bosnia report
New Series No: 19/20 October - December 2000
 
Montenegro's own UN seat?
by Dragoljub Vukovic

Dragoljub Vukovic

Montenegro’s Own UN Seat?

The events in Serbia and the manner in which they have been received within the international community means that Montenegro cannot wait any longer for the situation to ‘mature’ sufficiently, but should make its will known as soon as possible. While all other parties have made their views clear, this is not true for the dominant DPS. While the circle around President Djukanovic believes that negotiations with Serbia should take place after the international recognition of both states, the party’s two vice-presidents Svetozar Marovic and Filip Vujanovic support the idea of a union of sovereign states to be created by negotiating with Belgrade (which would obviously rule out two UN seats). The public, which is being kept in the dark, was allowed a glimpse into these differences by way of a recent indiscretion on the part of a high-ranking Austrian foreign-ministry official Albert Roan, to the effect that President Djukanovic’s preference lies with a ‘union of independent states’, with the two republics both being represented in international bodies while sharing foreign, security, economic and monetary policy as well as a parliament based on the principle of parity. In one of his recent interviews Vojislav Koštunica advised the Montenegrins to await the formation of a new Serbian government with which it could then negotiate. Judging by Belgrade’s current rhetoric, however, there is little hope that the new Serbian government would find the notion of ‘two seats’ acceptable.

According to Nebojša Vucinic, professor of international law, the two countries could agree to support each other’s UN membership, as was the case of Czechoslovakia when its two constituent republics agreed to dissolve their union. ‘This could be done with Serbia’s good will, but I do not believe that Serbia will agree.’ Another possibility, he argues, is for the citizens of Montenegro to declare themselves in favour of independence, which would open the door for UN membership. Even if the new Belgrade government were to seek and win the entry of FRY into the UN without prior agreement with Montenegro [which is what has happened], Montenegro could declare that this does not prejudice its right to seek its own admission to the UN on the basis of the right to self-determination based on the UN and other international conventions. In his view there is pressure on Montenegro, but this should not prevent it from making its own decision. As President Djukanovic himself has stated, ‘this is not the moment for partial solutions, which as such would continue to generate conflicts and endanger regional stability’.

Monitor, 27 October 2000

*****

A recent public appeal - signed by 133 eminent Montenegrin academicians, university professors, writers, painters, musicians, journalists and sportsmen, and delivered to the Montenegrin assembly, president and government - states that Montenegro should enter all future forms of political and economic integration only as an independent and internationally recognised state. ‘We believe that Montenegro is capable of regaining its sovereignty peacefully and without the trauma associated with a divided society.’

Monitor, 27 October 2000

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