TIRANA, September 22 – President of Albania has said that that the Assembly serves as a unique platform for global cooperation and hope for a better world, and that rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity is the only way the international community can face today’s common and global challenges which do not only affect present, but future generations.
Begaj made that statement at the general debate of the 78th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on September 21.
Stating that since 1955, when Albania joined the United Nations, it has grown from being an isolated country to a proud member of NATO and has facilitated accession negotiations with the European Union. He also spotlighted the conclusion of Albania’s first term as non-permanent member of the Security Council, and its productive chairing of the Council for the second time this month. “As part of the Western Balkans, Albania continues to make unwavering contributions to peace and stability in this region,” he said, stressing that it adheres to a policy of friendship and good neighbourly relations within the region.
President Begaj expressed deep concern about the “crises that reoccur from time to time regarding the relations among its neighbors”. Together with Kosovo, the country is committed to peace in the region and hopes to be recognized for contributions and “not let our endeavors be shut down by opposing narratives”, he said.
He restated support for “the difficult yet ongoing dialogue” between Kosovo and Serbia, facilitated by the European Union with the support of the United States, affirming Albania’s dedication to Kosovo’s integrity and prosperity. Stating that Kosovo still awaits recognition of its independence by many countries, and expressing hopes that countries grant Kosovo the recognition it deserves, he stressed “Kosovo has demonstrated that pain need not bring hostility.”
Though young and marred by wars and dominations it did not choose, Albania has learnt lessons from them, and because of its history, places great importance on international law where nations are respected. Hence Albania unequivocally condemns the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and “we will continue to do so”.
He recognized that sustainable development serves as an integral component of achieving international peace and security, stating that the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression against its neighbor has affected sustainable development progress for the entire world, and “diverted attention and resources away from addressing shared challenges”.
Begaj welcomed the Sustainable Development Goals Summit (SDG) initiated by the Secretary-General and stated his country’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda as “the success of the SDGs lies in our collective efforts to address challenges that hinder sustainable development”. He acknowledged the imperative for reforms and said his country stands ready to cooperate with the international community to enable developing countries to actively participate and benefit from the global economy. He further expressed commitment to reducing poverty by aligning his national budget with the SDGs, mainstreaming gender equality, revitalizing public sector capacities, and strengthening data and monitoring systems, in line with his country’s nationally determined contributions.
He stated Albania’s position on multilateralism, saying that critical challenges show that universal reason is the only way out as “no one can have lasting peace until everyone has it”. Being a candidate for the Human Rights Council next month, he promised that, if elected, his country will champion human, children and minority rights, as well as work with other countries to promote and defend human rights and freedoms. He also called for Security Council reforms to enable it to intervene in an intelligent and timely manner on issues for which it was created. /argumentum.al