Miqėsia, dansk – albansk forening

Tirana Summit 2004

Dialog mellem Religioner og Kulturer

On Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue

Miqėsia er albansk og betyder venskab

Kontaktadresse: information@miqesia.dk

Tirana 2004. Foto: Bjųrn Andersen. Billedet kan forstųrres ved at klikke på det [click on the photo to enlarge it]

Indhold [Contents]

Konference om Dialog mellem Religioner og Kulturer / Tirana Summit on Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue

Stats- og regeringsledere, UNESCO's generaldirektųr

- Pręsident Moisiu's tale
- Generaldirektųr Matsuura's tale
- Pręsident Crvenkovski's tale
- Pręsident Marovic' tale
- Statsminister Bondevik's tale

Andre talere

- Very Rev. Arthur E. Liolin's tale


- Officielle fotos

Statue for Mother Teresa afslųret / Inauguration of the Mother Teresa-monument
- Premierminister Nano's tale [på Albansk]

Billeder fra konferencen. Bilaterale drųftelser / Pictures from the conference; talks

Bagsiden af Pyramiden. Kampen mod korruptionen. Byggeaktivitet

Bagsiden af Pyramiden. Skanderbeg-pladsen / The Pyramid from behind; Skenderbeg Sq.

Kampen mod korruptionen / Against corruption

Stor byggeaktivitet / Construction


Links (The Tirana Declaration etc.)

Tirana Summit on Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue

Den Albanske Pręsident og UNESCO afholdt »Tirana Summit on Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue« 9. og 10. December 2004. I konferencen deltog pręsidenter fra flere af landene i Syd-Ųst Europa tilligemed den norske statsminister.

Se nęrmere om 'background', 'programme' og 'participants' på: http://www.unesco.org/dialogue/tirana og på: http://www.achr.org/KONFERENCA/al/index.html.

AHCR (Albanian Center for Human Rights) - der ledes af Kozara Kati - stod for den praktiske gennemfųrelse.

Pręsident Moisiu holdt flg. tale ved åbningen af konferencen:

Allow me to welcome and to warmly thank for the participation in this Summit the Heads of States of the region, the Norwegian Prime Minister, the envoys of the presidents of the respective countries and also the guests from different countries of the world and those from the Albanian world. I would like to specially thank UNESCO and General-Director Matsuura for the fruitful cooperation, for organizing and holding this very important event.

This Summit is being held after the Conference organized a year ago in Tirana on the inter-religious tolerance and harmony in Albania. That Conference was an academic-scientific one, which treated the historic development of the inter-religious relations in Albania by evidencing the tolerance and harmony among the three main faiths, as a major value of the Albanian society cultivated in centuries and brought intact to our present days.

This political Summit at the level of heads of states of the region uplifts this topic at a new height, by adding the ethnic dimension to the religious one. These two dimensions as such are linked by an interdependence relationship and as it has been proven by the history of the development of our region, play an important role in the safeguarding of the social and national cohesion.

Albania views the holding of this Summit as an excellent opportunity to reflect on and analyze those events, developments and problems that are of specific significance and that convey important messages to face the realities through a new spirit that incites the culture of dialogue and tolerance in order to achieve that inter-religious and inter-ethnic understanding and coexistence, which is needed by the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is known that in some countries of South Eastern Europe there exist three main monotheistic religions: Christian Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam. We ought to admit with a feeling of pride that our region has not been involved in clashes or wars of genuine religious motives. However, we cannot claim that it is free of problems and grievances tied to the relations among the religious communities. We cannot yet admit that in our societies we have naturally achieved the acceptance of the different faith; moreover, being different has often been viewed as an expression of division, as an indicator of the non acceptance of the other, which at times has been stretched to stigmatizing the other.

Not wanting to paint the realities in dark colors, we find it important to not underestimate or sidestep the negative phenomena that are related to them. The case of Albania where the presence of three different faiths has not caused the rise of social tensions or conflicts, not even questioned the social and national cohesion, represents a positive value that deserves to be evidenced.

In this context we consider it necessary to point out that in the place where the religious communities practice tolerance and have achieved an exemplary harmony, such as in the case of the Albanian nation, it would have been a unforgiving mistake for anybody that attempts to threaten or destroy this religious equilibrium, by intervening in the tradition of our nation with religious forms and symbols that are contrary to this tradition. I express my conviction that the state, the religious communities and the entire Albanian society will know with wisdom and maturity to face situations such as these ones that go against the western civilization.

