Zagreb – While marking the 20th anniversary of the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the United Nations, leading Croatian state officials concurred that the UN, largest international organization encompassing 194 world countries, had substantially helped Croatia gain independence and that the country would remain committed to UN principles.
President of the Republic Ivo Josipović, Croatian Parliament Speaker Boris Šprem, Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, Ministers, Members of Parliament, former state officials and foreign guests gathered in the Croatian Parliament to celebrate the 22nd May 1992, the day when Croatia was admitted to the UN by General Council’s acclamation. In the months preceding the admission Croatia had been recognized by numerous countries, among which all the member-states of the then European Community, Russia and the USA. “That day crowned of all our efforts for obtaining international recognition. On that day we joined an organization which has a crucial role in today’s world”, said President Josipović.
Parliament Speaker Šprem underlined the UN membership had been invaluable to Croatia’s struggle for independence. Also, having become a UN member-country, for the first time Croatia gained the right to sit at the table with other international diplomats and decide on its own destiny. "20 years have passed since. We are now providing others, especially Afghanistan, with the help the UN used to provide us”, said Šprem.
Prime Minister Milanović thinks that, in terms of time, Croatia’s path has been short, yet it has been an action-packed path that took other nations much longer to cross.
Croatian soldiers are currently taking part in nine UN missions worldwide. There were five UN missions on Croatia’s territory during the Croatian War of Independence and in the post-war years. Croatia’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council 2008/2009 and its presidency over one of the UN’s most important bodies – the Economic and Social Council, are considered as Croatia’s great diplomatic achievements.
"Croatia is taking on ever more important roles and responsibilities within the UN and uses its own tragic experiences to prevent wars and build permanent world peace”, said Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and former Croatian diplomat. Šimonović, one of the highest ranking Croatian officials in international organizations, added that Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations had been hoping to attend today’s ceremony but, being prevented, he was now looking forward to visiting Croatia in July. (Hina)