The United Nations is the product of hope, hope for a better world.
Dear Prime Minister, your excellences, distinguished guests, partners and friends of United Nations, Happy United Nations Day!
Every year we gather to celebrate anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations back in 1945. This is an occasion when we gather to re-affirm our joint commitment to the core values of the United Nations – diversity, human rights, peace and sustainable development. These are core values of any prosperous society and therefore we have a generational responsibility to uphold and preserve these values for generations to come.
These values are all embedded at the core of the concept of Sustainable Development, which is the theme is this year’s UN Day here in Montenegro.
Seven years ago, world leaders gave a promise to future generations. A promise to work towards building a better future for all. And that promise is called Agenda for Sustainable Development. The largest global commitment ever made when it comes to equality and justice for all.
Montenegro was one of 193 countries to join this historic journey. Moreover, the country was exceptionally proactive endorsing Sustainable Development Goals, by integrating them into your National Strategy for Sustainable Development at the very start of the process. Tangible progress have been made on several fronts so far. This year in July, Government of Montenegro presented its second ever Voluntary National Review – on the occasion of the High-Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York. The VNR-report of Montenegro reflects on national progress towards the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable development goals. This comprehensive review acknowledged continuous progress in efforts to implement and integrate the SDGs into national policies and practices, including those aimed at recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With only 8 years remaining to fulfil this promise, much more needs to be done, and it is urgent! This can only be possible if we jointly accelerate our efforts on achieving the Agenda 2030 which is a complex and multi-sectoral agenda; linking social, environmental and economic aspects of development into a holistic and integrated approach.
On this ambitious path, Montenegro is not alone. It has many allies. One of the strong streams of SDG acceleration is the agreed Framework of Cooperation between the UN and Montenegro that we signed in July, for the period of next five years. But for the Cooperation Framework to be fully implemented, financing is critical. That’s why the we initiated, in paralell the Montenegro Acceleration Fund, a new generation of financing tools which aims to consolidate and direct funds towards the targeted development interventions in the new strategy and provide catalytic and strategic support to the country’s acceleration of the 2030 Agenda which is also greatly aligned with Montenegro’s EU accession process.
The United Nations is the product of hope, hope for a better world. The UN came out of the ashes of the Second World War with a promise to never repeat such atrocities ever again.
We need to be honest and admit that we once more live in unprecedent and grave global times. Increased tensions, conflicts, raising post-COVID inequalities, growing extreme weather conditions, climate uncertainties, growing intolerance, increased mistrust, and divisions, rising costs of food and energy, increased poverty and security threats in the aftermath of a global galloping inflation – something we could not have imagined just a couple of years ago.
But these threats are also good reasons for us all to collectively step up our pledge to build a better world. Development cannot wait. The education of our children cannot wait. Dignified jobs cannot wait. Human Rights for all, and equality for women and girls cannot wait. Health care, climate action and safeguarding our biodiversity cannot wait.
Across all of these areas, young people – our future generations - are demanding action. We must not leave them to handle these challenges alone, therefore we need to step up our joint work efforts now, time is of essence.
Let me conclude by quoting my UN Secretary General – Today, the UN is being tested like never before. But the UN was made for moments like this. Now, more than ever, we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter. We have the tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the will.