Joining Forces for Sustainable Development of Montenegro
08 February 2023
UN and governments of Switzerland and Montenegro sign a 2,5M EUR contribution to Montenegro Acceleration Fund
Podgorica, 7 February 2023
The Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, the UN Resident Coordinator Peter Lundberg and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Montenegro Urs Schmid signed an agreement today on the allocation of 2,5 million EUR for the Montenegro SDG Acceleration Fund. The Fund is a new generation financial tool established by the UN team in the country, which seeks to pool donor funds that will be directed towards development initiatives.
The Government of Montenegro allocated EUR 1 million for the Montenegro SDG Acceleration Fund, while the Government of Switzerland supported this initiative with EUR 1.5 million. Previously, the contribution to the Fund was determined by the Government of Luxembourg.
"The idea and vision of this Government is to make Montenegro a white and green destination. It is not an easy job, because we have to change a lot, and we have to have sustainable projects. I am more than sure that this Fund will give us a chance to find a good project and that after its implementation we will have a much better situation in terms of sustainable development,“ said Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazović.
Montenegro's contribution to sustainable development through this funding modality is particularly significant from the perspective of the country's size and economy. Montenegro hereby invests €1.3 per capita in sustainable development through the Montenegro SDG Acceleration Fund, which is more than all countries in the region. This also stands as clear indicator of Montenegro's strategic orientation towards sustainable development and cooperation with the United Nations.
UN Resident Coordinator Peter Lundberg pointed out that the Fund has been designed as a powerful catalyst for accelerating SDGs implemetation in the country.
"The Montenegro SDG Acceleration Fund is a common vision of accelerated achievement of Agenda 2030. Considering the enormous development potential, the Fund can be an important tool for country’s development and achievement of national priorities, primarely country's accession to the European Union," said Lundberg, adding that the Fund is the result of a true development partnership.
Urs Schmid, ambassador of Switzerland, which is currently the largest donor to the Fund, pointed out that bilateral relations between Switzerland and Montenegro are very dynamic and that Switzerland is among the five largest foreign investors in Montenegro with around 800 million euros invested since 2003.
"Switzerland's participation in the Montenegro SDG Acceleration Fund will further improve relations between our two countries and I believe that our contribution will encourage other countries and development partners to join this innovative financial mechanism and to contribute that way to acceleration of reforms in Montenegro," said Schmid.
By consolidating and directing funds towards targeted development interventions, the Fund will be catalyzing not only SDGs but also acceleration of Montenegro's accession to the EU, given the high level of alignment between the Agenda 2030 and the EU accession process.
The Fund is designed to support strategic initiatives in three priority areas of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027: 1) inclusive economic development and environmental sustainability, 2) human capital development, reducing vulnerability, social inclusion and 3) social cohesion, people-centred governance, rule of law and human rights.