President of the Republic of Montenegro
Esteemed high state and religious dignitaries,
Esteemed participants in the World Meeting for Peace,
Ladies and Gentlemen
World Meetings for Peace, currently held in Sarajevo, promote the eternal values to which they have been committed for years – peace and dialogue among religious communities, culture of peoples and states, co-existence as a precondition for survival and progress. Owing to the Community of Sant’Egidio, to which credit is due for our meetings, I wish to confirm by participating in this meeting that Montenegro shares the fundamental values which are the mission and message of our gatherings. They are particularly important for the Western Balkans region bearing in mind its ethnical, cultural and religious complexity and history of its states. Therefore, I am very rejoiced that our meeting is held in Sarajevo.
Sarajevo is the symbol of the beginning and the end of the 20th century which was dramatic, and the fact that today this town is the venue of leaders of all the world religions, numerous heads of states and Governments, representatives of the most important international organizations and prominent intellectuals from the entire world is an expression of hope and belief that the 21st century will be a period of peace and fruitful cooperation among various communities, among the states and peoples in the region, in Europe and worldwide. Peace and cooperation are not attained once and forever, they have to be constantly promoted and fostered. That is why the annual meetings organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio are exceptionally valuable.
Montenegro managed, despite the great temptations, to preserve peace in the dramatic period of history which is behind us, and for the past six years since renewal of its independence, it has established itself as the factor of stability and role model of the region. It will keep up with the efforts towards improving the regional and international cooperation, as well as cooperation among its numerous constituting religious and ethnical communities. I am also assured that the prospects for Montenegro and the entire region lay in the European Union integration, and in that respect, the states and peoples from this region have no dilemma, all the more so because they belong to Europe, not only in geographical terms but also in terms of history and culture. That is significant not only for them but also for the European Union which will not be complete without them.
I wish successful work to all the participants, certain that the results of the World Meeting for Peace in Sarajevo will be very significant and durable.