At our times, when peace, prosperity and security have been also shaken by negative developments, such as the international terrorism, we judge that the religious diversity and the example of tolerance, of well understanding and religious coexistence, which also does not lack in our societies, transmit messages of peace that oppose any tendency to use religion as contravention within a society or among nations, states and civilizations.

Albania, from its historical and actual experience, judges that our continent which is moving towards a new integrating unity, such as the European Union, will have a lot to gain if it will observe the presence of populations or countries with diversity of beliefs as a value that deserves to be respected and to be promoted as a part that makes up the cultural and religious mosaic of our old continent.

By viewing this reality as part of its cultural diversity, the Europe of the values of freedom and democracy will become more capable to strongly oppose the influence and infiltration of the Islamic fundamentalism, which aims to politicize the religion and to manipulate with the feelings of the Muslim believers everywhere, and why not, also the Muslim population of our region, which in the profoundness of its cultural and spiritual constitution has the European identity.

Distinguished participants,

History has brought about for the peoples and ethnicities in South Eastern Europe to be mixed with each other. The societies of our countries, even if they might no be genuinely multi-ethnic, have in their make up ethnic minorities and communities or linguistic and ethno-cultural groups. The truth is that in our region the clashes and wars of ethnic character have not been lacking, the same as there have also been present the inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts within the same state. Without needing to refer to ancient history, only the history of the last decade offers examples where the wars have been the order of the day to ensure national or ethnic supremacy over the others. The fall of the Berlin Wall that also marked the falling of an ideology and system was followed by the disintegration of multi-ethnic states and the vivification of the extreme nationalism. The latter one chose as the way of resolving the problems that of the use of the forces of arms and as a consequence, the region got to know for about a decade, wars and blood spilling that went all the way to ethnic cleansing. They had a high cost of human lives and material loses, furthermore they regressed the region a lot.

What is worse is that these conflicts and wars sowed the seed of divisions and hatred among the ethnicities and religious that got involved in them. Actually we are at the post-conflict period in the Balkans where there are not missing also the efforts to cure the inflicted wounds. Let us be conscious that in order to achieve this, it is needed a lot of work and struggle with our self to be able to also beg forgiveness for the injustices and crimes done and to sincerely reconcile with each other.

We believe that the inter-ethnic dialogue within each society will become a real obstacle for the social erosion and will contribute to the social cohesion and to the development of relations among the states and the peoples of the region at the political level, economic one, etc. It will also make healthier the relations among the ethnicities and nations and will overcome the old and new hatred and grudges in South Eastern Europe.

Our challenge is the education and raising of a new European generation that does not reconcile with old mentalities that keep alive the spirit of the exclusion and of “the hostile neighbor,” capable to build a new spirit that accepts and respects the other who is different, the culture of dialogue and well understanding. That is why the school and the entire society have an irreplaceable role in the education of young generations with the spirit of acceptance and not that of exclusion, with the feeling of forgiveness and not that of the hatred, of tolerance, understanding and coexistence. Regardless of the nationality, ethnicity or religious faith we might belong, we all recognize and appreciate the great advice of all the holy books: “Love thy neighbor, love the other as yourself!”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There have been extremists and there will always be; our merit is that through the strengthening of democracy and culture of dialogue, the encouragement of tolerance and understanding, to make possible their isolation and the reduction of the chances to find support from society.

The successful example of the political and military cooperation among Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, three countries of the Adriatic 3 Chart, which from the religious pertinence represent the main three faiths in our region, is significant and proves that the integration unites values and countries regardless of the religious belief and ethnic pertinence.

The existence of different ethnic groups within the territory of another country should not be allowed to incite the maintaining alive of the spirit of division, of the no acceptance of the other and of the hostage. We will make a good service to our peoples, to peace and tranquility among us if we will not use the sincere interest about the state of the ethno-cultural groups or minorities that are present at each other to instrumentalize them for other aims. Such a thing will sow disbelief, doubt and hatred. We should look to the minorities and turn them into bridges of connection, of friendship and approaching among the peoples and countries of the region.

