Wednesday, 16 July 2014. PDF Print E-mail
Address by Minister Dacic at the Donors’ Conference in Brussels
+ larger fontnormal font- Smaller font
Donors’ Conference in BrusselsAddress delivered by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the International Donors' Conference on rehabilitating the effects of May floods in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels

"Dear Commissioners,
Dear Prime Minister of Slovenia,
Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic,
Esteemed Colleagues,
Dear Friends,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to address you at this important international conference and to welcome all of you on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Unfortunately, although the occasion of our meeting today is the tragedy that has befallen the Republic of Serbia and one part of the region, I sincerely hope and firmly believe that the consequences of which are still hard to bear, will be more easily rehabilitated with the help of all of you who responded to the call of our gracious hosts - the European Commission, France and Slovenia, to whom I offer once again my gratitude for the expressed readiness to help us.

As Minister with the mandate of regional cooperation as well, which is one of the foreign policy priorities of the Republic of Serbia, I have to point out on this occasion that the region of the Balkans in times of this terrible natural disaster really showed a high degree of solidarity and, in a way, demonstrated the core of regional cooperation and the extent to which citizens and governments of the regional countries care about each other. I strongly believe that we have demonstrated that as a region we belong to the system of values fostered by the European Union, which we see as a place of our, hopefully soon, common future.

This disaster that has befallen us, whose consequences we might suffer for years, showed how important it is that the whole region is part of the European system of management, such as the one provided by the European Union. Assistance instruments available to us, such as the Civil Protection Mechanism and the EU Solidarity Fund proved to be essential in overcoming the consequences of the natural disaster we have been faced with. As always in life, when something bad happens, we become aware of how important it is to act preventively and work on the protection against natural disasters.

The Republic of Serbia is ready to work together with the European Commission to find a way to provide resources that would enable Serbia to conclude an Arrangement on the full-fledged membership of the Civil Protection Mechanism, if there is a readiness of our European partners, with financial assistance from the IPA funds. This would certainly contribute to the prevention and our better preparedness for dealing with this kind of catastrophe.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you know, a number of countries provided assistance to Serbia to overcome the consequences of floods. Our diplomatic-consular missions worked for weeks day and night animating donors, both in the host countries and among our Diaspora. It is my human and professional obligation to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the countries which have already designated significant financial resources, sent their leading teams in crisis situations, as well as to the countries that have provided us with some concrete humanitarian aid. In doing so they offered precious assistance to the Republic of Serbia in this difficult situation, which helped fulfill essential human needs of many people affected by the floods.

Our immense gratitude goes also both to the European Union and the United Nations and their numerous agencies that have helped us, either by engaging in obtaining financial aid or assisting in damage assessment.

I would like to express my expectation that the representatives of the Governments of the countries present here today and of international financial institutions, upon reviewing our real needs, will find ways and means to help us overcome the consequences of terrible floods we are facing.

Once again I would like to thank the organizers and all the participants and previous donors for their good will to help us and to emphasize that the Republic of Serbia will never forget it.

Thank you for your kind attention!"