Head of the standing delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) MA Jadranka Jovanovic took part in the 35th Regional Assembly for the APF Europe Region, in Athens, 5 – 7 November 2023 and hosted by the Hellenic Parliament.
The participants discussed the challenges to democracy in the light of events in the east of Europe and future prospects in a divided world.
The attending were addressed by the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Konstantinos Tassoulas who pointed out that the French language is the bond that unites the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, that it is the language of culture, art and literature. La Francophonie promotes democracy, culture, the rule of law, as common values that its members have agreed upon and cherish. He said he regretted the current events in Eastern Europe and the world, where people suffer because of unresolved conflicts, the international order is threatened and therefore it is important to strengthen democracy and respect for human rights.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece Giorgos Gerapetritis also addressed the participants and pointed out that Greece supports French language studies and that there are special support programs for students and pupils for it. He underlined the importance and role of La Francophonie in the light of the current conflicts in Europe and in the world. That is why the role of La Francophonie and multilateralism in general is important, to find common solutions and achieve lasting peace. Greece supports dialogue and compromise for resolving open issues in the world and stopping the suffering of the vulnerable population.
The Head of the National Assembly’s standing delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie MA Jadranka Jovanovic stressed that the Republic of Serbia has always stood for respecting the principles of territorial integrity and political independence of states, however this principle is, unfortunately, applied selectively in the world. Just as it is committed to preserving the sovereignty and integrity of its own territory, Serbia is also committed to respecting the territorial integrity of other sovereign states and the principle that borders can be changed only in accordance with the rules of international law. Speaking about Kosovo-Metohija, she pointed out that more than 150 ethnic attacks against Serbs have been documented since the beginning of this year. That is why the Serbs living in Kosovo-Metohija are the most endangered ethnic group in Europe. They live in great fear and need special protection. The Head of the National Assembly’s standing delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie MA Jadranka Jovanovic called for respect for the territorial integrity of all internationally recognised countries, including Serbia.
The 35th Regional Assembly for the APF Europe Region was attended by members of parliament of APF member states, associate states and observers, with the participation of representatives of the academic community.