Address at the 28th Session of the Crans Montana Forum
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 18:12   

Kran_Montana_ForumExcellencies,
Distinguished attendees,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to participate again in the Crans Montana Forum – a format for which I use every occasion to say that it is an excellent opportunity to exchange opinions and positions, especially having in mind the fact that the motto of the Forum - building a more humane and impartial world, is more important today than ever before.

An additional weight to today's meeting is given by the unfortunate events that happened recently in several countries, regretfully demonstrating that, in spite of all our efforts to fight terrorism, this modern Hydra is still very much alive and undermines all societies regardless of their political or value system. What has been a reality in the Middle East for a longer while, is slowly becoming part of the real life in Europe.

Taking into consideration this, and many other challenges that the world is facing today, building a sustainable strategy for stability and progress is becoming perhaps not impossible, but certainly complex mission that requires a lot of joint efforts, dedication, a dose of self criticism and complete sincerity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Past has taught us that humanity has often been late - every belated reaction and lost opportunity for action meant either going backwards or at the very least, stagnation. Nevertheless, the advantage of the present is that it gives us opportunity to learn from the past, in order never again to be late when it comes to our future and the future of our young people.

Here I am referring to a broader context – political, social, economic, cultural and even in the area of sports, if you wish – it is high time to liberate ourselves from the prejudice of big and small countries, and to turn towards their strategic reality and profile, that in today's categories is actually a combination of geopolitics and the capacity to successfully catch up with the new times and all of the advantages and risks they bring.

As an argument in favor, I would certainly mention the example of my country, the Republic of Macedonia, and the way it successfully handled only one within the series of challenges in this past period.

Namely, the migration crisis convinced even the biggest skeptics in two things: firstly, that a small territory does not mean irrelevant territory; and secondly, that a small country does not necessarily mean a minor role in global processes.
The so-called Balkan route of refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa demonstrated that the Balkans, and above all Macedonia, is indeed a bridge between the East and the West, as well as the fastest route to the countries of Western Europe, as the end destination in the pursuit of happiness of these people.

We must not forget that exactly Macedonia and the Balkans are the crossroads where the best features of these supposedly opposite worlds naturally merge in the form of a peaceful and centuries – long coexistence.
The manner in which a country decides to deal with these and similar challenges is the best and most visible reflection of its contribution to the establishment of a better world for future generations. This choice will determine whether the already fragile stability will get better or worse.

Macedonia's choice was humanity, impartiality and equal treatment when it comes to the humanitarian aspect of the migration crisis; as well as decisiveness and an extended hand for cooperation with all stakeholders when it comes to the security related aspect.

Of course, one must bear in mind that the migration crisis is just one in the series of irreversible global processes that humanity will continue to face.

Distinguished attendees,

As opposed to everything that I just stated, there is a stark contrast, a completely different situation – the Republic of Macedonia being a classic example illustrating today's global disorder, and let me explain why.

In the case of my country, there is a complete disrespect of an international, legally binding agreement signed with one of our neighboring countries. As if this is not enough, we also have a judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Hague that everybody seems to ignore, as if it does not exist. Macedonia has done a great deal for the security in Europe, despite it still being treated as a so-called third country, with even our access to certain security instruments of the EU being limited - although we are talking about platforms for exchange of information for the benefit of the entire continent. Macedonia is an example of how a country can be subject to double standards, bordering hypocrisy even.
In spite of all this, I remain optimistic and I do hope that the EU and NATO, as well as the countries of our region will draw lessons from this wrongful approach towards the Republic of Macedonia.

Having in mind the subject matter that we are discussing today, I cannot see any other sustainable strategy for stability in conditions of a globally unpredictable environment, except the return of the only kind of order that offered certain stability - namely, the respect, and not tailor made interpretation of international law and obligations. This goes hand in hand with maximum cooperation, above all in the area of security and fight against the major challenges – extremism and terrorism.

Excellencies,

The foundations of world order as we know it are seriously undermined and therefore we have found ourselves in a situation that I like to label as global disorder. UN being one of those foundations needs to reform itself and adapt to the new reality. The same goes for all other international institutions which must not allow themselves to stay trapped in the 20th century - on the contrary, they must become more functional in order to be the true guarantors of stability.

The time to act is now. From a societal point of view, we must move towards a system of governance that will take into account the collective welfare, not forgetting the expansion of each and every one of us individually. New technologies are already providing that individual opportunity – it is up to us to raise awareness about their use in positive goals.
We must not forget that the world is still bleeding from conflicts, wars, blockades and disagreements, and that no one is immune to these phenomena.

The key lies in the knowledge that a person is either your brother in faith, or your equal in humanity – in other words, every person deserves our respect, acceptance and trust.

This is the most solid basis on which, having in mind today's reality, we can build a world that we strive towards – one of progress, peace, stability and equal treatment for all.

Thank you.

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