Zaev at UNGA: Macedonia promotes new approach toward its neighbors, is oriented toward EU and NATO

Zaev at UNGA: Macedonia promotes new approach toward its neighbors, is oriented toward EU and NATO

In his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that we should not focus on our differences but on our main responsibilities and work for the joint benefit.

We should act like responsible governments and build a better future and prosperity, added Zaev.

He said that states must focus on implementing new, sustainable development and create new ways for friendship and partnership.

"I'm certain that we all have the same goal - world peace. I'm certain that we share the same commitments. I'm certain that we will respond to our joint challenges with joint solutions. Peace, commitment for a decent life and joint solutions are the values through which the Republic of Macedonia managed to overcome a deep political crisis which even created waves in our region. We are a small country full of differences. We went through difficult challenges because we united around common values. Therefore, the Republic of Macedonia is today free, safe and stable. The Republic of Macedonia is a friend to its neighbors and is firmly oriented toward full integration in NATO and the European Union", added Zaev.

Zaev said that, even a quarter of a century after joining the UN, Macedonia still has an open issue with Greece over its name, and noted that the two countries are implementing confidence building measures.

"This is a very positive development. We have new strives, new energy to resolve the misunderstandings. I admit that at different times we made wrong steps, but now is the time to close these issues. I believe that there is a possibility that Greece overcomes the problem it has with our constitutional name and that we try to approach it from a positive aspect, to maintain good neighborly and friendly relations, but I expect that from both sides", Zaev added.

He reminded those listening that in the past few months the Macedonian Government promoted a new approach to its neighbors and showed capacity to overcome open issues.

"Our policy is based on solving the problems through dialogue and cooperation. We hope that it can inspire others and open a new approach toward bilateral cooperation in our region. As a positive step, allow me to point out to the signing of a treaty of cooperation and good neighborly relations with Bulgaria. This is a shared success of the two countries", Zaev said.

According to Zaev, the Macedonian Government has an ambitions plan for reforms which should build professional institutions and improve living standards. He said that Macedonia will continue to cooperate with all the countries from United Nations to support world peace, human rights and sustainable development.

"Advancing human rights, democracy and the rule of law needs to be at the center of our activities", Zaev said. He pointed out that violations of human rights across the world, impunity and lack of responsibility remind us that much needs to be done in this regard.

Zaev also said that Macedonia handled the migrant crisis in 2015 and 2016 well. Speaking about global challenges, he expressed his concert about the North Korean missile tests and called for peaceful denuclearization of this country.