May this Summit be used as a great and powerful incitement for facing with the necessary courage and good willingness of the problems and worries that still do accompany the inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations. This way we can strengthen the understanding, the trust and coexistence inside the societies and also among our countries. It is important to transmit this new spirit of dialogue and well understanding to every level and link of the state and society. We strongly believe that the successful implementation of the democratic reforms and processes, and also the achievement of our major objectives of the integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures are important premises that will help us to also successfully face the wide problematic of the inter-ethnic and inter-religious coexistence. The Euro-Atlantic integration composes our historic chance to be part of the spaces of freedom and democracy, an integral part of the new European reality.

Who would have thought it a few years ago that the presidents of our region will gather and discuss these issues with the worry of finding an appropriate resolution. Such things are the best proof of the changes that have happened and should happen.

It is important to have good willingness. It is important for this understanding and trust to descent all the way to the various confines of the state and society.

Therefore, we have a great motive, which should call upon us and encourage us to move ahead.

Thank you!

Generaldirektųr Koļchiro Matsuura's tale

Honourable Presidents,
Honourable President of the People's Assembly of Albania,
Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Ministers and Representatives of Heads of State,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Being with you today on the occasion of the Regional Summit on "The Development of Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue", is not only an honour for me but also a source of satisfaction to the head of an organization that was set up to promote "collaboration among the nations … in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed … by the Charter of the United Nations", as stated in the UNESCO Constitution.

I am grateful to President Alfred Moisiu, who took the initiative, more than a year ago, to organize this important event jointly with UNESCO. When listening to him, I immediately pledged UNESCO's full support for his proposal. Apart from the generosity and the idealistic motivation of the offer to host this meeting in Albania, it appeared to me as the right initiative, the right place and the right time. But, above all, I felt that it had the potential to convey a significant and powerful message.

Throughout its long history, which many historians trace back to the Illyrians and even beyond, Albania has been shaped by the cultural traditions and influences of the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods, while its lands were claimed wholly or in part by virtually each of its neighbours as part of their historical territories. During all these centuries, the Albanian people remained where they were, patiently keeping alive their language and traditions as their most important heritage, which conveyed a sense of their proud identity to all invaders, occupants and foreign rulers.

When the modern Albanian state came into being in 1912, its population was made up of Muslims and Orthodox and Catholic Christians; the silent stone monuments that were spread all over its territory bore eloquent witness to rich and diversified cultural traditions.

Let me close this short historical digression by concluding that I consider our gathering here today as not merely coincidental or inspired by an ephemeral political convenience, but as the result of political determination and historical consciousness.

President Moisiu, you and your country are to be commended for both.

The presence of several Heads of State and Government from the region and beyond as well as many Government representatives is a clear sign that the theme of this Regional Summit attracts interest at the highest level. It also testifies to the broad-based political commitment to constructive dialogue among countries, among peoples and ethnic groups and among religious leaders. The felt need for dialogue is growing in this region and advantage should be taken of this promising opportunity.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

In recent years, UNESCO has made a determined effort to respond to a United Nations initiative that is timely, relevant and innovative. I refer, of course, to the proclamation of the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations and the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the "Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations", on 21 November 2001.

Both the UN International Year and the Global Agenda conferred considerable responsibilities - and expectations - on UNESCO, focusing on the ethical and intellectual dimensions of its mandate. In the immediate aftermath of 11 September 2001, the UNESCO General Conference unanimously adopted a far-reaching resolution on the fight against terrorism, placing strong emphasis on the role of the dialogue among cultures and civilizations. A series of global, regional and sub-regional conferences ensued, organized by UNESCO, which culminated in a resolution by UNESCO's General Conference in 2003 on the Organization's activities regarding the dialogue among civilizations.

UNESCO has sought to fulfil its lead role in respect to the dialogue vigorously and creatively. In particular, we have focused on promoting dialogue and related activities at regional and sub-regional levels. This is again the case at this summit event in Tirana and, as Director-General of UNESCO, I am truly pleased by this evolution.

The precursor to today's Tirana summit was the Regional Summit Forum on Dialogue among Civilizations, held in Ohrid in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in August 2003. It is significant indeed that several of the Heads of State present here today also participated in the Ohrid event. The Ohrid Forum was unquestionably an epochal event, which succeeded in defining concrete action in the fields of education, culture and science. Action in these domains is essential for a deepening of mutual understanding and a strengthening of commonly shared values such as tolerance, through the medium of the dialogue.

