28 March 2019 - Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković recently met with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The meeting discussed the international efforts aimed at strengthening global peace and security given that the topic of the upcoming UN Ministerial Conference on Friday is peacekeeping operations.
Minister Bošković stressed that participation in peacekeeping operations should focus on conflict prevention, bearing in mind that local political problems often go beyond the national borders by taking on the regional and even global dimensions.
He stressed that the United Nations peacekeeping missions are a unique and dynamic instrument for helping countries affected by conflict, as well as an important factor in building and preserving lasting peace.
Bošković expressed Montenegro's willingness to provide an active and constructive contribution to the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, emphasising the importance of the participation of the Armed Forces of Montenegro in the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to strengthen the interoperability of the capabilities of its forces.
Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković also met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Bošković emphasised that Montenegro is based on the principles on which the UN is based and pointed to a strong commitment to multilateralism and thus to the United Nations system as an organisation that seeks to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous world.
He pointed out that the Government of Montenegro or the Ministry of Defence has a constructive role when the region is in question, and that the primary interest of Montenegro is to maintain stability in the area and to continue further progress, especially concerning European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Bošković informed Secretary-General Guterres about Montenegro's defence system reform, with a focus on historical NATO membership.
He assessed that in these challenging times, concerted action is necessary. Therefore, the Minister pointed out that Montenegro, as one of the youngest members of the United Nations, strongly supports the organisation's reform process, with the belief that it represents an indispensable platform in promoting stability, cooperation and further economic development of the region, which is a significant support to the Western Balkan countries on their path to further reform and democratization.
Bošković emphasised that there is no alternative to multilateralism, stressing that Montenegro will continue to proactively play a role in strengthening peace and preventing conflicts on the global level, with the emphasis on the need for more determined and unified coordination and more active part of all UN members.
Guterres thanked for supporting UN reforms, and welcomed Montenegro's policy, with particular emphasis on the cooperation affirmation policy in the Western Balkans region. He expressed support for Montenegro's European integration and stressed that Montenegro was recognised as a reliable partner in establishing cooperation at the level of the wider international community.
The UN Secretary-General emphasised that Montenegro confirms its commitment to continuously contribute to world peace and conflict prevention by participating in international missions and that it is the right moment to consider new modalities of building trust and conflict management to contribute to the building of more stable and peaceful societies. He expressed the belief that Montenegro will remain committed to an open policy of good neighbourly relations to contribute to the stability of the region constructively.