Narodna Skupstina Republike Srbije

11/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/15/2021 07:54

NATO PA 101st Rose-Roth Seminar Opens in National Assembly

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is hosting the 101st Rose-Roth Seminar of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly "Euro-Atlantic integration, Partnership for Peace, and the way forward on remaining challenges in the Western Balkans", 15 - 17 November 2021, in Belgrade.

The delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is headed by Dragan Sormaz, Head of the National Assembly's standing delegation to the NATO PA, who stressed that this year marks 15 years of Serbia's joining the NATO Partnership for Peace Programme in the course of which, he said, a lot has been jointly done and achieved.

National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic delivered the opening remarks, underlining the importance of parliamentary cooperation and how participation in the work of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly contributes to the realisation of common goals and interests arising from our affiliation with the Partnership for Peace Programme.

By being a member the Partnership for Peace, Serbia is managing to achieve its goals and interests, such as its commitment to preserving peace and stability in this part of Europe, said Dacic, adding that the partnership's particular value lies in the fact that the Serbian representatives participate in international peacekeeping missions within the United Nations, making an important contribution to the joint actions of peaceful humanity in those crisis areas where such engagement is necessary.

Dacic repeated the principled position of the Republic of Serbia to pursue the policy of military neutrality, stressing that Serbia appreciates the fact that NATO and all of its member states deeply respect this position and do not see it as an obstacle to have intensive and quality cooperation in mutual interests.

The National Assembly Speaker then spoke about the security challenges in Kosovo-Metohija, stressing that Serbia enjoys a high level of cooperation with the KFOR mission, under the command of NATO, and respects its mandate and the role it has been appointed.

The participants were addressed by NATO PA President Gerald Connolly via video message, who expressed satisfaction to be able to address the first seminar held live since the beginning of the pandemic. He pointed out that this seminar is a reminder that stability and security are the foundations of peace, which Serbia has been actively contributing to for 15 years running.

The democratic agenda of the Rose-Roth seminar is of special importance today and proves that stability can only be maintained by joint efforts, through the protection and promotion of human rights, the principal tools of which are justice, freedom and democracy, Connolly emphasised. He underlined that NATO supports Serbia's reforms, the security role Serbia has in the region, the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as the dialogue with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Addressing the assembly, Swiss Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro Urs Schmid pointed out that Switzerland supports having these Rose-Roth seminars as they are an excellent platform for exchanging different views in order to promote better mutual understanding and build security and reconciliation through dialogue. The issues of stability and societal cohesion in the Western Balkans, which will be discussed at this seminar, are of exceptional importance, said Schmid.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana also addressed the attending via video message, pointing out that Serbia and its long-term partnership with NATO are good for the people of Serbia, stability in the region and wider transatlantic security.

He underlined that NATO supports the reforms of the Serbian armed forces and security institutions and that this successful cooperation is reflected in joint peace exercises, anti-terrorist projects, energy security and assistance during the pandemic.

In his address, Geoana stated that NATO is committed to peace and security in the Western Balkans, stressing that KFOR provides security and safe movement in Kosovo-Metohija, as well as that NATO supports the stabilisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. At the end of his presentation, he pointed out that NATO would remain committed to strengthening security, improving high-tech capacities and cyber defence, as well as the readiness of military forces and response to the impact of climate change.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, was the next to address the gathering, pointing out that Serbia, as a military neutral state, is committed to cooperation with NATO within the Partnership for Peace, to ensure security and stability in the Western Balkans and the whole world.

The partnership with NATO is reflected in Serbia's participation in the Science for Peace and Security Programme, with more than 40 successfully implemented joint projects, as well as in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 "Women, Peace and Security", aimed at promoting gender equality, said Brnabic.

Cooperation with NATO is also pursued in the field of civil protection and emergency situations, as well as through peacekeeping missions and operations, said the Prime Minister. She went on to add that Serbia is highly committed to regional cooperation, as well as to ensuring a stable and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo-Metohija, where we face everyday security risks.

Over the course of three days, the participants of the Rose-Roth seminar will focus on regional and current security issues i.e. the Republic of Serbia's cooperation with the EU and NATO, stability in the Western Balkans, security sector governance, disinformation, fake news and societal cohesion in the Western Balkans, the challenges of COVID-19 and environmental degradation in the region, as well as the economic, social and environmental challenges in the Western Balkans.