Daniela Gašparíková, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro


Dear Minister Srzentić,

Dear Mayor Bogavac, (Berane)

Dear fellow diplomats from around the globe,

Dear Colleagues,

Today, I have an immense privilege to welcome and greet the young diplomats from more than 30 countries. You, as young diplomats, hold the strength and skills to make major contributions to transforming our planet.

I see you as ambassadors of a better tomorrow, the ones who will develop healthier, safer, and more sustainable world. Your task will be to put people and the planet at the core of diplomacy and development cooperation. You are the custodians of our future. I trust you will strive to build cohesive and resilient societies, and already today actively participate in conquering our joint challenges such as this pandemic, that barred us from hosting you here, in the beautiful country of Montenegro.

You start from a solid ground to achieve this goal: The Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This is the only truly universal plan that connects all countries and citizens around the world, and I am confident that our School alumni will contribute to the success and reinforce the dedication of countries to achieve the Goals.

As the pandemic, and related social and economic crisis continue to unfold, encouraging a new generation of international leaders who can shape a more positive outlook for the world is an urgent matter. The world needs to be reinforced with trust, and cooperation reinvigorated so that it gains more security, prosperity and mutual understanding between the people.

As you already heard from minister Srzentić, the Government of Montenegro and UNDP established the Summer School for Young Diplomats back in 2008, together with partners from the Municipality of Berane. Our start was humble with the objective to bring the challenged region closer together. Today, we feel thrilled of our results which gained global grip: the School gathered so far almost 600 young diplomats from 77 countries. We had more than 160 prominent lecturers from the globe.

Principles of empowerment, open dialogue, multilateralism and passion for the art and craft of diplomacy are the backbone of this Summer School, which has already gained global recognition. We take the pride in what we have accomplished so far. By creating and facilitating a network of like-minded young diplomats aspiring to sustain global peace and security through the profession of diplomacy, we hope to strengthen the belief that change does come from within.

I want you to have a creative and beneficial week and encourage you to connect with your peers from other countries, so you can strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations. It may not be easy to do so in virtual space, but I trust you can make the most of it. Hopefully, this School will contribute to your personal and professional development.

I hope your careers will take off thanks to the connections you make during this internationally recognized School which will inspire you to learn, exchange ideas, challenge, and lead.

Thank you and I wish you a successful week.

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