign Ministers or high officials of Russia, the Arab League, Iran, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Egypt, Algeria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Australia, Switzerland, Belarus, Cuba, Zambia, Namibia, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ghana.

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