Ohrid, 14 July 2000
Statement by Ms. Danuta Hübner, Executive Secretary,
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The Ministerial Meeting of the South East European Cooperation Process takes place one year after the Stability Pact had been launched, the concrete process aiming at achieving stability, security and democracy in South Eastern Europe.
Though Europe embarked on the process of grand change ten years ago when the division of Europe generated by the Cold War was overcome, only recently all the people of South East Europe have been given a perspective of eventual full integration with the rest of the continent. Completion of transition and integration continues to be the two strategic challenges that Europe is facing. The conflict in South Eastern Europe has certainly made these challenges our shared responsibility.
The Stability Pact which was launched during the Sarajevo Summit in July 1999 has not only given the people of South East Europe the perspective but it has also been a call to European governments and institutions to take seriously their responsibilities for our continent. The coordinated efforts of the international community have been directed to assist the people of South Eastern Europe as they strive to create for themselves a future different and better than the past.
My intention is to strongly confirm the UN ECE’s commitment to continue to support the efforts of the countries of South East Europe. The UN ECE has been closely cooperating with the region for years with a view to contribute to a more equally and evenly developed Europe in order to make it emerge strengthened into the new millenium.
The ECE’s programme of work has been focussed on all those issues and problems which are crucial for the future of South East Europe and whose solution requires cooperation between countries, organizations and people (transport and border crossings, energy sustainability, environment, trade facilitation and enterprise development).
We share the strategic orientation, concerns and objectives of the peoples of the region offering them our well-established expertise and experience in economic analysis, statistics and policy making.
Within the framework of the Stability Pact Working Table II on the Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation, the ECE is contributing both through its SECI programme in the areas of transport and border crossing, trade facilitation, energy, and through direct cooperation with the countries of the region in the areas of enterprise development, environment, economic analysis and policies, and institution-building.
Let me conclude by saying that tasks which are ahead of us call for regional cooperation and it is towards that end that we must pool all our energies and resources.