Statement by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic at the 32nd session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie in the debate of associate members and observers in Antananarivo:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me, first of all, to congratulate you, Madam Chairperson, on your election and to wish you success in carrying out these duties. I would especially like to express my gratitude to the host, Mr. President and the Government of Madagascar for their warm hospitality and excellent facilities provided for the conference.
On behalf of the Republic of Serbia I would like to congratulate the Secretary General, Madam Michaelle Jean, on successful stewardship of the organization and on actively positioning it at the international scene.
The Republic of Serbia genuinely shares the values of the International Organization of La Francophonie, whose motto is equality, complementarity and solidarity. We fully support the mission of the organization in the improvement of cultural and linguistic diversity and the study and use of the French language in international relations, but also in promoting peace, democracy and human rights and developing cooperation for sustainable development. We support and we want to get involved in all activities of La Francophonie on monitoring contemporary world events in order to align the goals and activities of the organization with incoming international challenges. Against this background, it is clear that the activities of La Francophonie actively contribute to strengthening peaceful, intercultural dialogue and exchange in a world of increasing global interdependence.
The foreign policy priority of Serbia is its full membership of the European Union. Serbia is actively committed to progress in the process of negotiations on opening new negotiating chapters. At the same time, we seek to improve as much as possible cooperation with all, both with large countries such as the United States, China, Russia and with all partners in the world, as well as with regional and international organizations, while being committed to pursuing a principled and peaceful policy.
Bearing in mind our ten-year participation and successful cooperation with La Francophonie (2006-2016), I would like to announce the readiness of Serbia to consider the conditions and the possibility of becoming a full member of the OIF, in the upcoming period. At the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan in October 2015, together with 16 member states and observers, Serbia signed a Memorandum of the National Francophone Initiative for 2016-2018 within the framework of the French in International Relations Programme. In the future, we will further strengthen the activities within the institutional cooperation with La Francophonie in the areas of culture, education, science and all other OIF programmes.
Although the so-called Kosovo has received observer status in OIF at the Dakar Summit in November 2014, I would point out that it is not the intention, nor the desire of Serbia to isolate anyone, but it is against the politicization of the work of international organizations, ranging from the OIF, UNESCO to the whole UN system. Serbia is strongly committed to dialogue with representatives of Pristina conducted with EU facilitation and is one of the few successful examples of peaceful settlement of disputes in the world today. The so-called Kosovo can participate in regional organizations and in many other international activities, but in a status neutral manner and in accordance with UNSCR 1244. To this end, I appeal to the OIF to contribute, with its principled position, to the final success of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue with mediation of the EU and in the function of political and economic stability of the Western Balkans. We are looking to the opportunity for dialogue and agreement rather than unilateralism.
As part of SFR Yugoslavia, Serbia used to make a strong contribution to the process of decolonization and development in Africa and the world through its principled policy of peaceful coexistence.