Recalling Ohrid also means paying tribute to President Boris Trajkovski, who so tragically passed away earlier this year. A man of vision, commitment, courage and action, he made a seminal contribution to inter-cultural and inter-state dialogue as well as to the strengthening of peace in the region, anchored in a re-building of mutual trust among its leaders. Meeting in Tirana, we salute him and his legacy, while welcoming most warmly in our midst his distinguished successor, President Branko Crvenkovski. When serving as Prime Minister of his country, he was intimately involved in the preparations and conduct of the Ohrid summit. This first-hand knowledge and exposure augur well for a continuation of the dialogue process set in motion in Ohrid. Indeed, the desire for a more peaceful future unites us all here - and serves as inspiration for designing initiatives and practical action in the South- East Europe region - and beyond.

The Ohrid experience provided impetus to other regional dialogue processes, such as in the Arab world (where UNESCO sponsored a colloquium on the Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations in Sana'a, Yemen, in February 2004) and in the Eurasia region (where an International Conference on "Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations?" was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in June 2004).

In all regional activities, UNESCO has underlined one key point: what matters most is not the fact of holding a Summit, conference or colloquium in itself, nor is it only the joint agreement on a final text or declaration at a given moment. Rather, in the final analysis, what counts are the concrete action and practical follow-up arising as a result of dialogue and agreements reached. It is against our capacity to implement the dialogue in the real world - and in the real life of the region - that our success must be measured.

The main objective of the Tirana Summit is to pay special attention to the role of inter-religious and multi-ethnic dialogue in building and reinforcing stability and progress in the South East-Europe region, drawing also on conclusions from Ohrid.

The main underlying vision that unites us today was clearly spelled out in key passages of the "Message from Ohrid". It stated, in particular, that "Mutual respect of traditions and people will be possible when the matrix of values and the underlying spiritual and ethical foundations can influence education systems in different societies". Undoubtedly, religious beliefs and practices as well as ethnic values and traditions have a fundamental influence and impact on education systems and their quality, including curricula.

Everywhere, inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue represents a significant feature of social cohesion and stability. In South-East Europe, such dialogue carries particular importance both historically and in current political contexts, drawing as it does on deep-rooted moral, ethical and spiritual values. They have affected the formation of societies and formed the peoples inhabiting them.

Over centuries, the countries of the South-East Europe region have gone through military, economic, and political crises, conflicts and even war. The most recent tragedies of the 1990s are still vivid in our memory - and they motivate, if not compel, us to take all possible action to prevent a recurrence. Internal and external shocks have dislocated neighbours, ethnic groups and religious communities who before have lived together in peace. In the process, ethnic cleansing, flows of refugees, trade and commercial disruptions and economic decline in a once prosperous region damaged the social fabric of the region. However, building on the progress of the last few years, especially the resumption of economic growth and social development, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the emergence of effective governance mechanisms, South-East Europe is clearly rebounding. "Never again" should be the motto in this region, too. Leaders in all walks of life - and here especially in communities bridging religious and ethnic differences - have a special responsibility in that regard. Clearly, the experience of the past years offers hope, as we have learned about the power of faith- and people-based contacts and initiatives.

The presence among us of the Grand Mufti of Bosnia underlines the power of interfaith dialogue, tolerance and peace in that regard. I am pleased to note that, for his role and contribution, the Grand Mufti recently received the 2003 Felix Houphouet-Boigny Prize, awarded by UNESCO, together with Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Likewise, the experience of Albania, our host country, is most encouraging indeed, benefiting from peaceful engagement and cooperation among people adhering to different religious groups and faiths under one societal roof.

For all countries, the capacity and willingness to generate - and sustain - dialogue across ethnic and religious boundaries are decisive for advancing further on the road to peace, democracy, stability and sustainable development.

Religion is of profound importance to people's identities, but religious differences should never be seen as insurmountable. There exists an underlying thread of unity connecting the great religious traditions. They each propound basic spiritual truths and standards of behaviour that constitute the very basis of social cohesion and collective purpose. The religions, therefore, should be able to dialogue in an effort that honours their deepest truths and holds promise for humanity.

