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Full Speech of Deputy Minister Isaki during the Skopje Info Session

26 November 2021

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Ms. Fatmire Isaki, addressed Civil Society Organisations, distinguished guests and potential beneficiaries in the Skopje Info Session.

The meeting started with a minute of silence, to honor the victims of the traffic accident of November 23rd.

In her speech, Ms. Isaki underlined the full commitment of North Macedonia towards deeper regional cooperation and the full support of Skopje toward the unique regional mechanism that WBF has become.

Full Speech of Ms. Isaki

Dear WBF Executive Director Murra,

Dear Representatives of EU Delegation

Dear Ambassadors,

Dear representatives of the civil society organizations,

Friends

On behalf of North Macedonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and WBF Chairmanship in Office, I welcome you to Skopje.

It is a moment of sorrow, a moment of great pain, for the tragedy that claimed the lives of so many people on the fateful Tuesday morning. But, in pain, we felt the commotion and support of our partners and friends. We felt, among others, the support of the European Union and our neighbors, and we genuinely thank them for being near us in such a difficult moment.

Here, in North Macedonia, we have an expression: “You cannot be happy if your neighbor is suffering.” Skopje has always believed that regional cooperation, increased integration between the economies of Western Balkans, and good neighborly relations are vital for writing the future our people strive for.

This is why the Western Balkans Fund ownership, as a unique groundbreaking mechanism that enables regional cooperation, is very important to us.

WBF will support the 4th call for regional projects of the Western Balkans Fund, and I would like to use the opportunity to congratulate the Executive Director and his team in the Secretariat for this milestone which represents a significant new development in the future growth of our Fund.

It is important to emphasize that through this progress and growth, the Fund has managed to keep the high interest of various stakeholders and grassroots organisations in the Western Balkans and send a good signal of vigorously promoting regional cooperation and good neighborly relations and reconciliation.

It is our great pleasure that through this 4th call for proposals, many civil society organizations will be able to participate in regional cooperation projects on social, cultural, scientific, and economic topics, including gender equality and disability inclusiveness.

We already have some very important success stories Made In North Macedonia, and I am confident that your presence here is a good omen for more to come.

Dear guests, aiming to keep it short, acknowledging your active support, willingness, hard work, and dedication to the WBF, and appreciating the achievements and continuous efforts of the WBF Secretariat team and its Executive Director, allow me to re-emphasize that our 2021 WBF Chairmanship in Office, is fully committed to continuing supporting WBF enhanced maturity, and its sustainability and progress forward.

In conclusion, I am quite confident that the highly proficient members of the WBF Secretariat will promote and enable the sustainability of the WBF core objectives opening the way to critical future achievements.

 Thank you for your attention!