Speech by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr Davor Ivo Stier Ceremonial reception on the occasion of 25 years of membership of the Republic of Croatia in the United Nations
National and University Library in Zagreb, 22 May 2017
Honourable President of the Republic of Croatia, Ms Grabar Kitarović,
Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Plenković,
Honourable Vice President of the Croatian Parliament, Mr Reiner,
Honourable representatives of the Diplomatic Corps,
Honourable Director General of the National and University Library, Ms Petrić,
Honourable and dear guests, dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great honour and pleasure to welcome you today to the National and University Library, which has already become a traditional gathering place for marking the anniversaries of UN membership of the Republic of Croatia, including the significant 25th anniversary of membership we are celebrating today.
Allow me to share with you a few thoughts on the current status of the Republic of Croatia at the global level, and the priorities of our work in the United Nations.
The world we live in is far from perfect, and humanity is exposed to increasingly large, complex and serious turmoil on a daily basis. Whether this concerns politics, security, economics, society, climate or other issues, interdependence is surely indisputable. In such conditions, stability and cooperation at a multilateral level are essential, and the United Nations represents a central forum and core support for international affairs, for the existence of international law and for many other achievements over the last seventy-two years.
Furthermore, it needs to be said that the United Nations strongly depends on the mutual relations and contributions of its member states, both in times of success and in times of difficulty. Therefore, much of the critique directed against the UN is at the same time directed against the member states that have the responsibility to find new solutions and new ways of working together to meet the new challenges of today and to allow the organisation to act more effectively.
Much of the constructive criticism in the last ten years has already resulted in a series of reforms in the UN system, and should continue to provide motivation and direction for future reforms of the organisation, without which the world today would be far more complicated and insecure. The Republic of Croatia strongly advocates the preservation and further improvement of multilateralism based on the principles and values stated in the Charter of the United Nations.
The Republic of Croatia is active in the work of the UN due to its membership in the European family of states as co-creator and implementer of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, and in the context of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. In close collaboration with our allies, we try to promote our common values and goals at the global level, and simultaneously to develop cooperation with many other countries in the world.
In the multilateral scheme of things, the Republic of Croatia pays special attention to its duties related to membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council in its term of membership that began this year and will last until the end of 2019. Membership of this body of the UN means that the Republic of Croatia has participated in almost all the main bodies of this global organisation, which, considering the period of just twenty-five years of membership, is something we can be proud of.
While we prepare for the next two capital projects of the Republic of Croatia, which are the Presidency of the Council of Europe, and the even more challenging task of the Presidency of the European Union, we are simultaneously engaged in activities that should define our next decade in the United Nations through renewed membership of the Economic and Social Council, the Peacebuilding Commission, and the Security Council.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, it is my pleasure to present this exhibition that outlines some of the most important events and achievements of the Republic of Croatia as a member of the UN in the last two and a half decades, for which our diplomats deserve special credit.
Among the accomplishments of Croatian diplomats, I would particularly emphasise their efforts towards international recognition and admission to membership of the UN, their efforts to protect the lives of Croatian citizens and to support the survival of our young country in the whirlwind of the Homeland War, ensuring the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the successful implementation of the UNTAES mission, i.e. the peaceful reintegration of the eastern part of state territory, and progress in many aspects of life.
Finally, allow me to express my gratitude to our associates who have helped us prepare this exhibition – the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior, and especially these other “diplomats” who have spent many years wearing a uniform with both UN and Croatian insignia, and participating in peacekeeping operations around the world, contributing to global peace and security, and to the positive image of the Republic of Croatia.
I am also grateful to the Croatian National Bank and the Croatian Post, who have decided to contribute to this important anniversary by issuing a new commemorative 25 kuna coin, and a commemorative postage stamp.
Thank you for your attention.
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