The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered on Friday, 20 July 2012, in the Old City Hall in Zagreb a lecture for members of the Croatian United Nations Association, the Academy for Political Development, mmebers of the diplomatic corps and other representatives of Croatia’s political establishment and civil society. The lecture, titled „Croatia and the UN: Engagement and Opportunity“, was organised by the Academy for Political Development and the UN in Croatia, in cooperation with the Croatian United Nations Association. The event opened a three-day official visit of the UN Secretary General to Croatia, in the framework of Mr Ban’s tour of the countries of the region.
Mr Ban was welcomed by the Vice-President of the Croatian United Nations Association, Ms Ana Brnčić.
Mr Ban delivered a speech in which he praised Croatia achievements in the past 20 years of membership in the UN. Mr Ban said Croatia had fought hard to realize its dream of independence and now it is sending peacekeeping troops to assist the world’s trouble spots. He also praised Croatia for its international engagement, its assistance to countries in need and its support to other nations in transition.
The UN Secretary-General singled out three areas in which Croatia can contribute to UN activities: supporting countries in transition, standing up for human rights and advancing sustainable development. “There is a growing global movement for democracy. Croatia’s experiences can serve the world. And by contributing its experience internationally, the country will become stronger in its own right,” he stressed.
The lecture was followed by a Q&A session. Answering the numerous questions, Mr Ban conceded that the UN and the international community had “failed” in not preventing the genocide in Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995, but that the world body had learned lessons from the experience and that the “responsibility to protect” doctrine was the result. The UN Secretary General said that this doctrine had been applied successfully in Libya and the Cote d’Ivoire. However, he conceded that so far efforts to invoke the responsibility to protect in the Syria conflict had not succeeded and expressed dire concern.
More information and a video clip of the lecture can be viewed (http://www.undp.hr/show.jsp?newscontainer=145076&page=51874&singlenewsid=144787#news144787)
(Photo by Jelena Topčić)