Official Diplomatic Academy diploma award for 2015/2016

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic opened today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ceremony of Diplomatic Academy diploma awards for the completion of the Academy’s 2015/2016 Basic Diplomatic Training Course.

Addressing the audience, the Minister highlighted the foreign policy priorities and activities of the Republic of Serbia within the framework of international cooperation and on bilateral and multilateral levels, the importance of Serbia’s six-monthly Chairmanship-in-Office of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization and the upcoming Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to be held in Belgrade, on 13 December 2016.

Following is the full text of the address by Minister Dacic.

(Quote) Dear participants of the Diplomatic Academy’s training programme,

Esteemed professors and colleagues,

I am very pleased to deliver an address – which by now has become traditional – to the attendees of the 2015/2016 Basic Diplomatic Training Programme, on the occasion of the diploma awards ceremony which the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been organizing for many years, and to congratulate them on their performance in building up on their professional capacities.

Given the fact that you are coming from different institutions of the Republic of Serbia where your work has been related to international cooperation, your first opportunity to use the knowledge and skills developed in this programme could come as early as next month, within the framework of Serbia’s Chairmanship-in-Office of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, assumed on 1 July 2016 for a period of six months.

It is incumbent upon all of us to make our best effort and contribution – each in their own area of competence, to enable our country position itself in such a way as to have its standing and leverage overreach its size.

Economic instability, military conflicts, natural disasters, migration crisis and terrorism – to name just a few factors to be taken into consideration in dealing with future strategies which, in addition to including modalities aimed at addressing these difficulties, should also embrace specific ideas for resolving these issues, both globally and locally. In this context, Serbia stands ready to work together with all its partners towards the accomplishment of these goals.

Against the backdrop of highly complex foreign policy circumstances, through coordinated activities of all its foreign policy actors, Serbia – a small but a proud country, has been able to carry out the foreign policy goals set by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The country’s major foreign policy objectives are: protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, continuation of negotiations towards, and full membership of, the European Union, including the development of traditionally friendly relations with major countries, other friends and neighbours in the region, participation in international organizations and consolidation of multilateralism by making a specific contribution to addressing present-day problems such as climatic changes, fight against terrorism, sustainable development, as well as maintenance of regional peace and stability.

As you know, Serbia is an independent and military neutral country, and will remain that way.

Endeavours are made to draw from our cooperation with NATO what is best for our country. We will continue our cooperation with Russia in the same way. We are concerned solely about our own interests, while paying attention that they do not jeopardize our friendship with either of the parties in the world arena.

I recall that neither Russia nor NATO, nor the EU, have anything against such position of Serbia, absolutely nothing. Serbia is respected and revered. No requests are being made whereby such position of Serbia would be aggravated or threatened.

I can underline that through its foreign policy aspect, Serbia intends to present itself as a reliable partner and a factor of peace and cooperation in the region, which is a prerequisite for economic prosperity of any country or region.

In this context, while pursuing its European Union path, Serbia remains true to the European values and promotion of cooperation, particularly in the Western Balkan and Southeast Europe regions, through cooperation with other countries as well as international organizations and regional initiatives.

Only with a strong foreign policy position can we be successful on the foreign policy level, maintain friendly relations with all, and avoid any danger that taking sides may bring along.

Serbia has been highly assessed by all relevant world factors for its economic and overall social reforms whose implementation is underway, for its exceptionally constructive approach during the refugee/migrant crisis, as well as for its role as a stability factor in the SEE region. Serbia’s reputation and foreign policy position are at the highest point since the commencement of the Yugoslav crisis.

For this reason, Serbia’s well known foreign policy priorities will not change, irrespective of great many challenges we are currently facing.

We should not forget that all of us in public or diplomatic services involved in international cooperation are taking part in the implementation of the foreign policy goals of the Republic of Serbia. Today’s more dispersed and intricate international relations require special qualities, skills, abilities and knowledge.

We, therefore, say that education is a permanent, continuous process, and that education and training of not only diplomats but all those dealing with international cooperation are of essential importance, particularly in the context of the complex political and economic situation in the world.

We have eventually reached the point which has brought us here today. Therefore, let me express, first of all, my sincerest congratulations to the entire 2015/2016 class which has successfully completed the Basic Diplomatic Training Programme, and my expectations that you will soon be able to test your newly acquired capabilities by reflecting on the latest foreign policy developments.

I wish to take this opportunity to underline two specific aspects characterizing the occasion – first, that this class comprises, for the first time, participants working in public sector institutions (NIS, RTS, Srbijagas, “Nikola Tesla”Airport), and second, which I am very pleased to announce, is that it is for the first time that one of the participants has completed the Basic Diplomatic Training Programme with a grade point average of 10.00, on which I congratulate Danijela Ristovski, from the Office of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality.

Let me, once again, wish all of you – participants in the programme – every success in your future work, hoping that you will always be aware of all the specificities characterizing the work on international cooperation; and that, on the professional level, your knowledge, self-confidence and acquaintances made at the Diplomatic Academy will be an asset to Serbia’s international cooperation and, on the personal level, a lasting source of fine memories of the days spent at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Unquote)