January 28, 2013

President Vujanović at the Presentation of the 2013 UNDP National Human Development Report
President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, delivered an introductory address at the presentation of the 2013 UNDP National Human Development Report: “People are the greatest wealth of a country. How rich is Montenegro?”, dedicated to the topic of human capital in Montenegro.

Please find the address of President Vujanović below:

Esteemed Mr. Vrbensky,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I wish to express my gratitude to the Office of the United Nations Development Programme in Montenegro for the preparation of the 2012 Human Development Report, in a joint endeavour with the public institutions of Montenegro and the non-governmental sector.

I consider the Report as an inspiring overview of the achievements of Montenegro in respect of the most important segment of development in the past period – human development. People are the greatest wealth of Montenegro and the basic lever of its entire development. I also recognize the recommendations from the Report as the relevant tasks of the entire society.

Regardless of the fact that Montenegro ranks among the countries with the high human development index, taking the 54th position in the world – in terms of the HDI index, we must not be satisfied by the achieved result, and all the efforts of the society must ensure further growth in respect of its three most important dimensions: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard. It rejoices that the development index marked continuous growth over the period 2005-2011. Average life expectancy of 58 years marked in the period 1952-54 was increased by whole 17 years in 2011, and over the last three decades, it marked an increase of 0.9% at annual rate. Gross national income per capita was increased by around 24% over the period 2005-2011.

The process of political, social and economic transition, prolonged by the dissolution of the former system in a war collapse, and as of lately, by global economic and financial crisis was not a favourable environment for human capital development. However, Montenegro ensured the HDI index growth with 0.3% average annual rate over the period 1980-2011, and its increase of 2% over the period 2005-2011.

Montenegro has already adopted numerous documents intended for human capital development, aligned with the approach of the European Union represented, inter alia, in the Lisbon Strategy. In accomplishing further human development, Montenegro will continue to generate policies in line with the standards and recommendations of the European Union in this field, understanding that it has to find its own path in the light of all its specificities. These have to provide not only for overall development, but also for its regional homogeneity and span over all social groups, pursuant to the principles of adherence to the Human Rights and Freedoms and social justice.

As regards the general economic development, alike all the other European countries, in the circumstances of global competition, Montenegro must offer the high-quality products and services in the global market. This will not be possible without development of the knowledge and skill capital, to which we are committed. Providing for the investments into transportation and energy infrastructure is a great challenge before our state, the overcoming of which is conditioned by the growth of investment capacities in the world and, of course, our agile approach to promotion and continuation of extending benefits to foreign investors in Montenegro. The small and medium business sector also represents a developmental chance for our economy. Encouragement of its development does not consist only in provision of financial support, but also in stimulating attainment of new knowledge and skills through businesses incubation and projects and ensuring of permanent education of the population.

Certainly, solving of the unemployment problem is a great obligation of the state and the entire society. Unemployment in Montenegro is predominantly of structural origin. Reducing the unemployment rate to a tolerable level will not be possible without the adequate investing into new knowledge and further adjustment of the educational system to the actual needs of the society. Therefore, in the forthcoming period Montenegro must increase the investments into the developmental research and promotion of various project clusters.

Desired economic development will not be realized otherwise. Promotion of positive social values and culture of participation in life at the national and local levels also has to be consistently represented in the educational system. In the knowledge attainment approach, as everywhere else, social exclusion must not be allowed. For that matter, we have given priority to the vulnerable social goals in the corresponding line policies.

Healthcare protection of the population in its widest meaning is an obligation for the state and all the stakeholders in the society. Healthcare system must go on with the positive changes, resulting in improvement of services and larger scope in the sense of prevention and informing of the population. Naturally, health of our citizens is not just a task for the healthcare system. Synchronization of other policies, such as environmental protection and occupational protection standards, with the efforts in the healthcare system must be carried out.

There are numerous criteria of modern approach to overall development, as well as restrictions arising from the global challenges. However, we perceive all of them as the factors which direct development, not as an obstacle. Indeed, the developmental schemes are becoming increasingly complicated and the requests posed before all the stakeholders in the society are increased. Therefore, the general social activity in all fields is of vital importance for development, which entails an increase in human capital.

Finally, empowerment of human capital in strengthening of trust in the system institutions through the exercise of rule-of-law, through fight against corruption and organized crime, professionalism in media approach and ensuring transparency in the activities of the society will have a beneficial impact on acceleration of human development. We are fully committed thereto, believing that we shall attain it for the benefit of all our citizens.

Thank you.

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