Young people need to recognize that Montenegro has become a member of NATO so that they can live and develop in a country that will be safe, with much greater democratic capacity and in which human rights are best respected.
This was announced at the final conference of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), which was organized within the project “Let’s take a stand for future perspectives: the Alliance of Youth and NATO”.
The director of CEDEM, Milena Bešić, pointed out that security is one of the basic preconditions for achieving democracy, rule of law and human rights in every society.
“Within the program” Security and Defense “, CEDEM has realized a large number of projects on this topic over the past 20 years. So, security, reforms of the security sector and in the period until the very accession, NATO integration, where we had a special focus on the participation of young people, “said Besic.
She pointed out that the data from the last CEDEM survey from July show that the trend of support for NATO by the citizens is moderately declining.
“Citizens’ interest in this topic of NATO has decreased, and society, according to our research, is still deeply divided on this issue. We believe that it is therefore very important to continue working on education and raising awareness, in order to change this trend in the future, “said Besic.
She said that last year a specialized research “Youth in the face of modern security challenges” was conducted and that it showed that information “on this topic is also at a very low level.”
“That gave us a reason and motive to design a special project that will deal with raising awareness and educating young people on NATO, what membership in this alliance means to us, what are the benefits of joining, etc.,” said Besic.
The Minister of Defense, Predrag Bošković, pointed out that NATO is not only the army and security, but NATO is the most powerful military-political alliance and all member states have very developed democratic standards.
“Young people should recognize that the fact that Montenegro became a member of NATO in 2017 was done, above all, because of them. We made that decision so that they could live in a peaceful environment, so that they could start families, work and develop in a state that would be safe, that would not go to war, that would have a much greater democratic capacity, a state that would respect human rights in the best way possible, “Boskovic said.
“Precisely membership in the collective security system will enable the territory of Montenegro to be protected from anyone who would think of initiating any hostile action against Montenegro,” Boskovic explained.
“In order for someone to be able to invest in a company, that company must be safe. The fact is that we have a huge increase in investments from NATO member countries, after full Montenegrin membership in NATO. Not to mention tourism as one of the key branches for Montenegro, where we had a large number of tourists coming from NATO member countries. “Because security is a condition of all conditions,” Boskovic said.
“Montenegrin membership in NATO is one of the most correct decisions made, because it will enable Montenegro to be a part of modern Europe and will be a flywheel for the entire Western Balkans region to leave misunderstandings, conflicts and disagreements and try to find a common denominator. “It will take us all in the direction of European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Boskovic said.
Nikoleta Đukanović, a lecturer at the Humanities Studies at the University of Donja Gorica (UDG), pointed out that today the security challenges are very complex, that there are many of them and that they are difficult to predict.
“That is why it is important to emphasize and explain the role of NATO in the process of facing security challenges.” “Education of young people is especially important even after Montenegro’s accession to NATO, since the role of education about NATO after accession is often neglected, believing that the process is over,” Djukanovic explained.
“These are, above all, security and stability, which lead to development. That is why I say that the role of NATO in the process of democratic consolidation of Montenegro is very important and it is often neglected. The military dimension is also of great importance, “Djukanovic explained.
It is important, as she said, to point out to the citizens the common values that NATO shares, and those are, above all, peace, stability, security, solidarity, rule of law, individual freedoms, prosperity.
Project coordinator and program manager of CEDEM, Ognjen Markovic, said that the first and key activity of the project is the implementation of the campaign on social networks.
“The entire project team has been deeply involved in ways of bringing the topic of NATO closer to young people, through numerous visuals, posters, videos, animations. After that, one of the most successful activities started, and that is admiring the ambassadors of NATO member states with young people.
He said that four rallies were held, attended by over 130 young people, representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the embassies of the USA, Great Britain, Poland and Bulgaria.
We also realized a three-day school for young people “Youth to meet modern security challenges: what lies ahead?”, Which took place in June in Petrovac and gathered about 30 representatives of youth organizations, NGOs, judiciary, prosecutors and prosecutors. an institution in the field of security, “Markovic said.
He said that, in addition to the above activities, a set of interactive workshops “Alliance for the 21st Century” was realized in high schools in Mojkovac, Niksic, Podgorica, Kolasin and Bijelo Polje, as well as a set of interviews “NATO – common values and participation!” to those who are not in the field of security itself, but who could say what NATO membership means to them and what it has brought them, such as poets, fashion designers, painters and the like.
A student of Humanities, Milica Đukanović, who attended school in Petrovac, said that it was important to understand that integration processes do not only apply to politicians, government officials and decision makers, but, above all, require active and responsible participation of all social groups. and especially the youth.
“There is no loyal citizen of the state of Montenegro who does not support its European and Euro-Atlantic path, because that is exactly the guarantor of its long-term independence,” Djukanovic pointed out.
The winner of the competition for essays “What is NATO for me” and a student of the Faculty of Law of UCG, Jovan Dabović, believes that NATO is based on three fundamental principles: openness, equality and security, which he wrote about in detail in his work. Also, Dabović stated that for him, NATO is a guarantor of peace, security, economic prosperity and development.
“I appeal to young people to participate in such and similar competitions, because it is of great importance for the society as a whole,” concluded Dabović.
The project “Let’s take a stand for future perspectives: the Alliance of Youth and NATO” is implemented by CEDEM, in cooperation with the PR Center and ATAK, and is financed by the Department of Public Diplomacy of NATO.