This is no small challenge; there is much to do. UNESCO's Member States have requested me to identify practical steps that could be taken or initiated by the Organization to bring about concrete changes through dialogue-related action in our domains - education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information. Those measures include work with youth and women as well as the mobilization and involvement of civil society, ethnic and faith-based organizations. Invariably, this involves intensive networking.

One thing is abundantly clear. We must all place the dialogue at the core of educational efforts, in particular the pursuit of the six Education for All (EFA) goals and the promotion of quality education at all levels. Putting the notion of "learning to live together" throughout life into effect requires that we engage with the renewal of curricula, the improvement of educational materials and the enhancement of teaching/learning processes, focusing on peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and multilingual education.

In this context, let me give an example. I am pleased to note that the first phase of the joint UNESCO-Ministry of Education project to promote "Human Rights and Intercultural Education in Albania" has attained its objectives and that the Government of Italy has already approved the funds for a second phase. The project is focused on the integration of human rights and democracy education in the school curriculum; the implementation of the national in-service training curriculum for human rights education; and the large-scale training of teachers.

Advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) also create the conditions for an extension of dialogue practices. These technologies have the potential of bringing together diverse communities, cultures and civilizations - including different faiths - in different modes. The digital divide is not only an impediment to development as a whole; it also constitutes a barrier to intercultural exchange. We must capitalize on ICTs and their innate potential to advance freedom of expression and cultural diversity. The promotion of inter-ethnic understanding and harmony is an essential part of sustaining cultural diversity.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 in Johannesburg acknowledged that cultural diversity is inseparable from economic, social and ecological concerns, echoing the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) which defines it as "one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence" (Article 3).

This idea also found expression when the restored Old Bridge at Mostar was opened on 23 July this year. The Mostar Declaration recalled the Message from Ohrid and the necessity of "associating cultural heritage with development policies and demonstrating how much this powerful symbol of a people's identity can become a unifying factor for national and regional reconciliation".


Ladies and Gentlemen

The challenges confronting us are manifold and we should seize the opportunity to promote effective dialogue.

As we do so, we should bear carefully in mind that all faiths convey a message of peace, justice and human solidarity and that religious leaders, like all other community leaders, have the potential to exercise a positive influence on how people in society understand each other and interact. Reconciliation of religious views is an increasingly significant challenge of our age. This also entails the need to create more awareness among peoples and government authorities about the need to respect the diversity of cultures, in particular with regard to the use of religious symbols, images and expressions.

We also know that ignorance and mistrust of the "other" can lead to extremist attitudes, ranging from entrenched and exclusive identities to the rejection of the "other" and even to open fanaticism based on the idea that one's own religious beliefs embody the sole truth.

All these considerations lead us to examine during this Summit:

* The South-East European experience of inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations;

* The need to raise public awareness of the positive impact of ethnic and religious co-existence, understanding and harmony;

* The promotion of inter-ethnic dialogue among the peoples in South-East Europe as a tool to further mutual understanding and resolve existing problems;

* Efforts to counter intolerance, discrimination and extremism, which are destabilizing factors as far as peace, security and stability in the region are concerned.

The Tirana Summit is a most timely occasion to focus on how religion and multi-ethnicity can contribute positively to a dialogue among civilizations and cultures. As I suggested at the outset, this can only further stability and progress in the region as a whole, which not only shares common challenges but also has to cope with their cross-border dimensions. Regional co-operation, therefore, must go hand-in-hand with further development within individual countries.

In conclusion, let me assure you that UNESCO stands ready to sustain the regional dialogue in progress in South-East Europe. In this regard, I am looking forward to participating in the forthcoming Regional Forum on Cultural Corridors which is being hosted by one of today's eminent participants, President Parvanov of Bulgaria, in Varna on 20-21 May 2005. I look forward to seeing you all again on that occasion, when we shall be seeking to highlight the importance of understanding the region's shared cultural past as a way of rebuilding trust and mapping out together the path to the future.

I wish you much success in your deliberations.

Thank you.


