BAJRAM BEGAJ, President of Albania, said that the Assembly provides a unique platform for global cooperation and hope for a better world, and that restoring trust and reviving global solidarity is the only way for the international community to confront the challenges common and global issues of today that not only affect the present, but future generations. Stating that since 1955, when Albania joined the United Nations, it has moved from being an isolated country to being a proud member of NATO and has facilitated accession negotiations with the European Union. He also highlighted the conclusion of Albania’s first term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and its productive presidency of the Council for the second time this month. “As part of the Western Balkans, Albania continues to make an unwavering contribution to peace and stability in this region,” he said, stressing that it adheres to a policy of friendship and good neighbors in the region.
He expressed his deep concern about the “crises which recur from time to time in relations between its neighbors”. Alongside Kosovo, the country is committed to peace in the region and hopes its contributions will be recognized and “not let our efforts be stopped by opposing narratives”, he said. He reiterated his support for the “difficult but continuous dialogue” between Kosovo and Serbia, facilitated by the European Union with the support of the United States, affirming Albania’s commitment to integrity and prosperity of Kosovo. Stating that Kosovo is still awaiting recognition of its independence by many countries, and expressing hope that countries will give Kosovo the recognition it deserves, he stressed that “Kosovo has demonstrated that pain does not bring necessarily hostility. Although young and marked by wars and dominations that it did not choose, Albania has learned its lessons and, due to its history, attaches great importance to international law where nations are respected. Therefore, Albania unequivocally condemns the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and “we will continue to do so”.
He recognized that sustainable development is an integral part of achieving international peace and security, stating that the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression against its neighbor has affected the progress of sustainable development around the world and ” diverted attention and resources from solving common challenges.” He welcomed the Sustainable Development Goals Summit initiated by the Secretary-General and declared his country’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda, because “the success of the SDGs lies in our collective efforts to address the challenges that hinder the sustainable development “. He recognized the imperative for reforms and said his country was ready to cooperate with the international community to enable developing countries to actively participate in and benefit from the global economy. He further expressed his 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 the Determined Contributions by his country at the national level.
He outlined Albania’s position on multilateralism, saying critical challenges show that universal reason is the only way out because “no one can have lasting peace until everyone has it.” As a candidate for the Human Rights Council next month, he promised that, if elected, his country would defend the rights of humans, children and minorities, and that he would work with other countries to promote and defend human rights and freedoms. He also called for reforms to the Security Council to enable it to intervene intelligently and timely on the issues for which it was created.