Minister Dacic addressed the Media Conference of Diaspora and Serbs in the Region

Minister Dacic participated today at the Media Conference of Diaspora and Serbs in the Region

Following is the Minister’s address at the event:

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and honour to have the opportunity to address you once again and wish you a successful conference – the Seventh Media Conference of Diaspora and Serbs in the Region. Protection of the rights and interests of Serbian nationals abroad and the enhancement of relations between the diaspora and motherland are not only an obligation under the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, but also one of its priorities, bearing in mind the numerousness, role and the importance of our compatriots living beyond the borders of the Republic of Serbia, who are devoted to fostering the inextricable ties with their mother country.

Like the previous media conferences of diaspora and Serbs in the region, this Seventh Conference is an opportunity for bringing together representatives of the media and associations of the diaspora and the region, exchanging experiences and views, aimed at strongly supporting the media and diaspora associations, journalists and those intending to follow suit.

The media activity of our people living outside the borders of Serbia is particularly important at a moment in time when the world is facing an intricate political and economic situation, and complex security challenges threatening to bring additional instability to the international order. Given the relatively unpredictable foreign policy situation, it is of paramount importance that all actors on the international scene recognize the efforts made by the Government of the Republic of Serbia aimed at the preservation of regional peace and stability, respect of European values and promotion of regional cooperation.

Representatives of diaspora and Serbian people in the region, acting in their own communities at the current political juncture, constitute an indispensable channel of communication with the foreign publics. This is particularly true of the protection of the human rights of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija. In this process, the Government of the Republic of Serbia is constructive in the dialogue but, at the same time, it is uncompromising in the protection of the country’s national interests. In this context, the support of our compatriots living abroad is of immeasurable importance, as reflected in the excellent example of the “No Kosovo UNESCO” campaign conducted to prevent “Kosovo’s” UNESCO membership bid.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Under the 2006 Declaration of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the motherland – diaspora relations were declared the relations of highest state and national interest.  The Law on Diaspora and Serbs in the Region was adopted in 2009, followed by the adoption of the 2011 Strategy for the preservation and strengthening of relations between the mother country and the diaspora, and the mother country and Serbs in the region. The Strategy foresaw improvement of diaspora information as one of the instruments for protecting the language and national identity.

Preservation of the Serbian language and national identity is particularly important today, when integration processes in the receiving states are so strong, frequently resulting in the ignorance of members of the youngest generations of their mother tongue.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs – through its network of diplomatic and consular missions, and competitions for co-funding projects whose quality would contribute to the preservation and strengthening of links between the motherland and diaspora Serbs implemented by the Department for Cooperation with Diaspora and Serbs in the Region – contributes to the safeguarding of the Serbian language and the Cyrillic script. However, it is possible to make steps forward in that direction only by concerted efforts with the departments of culture and education, media, Serbian Orthodox Church, non-governmental organizations and associations of the diaspora and Serbs in the region.

In the area of media activity of associations and organizations, which will be dealt with more extensively further on in our today’s Conference, we have shown that persistent and continued work together with the funds allocated for education and human resources can produce results, particularly among youth and members of the online community of the diaspora and Serbs in the region.

In this context, I have the particular pleasure to conclude my statement by welcoming seven new participants in the training for journalists – representatives of Serbian organizations and associations from the region, who are completing today their ten-day stay in Belgrade.

May I wish, once again, all the Conference participants success in their deliberations and a pleasant stay in the Serbian capital.

Thank you for your attention.”