|Republic of Serbia in the United Nations|
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The United Nations was founded in 1945 as a universal international organization, upon the signing of the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco, in the wake of the World War II. This major global organization currently includes 193 Member States (www.un.org).
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was one of the founders of the United Nations, as it signed the Charter as early as 1945. Serbia has been a UN Member State since 1 November 2000.
Priorities of Serbia at the United Nations include: maintenance of international peace and security, promotion and protection of national interests in the framework of considering, within the UN, the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, fight against international terrorism, disarmament, realization of the sustainable development goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the issue of climate change, protection of human rights, and enhancement of the overall UN system activities.
Serbia contributes to the work of the UN via its membership of various bodies and specialized agencies of the United Nations. Serbia actively participates in the work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and its Committees. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, a representative of Serbia and the former Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, presided over the 67th Session of the UNGA (September 2012 - September 2013). The topic of the 67th UNGA session was peaceful resolution of international disputes ("Bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means"). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Serbia in 2012.
Serbia is a member of a number of organizations within the UN system:
- World Bank (WB)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The Republic of Serbia participates in the work of the UN and international organizations operating under the UN system via its Permanent Missions in New York (www.un.int/serbia/), Geneva (http://www.un-geneva.mfa.gov.rs) and Vienna (http://www.osce-vienna.mfa.gov.rs), as well as via its Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris (http://www.unesco-paris.mfa.gov.rs). The work of UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes located outside these centres (London, Rome, Nairobi, etc.) is covered on a permanent basis by Serbia's diplomatic and consular missions in these cities.
Serbia's priorities during the current 71st session of the UN General Assembly include: sustainable development, the issue of climate change, peace and security (fight against terrorism, regional security cooperation, peace operations) and promotion and protection of human rights.
Continued consideration of the issue of Kosovo and Metohija in the UN Security Council is of special importance for Serbia. Serbia finds the UN to be the most important international organization regarding the status of Kosovo and Metohija and the preservation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Under UNSC Resolution 1244 (1999), UNMIK is operating in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Quarterly reports on the work of UNMIK are being considered at the meetings of the UN Security Council devoted to this topic.
Participation in peacekeeping operations is one of Serbia's priorities within the UN framework. An active contribution in this respect is made through the participation of the personnel of Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior in eight UN peacekeeping operations, of which the largest number is involved in the mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Serbia is among top ten European countries participating in UN peacekeeping operations and is the leading contributing country in the Western Balkan region. Serbia is currently participating in the following UN missions: UNOCI (Côte d'Ivoire), MONUSCO (DR Congo), UNMIL (Liberia), UNFICYP (Cyprus), UNIFIL (Lebanon), UNTSO (Middle East), MINUSCA (Central African Republic) and MINUSTAH (Haiti). More information about Serbia's participation in UN peacekeeping operations can be found on the website of the Serbian Armed Forces (http://www.vs.rs).
As a kind of recognition of Serbia's contribution and participation in peacekeeping operations mandated by the United Nations, the first regional conference on the participation of the Western Balkan countries in UN peace missions was held in Belgrade, on 23 and 24 October 2014.
Serbia has been active in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. In this context, it is active within the UN system, but also as a member of the Global Coalition against ISIL. Having in mind the universal nature of these phenomena and the necessity for broad cooperation between states in countering them, Serbia recognizes the UN as a primary forum for active engagement in this area. Serbia supports all resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly on measures to prevent international terrorism, and by sponsoring the key UN Security Council resolutions in this area, including resolution 2253 (2015), and by supporting the work of the Counterterrorism Committee, Serbia also contributes to the work of these bodies.
Serbia was elected to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the period 2014-2016. Its membership of ECOSOC coincided with the process of adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda was adopted at the Summit in New York, on 25 September 2015, where Serbia was represented by President Tomislav Nikolic. Serbia, as a member of ECOSOC and the Open Working Group on defining Sustainable Development Goals, as well as of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Financing Sustainable Development, was actively involved in the process of adoption of the 2030 Agenda. The Republic of Serbia is committed to its full implementation.
Serbia is a member of ECOSOC's functional Commission on Population and Development for the period between 2015 and 2018 and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (period 2016/18). Serbia achieved an agreement with Hungary on the allocation of mandates in the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (for the period 2017/20). According to the agreement, Hungary will member of the Commission in 2017 and 2018, and Serbia in 2019 and 2020.
Serbia's delegation participated in the Third International Conference on Financing Sustainable Development (Addis Ababa, 13 -16 July 2015). The Delegation was headed by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Kori Udovicki.
On 30 December 2015, the Government of Serbia adopted the Decision on the establishment of the Interdepartmental Working Group for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Working Group will be responsible for monitoring and implementing the Agenda and all goals and targets.
As an EU candidate country, Serbia generally supports and follows EU's approach to sustainable development goals. Serbia gives priority attention to: eradication of poverty, sustainable economic development and employment, building infrastructure and industrialization, ensuring healthy lives for all age groups, ensuring free quality primary and secondary education for all and gender equality. Serbia is also working on the establishment of an efficient and effective mechanism for statistical monitoring of all achieved goals.
