December 02, 2013

Budva, President Vujanović at the session of the National Council
The President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović, who is the President of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, presided over the constitutive session of the new composition of the Council.

The Presidentís address reads as follows:

Esteemed Excellencies,
Commissioner Potočnik,
Respected Members of the National Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Expressing my belief in the full commitment of the members of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Climate Change to achievement of the important mission of the Council, allow me to thank to the former council for their valuable achievements.

Montenegro constitutionally established its commitment to sustainable development more than two decades ago. Significant accomplishments are achievements in setting up an institutional network of sustainable development of Montenegro. After the Second World Summit on Sustainable Development, which was held in Johannesburg in 2002, the National Council for Sustainable Development was founded as an advisory body in the Government of Montenegro. Office for Sustainable Development was founded in 2005 as Secretariat of the Council, which was integrated in 2011 in the newly-established Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development as Department for Support to the National Council. By the implemented reform of the National Council in 2008 number of members of the Council was reduced, independent persons were involved, forming of working groups as well as local councils of sustainable development was enabled.

Important strategic, plan and implementation acts have been discussed at the Council, such as Energy Development Strategy until 2020, National Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Spatial Plan of Montenegro until 2025, National Forest and Forest Land Administration Policy, Report on Status of Spatial Development for 2009. In addition, the Council supported programs of preservation and protection of cultural and natural heritage, promotion of development of economy on the basis of sustainable use of natural and human resources and introduction of program of sustainable development in the education system. Such work of the Council proved to be very important mechanism of consultations with all the actors of the society. In 2012, the Council very much contributed to defining of a Professional document for participation of delegation of Montenegro in the Third World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), as well as future directions of green economy development for Montenegro. As key areas of green economy development the Council proposed, and the Government adopted later on, sectors of energy, agriculture and tourism.

At the Third World Summit, at which Montenegro confirmed its dedication to goals and principles of sustainable development, one of the conclusions was also strengthening of institutional framework for sustainable development through establishment of political forum at a high level. Therefore, it is necessary in this phase to innovate that dedication in accordance with the newest global practices and standards through this National Council for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

In accordance with it as well as obligations which Montenegro has in the framework of European integration in the field of climate change and necessity of as efficient use as possible of the existing institutional and staff resources, by reform of the Council this year the structure, mandate and name of the National Council for Sustainable Development were changed and extended in terms of focus on climate change. The Council now has 21 representatives from different social structures.

One of the missions of the National Council is to define the manner how to overcome problems that we identified in the past period, through implementation of strategic documents in order to make sustainable development key in creating the long-term development policy of Montenegro. It is necessary that the Council, as umbrella body of the sustainable development, by its activities proactively makes proposals of long-term policies as well as concrete projects to the Government. For fulfillment of this task, which is key, in our work we have to be dedicated to the topics that we will deal with on all the levels.

Exactly in that context, I am convinced that the permanent working groups, which founding is already defined in the Decision on Establishment of the Council, would be key mechanism for ensuring continuity of our work, with two plenary sessions which we will certainly hold on a yearly basis. Working groups will deal with the issues of auditing and monitoring the National Strategy of Sustainable Development, efficient use of resources and climate change, enabling that our recommendation to the Government are founded on the best international practices adjusted to the specific qualities of our national development context and society.

One of the main topics to be dealt with until the end of 2014 and by the beginning of 2015 is auditing of the National Strategy of Sustainable Development (2014-2020), as umbrella strategic document, which will, apart from relying on the strategic European and UN documents, be founded on today dominantly present development concepts and mechanisms such as green economy, social responsibility, efficient use of resources, information technologies, with horizontal positioning of climate change issues as well as science, education and research in relation to all the relevant priority areas of sustainable development of Montenegro. As key result, Strategy should define long-term targeted values to which implementation Montenegro should be bound until 2020 i.e. 2030 and which will be a basis for planning short-term and medium-term priority measures and activities.

The Strategy should also, by its structure, reflect the integral approach to development as the only manner for achievement of sustainable development opposite to the past separate treatment of sector policies. Innovated Strategy will contain also an Action plan which will define measures for systemic improvement of financial and regulatory mechanisms for implementation of sustainable development (including also the system of public procurement); improvement of functioning of institutional system for sustainable development as well as implementation of sustainable development through selected strategic development pilot projects, which reflect in an integrated manner the essence of the sustainable development concept.

By additional reform of the National Council for Sustainable Development as well as by establishment of Center for Sustainable Development, of which we will hear more during the session, we can conclude that Montenegro to a great extent established institutional framework for the field of sustainable development and climate change policy and that such system represents a good basis for implementation of concept of sustainable development and climate change in practice.

Proceeding from importance of topics held by this Council, it is my pleasure today to officially state the beginning of work of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Although this is the first constitutive session of the new composition of the Council, I propose to keep the continuity in the number of sessions, so that for the purpose of continuity it will be the 25th session of the Council, as it was the case during previous reforms of the Council.

Once again, thank you all for accepting membership in the National Council for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, I wish you successful work in the next period.

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