29 June 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Montenegro as 192nd United Nations Member State

NEW YORK, 28 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following are UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's remarks at the ceremony marking the admission of Montenegro to the United Nations, in New York, 28 June:

It is a pleasure to welcome the Republic of Montenegro as the 192nd member of the United Nations.

In achieving its independence through a non-violent and democratic process, conducted in a fair and open way, Montenegro showed the entire world not only its patience, but its political maturity.  The people of Montenegro demonstrated that adherence to democratic values and the rule of law offer the most effective way to achieve political goals.  And they showed that even the most difficult and sensitive problems can be resolved peacefully.  These are especially important messages given the violent past in the Balkan region.

It is encouraging that Montenegro's neighbours have welcomed its independence, and offered their support and friendship to the new independent Sate.  Montenegro may be small in size and population, but it has a significant role to play in maintaining stability in the region, and in promoting good neighbourly relations and cooperation in the Western Balkans.

The United Nations is not a stranger to Podgorica.  For years, the United Nations Organization has maintained close contacts with Montenegrin authorities.  UN agencies have enjoyed good cooperation with their Montenegrin counterparts in various fields.  The United Nations stands ready to support Montenegro in addressing the country's most pressing problems, and in promoting the peace and well-being of its people.  I look forward, in turn, to the contributions that the people of Montenegro will make to the Organization's global mission of peace, development, and human rights.

Hvala vam.

Thank you all very much.

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