The "Provisional Development Partnership Framework between the Republic of Serbia and the United Nations for the period 2016 – 2020" was adopted in May 2016. This document lays the foundations for the development partnership and cooperation between Serbia and the United Nations for the next five-year period and includes objectives and outcomes of cooperation in five groups: good governance and the rule of law; development of social and human resources; economic development, growth and employment; the environment, climate change and resilient communities and culture and development. The adoption of the final text of the "Development Partnership Framework between the Republic of Serbia and the United Nations for the period 2016 – 2020" is underway.
The United Nations Association of Serbia (www.bimun-unaserbia.org), which is a member of the World Federation of UN Associations, has been established and is active in the Republic of Serbia.
Serbia in UNESCO
UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations for education, science and culture.
Its principal organs are the General Conference (195 Member States, www.unesco.org/new/en/general-conference), Executive Board (58 Member States, www.unesco.org/new/en/executive-board) and the Director-General (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general).
Serbia has been a full-fledged UNESCO member since 4 February 2003 (https://en.unesco.org/countries/serbia). The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia joined UNESCO on 31 March 1950, and formed its first UNESCO Commission the same year. Serbia was elected to membership of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2015-2019. It had previously been a member of this body from 2005 to 2009.
The UNESCO Constitution provides that all Member States of the Organization should establish their National Commissions as government advisory bodies for areas of competence of UNESCO. The current National Commission members were appointed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia in April 2015. The Commission comprises 25 members, and is presided over by Prof Dr Goran Milasinovic.
Serbia attaches special importance to all UNESCO's areas of activity – education, science, culture and communication, having a diversified approach to its cooperation with the Organization.
The UNESCO World Heritage List (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/&order=country) includes: Stari Ras and Sopocani (1979), Studenica Monastery (1986), Medieval Monuments in Kosovo – Decani Monastery (2004), Patriarchate of Pec, Gracanica Monastery, the Church of Our Lady of Ljevis (2006), Gamzigrad-Felix Romuliana (2007) and Stecci – Medieval Tombstones (2016).
Serbia attaches particular importance to the protection of all its cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. At the proposal of Serbia, Serbian medieval monuments in Kosovo and Metohija were inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites, in 2006 (http://www.heritage.gov.rs/cirilica/index.php). Also in 2006, UNESCO inscribed them on the List of World Heritage in Danger (http://whc.unesco.org/en/danger).
For inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List, Serbia also nominated: Caricin Grad (Justiniana Prima), Negotin Breweries, Smederevo Fortress, Bac and its surroundings, Manasija Monastery, Djerdap National Park, Sara Mountain National Park, Deliblato Sands special biosphere reserve, Tara National Park with the Drina Gorge, and Djavolja Varos (Devil's Town) natural monument (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/state=rs).
The Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve was inscribed on the List of Biosphere Reserves (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/europe-north-america) in 2002 (MAB- Man and the Biosphere Programme).
The Memory of the World Register, devoted to the protection of documentary heritage, includes Nikola Tesla Archive (2004), the Miroslav Gospel (2005) and the cable whereby Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, on 28 July 1914 (2015) (www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/flagship-project-activities/memory-of-the-world/register/access-by-region-and-country/europe-and-north-america/serbia).
UNESCO inscribed "Slava" on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, in 2014 (www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00311&cp=RS), as the first item from Serbia.
UNESCO maintains a significant normative activity. The Republic of Serbia has continued its membership of UNESCO by way of a declaration on succession in respect of conventions, agreements and protocols wherein UNESCO acts as depositary, and which were ratified by SFRY/FRY/SCG. Serbia ratified, in 2009, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), the International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005), and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia ratified a treaty with UNESCO establishing the Water for Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change Centre at the Jaroslav Cerni Institute in Belgrade, as the UNESCO category II centre (www.jcerni.org/sr.html).
"For Women in Science" Programme is being realized in collaboration with the Serbian UNESCO Commission of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the Regional L'Oréal Balkans Office. In the framework of the L'Oréal – UNESCO "For Women in Science" Programme, three scholarships are annually granted to young Serbian lady scientists for the results achieved in natural sciences. Please find more information on the competition at www.zeneunauci.co.rs.
Serbia in the Alliance of Civilizations
The Republic of Serbia has been a member of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations initiative since January 2007. It regularly and actively participates in all annual World Forums of the Alliance of Civilizations and the meetings of the Group of Friends.
The objective of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative is to promote various cultural values, specific characteristics of societies and the mechanisms of understanding between cultures and faiths. The Alliance of Civilizations works in four basic areas - education, youth, migration and the media. The initiative for the establishment of the Alliance of Civilizations was launched by the then Spanish Prime Minister H. Luis Zapatero at the UN General Assembly Session in 2004. In 2005, the Alliance of Civilizations became the UN initiative.