Tuesday, October 15 2019
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA AT THE 141. ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION ON THE TOPIC “STRENGTHENING INTERNATIONAL LAW: PARLIAMENTARY ROLES AND MECHANISMS, AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF REGIONAL COOPERATION”
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me, on behalf of the Deputies of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia and on my own behalf, to greet the participants of the 141. Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and express my pleasure that we have assembled again in such a respectable number and have the opportunity to present the views of the national institutions at this international forum. Like many times before, this time around, the concept of this international assembly confirms its indispensable and important role in addressing the issues of mutual interest to our citizens, states and regions. The mission of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is to promote democratic governance, build democratic institutions and values for the benefit of the citizens, and, certainly, the national parliaments, as part of this global organization, share the same goals, because legislatures are the natural environment of citizens, their home, the place where their democratic rights and aspirations are articulated, the place where their voices are heard and respected.
The international legal system, based on a comprehensive, legally binding global framework, is a crucial need stemming from the need to prevent future legal disputes between states, horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity, acts of occupation, from the need to initiate culpability and take responsibility for inhumane acts. The signing of the UN Charter, the adherence and commitment to the principles and objectives of international law and justice, and the rule of law based exactly on this international law is not only an empty buzzword, it is a guarantee of peace and security in the world. The preservation of that peace and the provision of dignified living conditions are a fundamental right of every human being.
These forums are an excellent opportunity for making direct contacts, for an immediate mutual exchange of information on the steps taken by each state to tackle the challenges in one way or another. Harmonization of the legal framework is needed and a strict adherence to internationally recognized and signed agreements, and in this respect, I do not refer to adherence only formally, but to concrete implementation on the ground, with regular oversight of the implementation of the legal provisions in practice.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Republic of North Macedonia has been working hard to promote and strengthen good neighborly relations, and we believe that only an honest approach to misunderstandings and open issues, and conducting political dialogue to the fullest extent possible, can lead to an acceptable compromise between parties. The result of that unselfish commitment was the signing of the two treaties, namely the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation with the Republic of Bulgaria and the Agreement with the Republic of Greece, which helped overcome the longstanding dispute that hindered us from achieving our strategic goals, that is, our integration to NATO and EU. Now that process is unblocked and we expect to become the 30th full-fledged NATO member by the end of the year, and from today until October 18th we are expecting e positive decision from the Council of EU, i.e. to determine a date to start the accession negotiations.
Guided by the constitutionally established division of power in the Republic of North Macedonia, where in addition to the executive and judiciary, the legislature is established as one of the three authorities, at the very beginning of my term as President of the Assembly, I had a clear vision and purpose that I wanted to achieve, that is, to provide a legal framework which will serve as a basis for the three most important areas of independence of the legislature. Because, in order to build strong and democratic parliaments, the basic legislative, oversight, budgetary and representative functions are essential to the quality of the overall governance of a country. With the unselfish help of our international friends and in constant coordination with the Government, preparations have been made and a working group has been set up to draft a legal framework for a financial independence of the Assembly and an independent service of the Assembly. Preparations have already been made to build capacity to support and consult with these processes. Furthermore, the third ultimate goal is independent security of the legislature. I believe all of this is a great basis for enabling the functionality of the Assembly, and a credible respect for the essential functions of the Assembly, namely the legislative, oversight, budgetary and representative. This is the only way we can truly serve the citizens and contribute to peace and development. In terms of accessibility and transparency for citizens, I will mention that we are open to any civic initiative and platform that addresses issues of vital interest to everyone such as peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality, building youth policies for a better life and development of the youth, and developing sustainable growth policies through open political dialogue, cooperation and action. Political dialogue is essential and takes place in the public eye, so we work hard to raise the level of political dialogue, build consensus between opposing political parties, and jointly and strongly address all issues that plague citizens and at the same time disable real growth, development and progress of the state.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I believe that maintaining closeness to the electorate is also important in order to be regularly updated and informed on the current problems that ordinary citizens face in their daily lives. Early detection of the cause of the problem or conflict, as well as genuine and comprehensive information can be critical to the successful resolution of any issue, because, let’s not forget, there are always two sides to the coin. And we are the ones who enjoy the legitimacy and trust of the citizens, which entails not only the enjoyment of rights but also the fulfillment of obligations and taking responsibility before the same citizens.
Dear colleagues, thank you for your attention and I wish you successful and fruitful work!