1: Pręsident Crvenskovski, tv for ham Pręsidenten for Serbien-Montenegro, Svetozar Marovic. 2: Pręsident Crvenkovski i samtale med pręsident Moisiu (fotos: Den Makedonske Pręsidents kontor)

Pręsident Crvenkovski's tale:

[09.12.2004] Tirana, Republic of Albania

Address of the President Branko Crvenkovski at the Regional Summit on “The Development of Interethnic and Inter-religious Dialogue - Important Factor for the Stability and Progress of South East Europe”

Dear Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased and indeed honoured to participate to this important Summit, which deals with an essential topic, a topic whose realization should be seen as a strategic goal of all the countries in the region and wider.

The relation between ethnicity, religion and society is one of the most important and most sensitive issues of modern global politics. Responsible leaders, intellectuals, religious authorities, citizens throughout the world endeavour to overcome the prejudice that violence is due to difference and to create major awareness about the importance of respecting world cultures and religions.

Nevertheless, in our region, the region of South East Europe, this issue has certainly additional implications, certain particularities and seen as a whole, it is a complex set of circumstances.

Namely, the discontinuity in terms of free approach to freedom in contemporary countries in transition, pertaining to this part of the world, has resulted with a series of specific problems, and in psychological terms it is sometimes one of the reasons for the radicalization of the situation; there is also a traditional connection of a given ethnicity with a religion as a direct consequence of identifying ethnicity with religion, which sometimes brings to absurd and extremely dangerous unifications.

In order to overcome prejudices and uproot stereotypes and achieve the objectives and standards of modern civilized societies, there is only one way of acting both here and throughout the world. Dialogue.

Even when we have entirely different starting points in our communication and diametrically opposed views, we must talk. We must search for a common starting point to be able to find it at all. Different and diverging views that we have do not liberate us from the responsibility of being unable to establish communication.

Dialogue makes us listen each other. Dialogue is the only guarantee we have to formulate exactly what we have to say. Dialogue is an opportunity to understand. And understanding makes people humane and civilized.

Distinguished guests,

The spirit of most religions and the fundamental laws of faith are mostly based on the essential human values supporting the most important processes in our societies and the overall way of life. These universal values are the principals of all laws that regulate the system of a modern and prosperous state. The concept of a modern, civil state in our world implies also the separation of the state from the church, but also the responsibility the state has in terms of ensuring freedom of religion and equality among religious communities and nurturing religious traditions.

It is necessary to reach a wide consensus - both within each country and at regional and global level - in relation to the basic principals of interethnic and inter-religious tolerance and cohabitation being the basic prerequisites to peace, stability, security and prosperity of the citizens, regardless of the religious community they belong to. All must enjoy equal rights and have same duties and responsibilities in view of the common prosperity and future. Therefore, developing different, ethnic, cultural and religious values should be exclusively based upon the principals of dialogue, tolerance and mutual respect.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Republic of Macedonia has demonstrated that it knows how to use and nurture dialogue not only as a way of resolving problems but also as a way of harmonizing and respecting differences, as the only way to reach prosperity and progress in the country and wider in the region. I am confident that our common goal, europeization of the Balkans, depends on the strength of our mutual trust and understanding. This is something we ought to nurture patiently among us, as statesmen and among all the entities of our societies. As I said before, the recent past has proved that there is no other alternative than dialogue and tolerance in achieving the goals we have set. I may assure you that the Republic of Macedonia is strongly determined to pursue that path.

This is essential to the promotion of a peaceful and harmonious development of civil societies and to achieving closer and more integrated relations among the countries of our region and within the international community, especially in terms of the European integrations.

Tolerance is the fundamental attribute of contemporary civilized societies. Therefore our integration in international processes and in the wider international community directly depends upon dialogue and the level of respect for the rights of the other. No one will accept us unless we accept each other's virtues and weaknesses. It is also true that tolerance does not imply that we always have to agree with the way the other views life and world. Tolerance is a possibility to ensure good cohabitation of different cultures, nations and religions, regardless of our personal view or approach to certain issues. We need to be able to offer the same understanding to the others that we expect for ourselves.

However, we must never forget that dialogue requires reason and pure heart. Before we start talking to the others, very often we should first say something to ourselves. We often search in vein for prejudices in the others while they live in our mind. We fall asleep and wake with them. The battle we have to win is hard only because it starts within ourselves. We must never forget what our ancestors taught us. They used to say: We must be brave if needed - but we must be humane even if it is not needed. It has always been more difficult to protect the other from ourselves than ourselves from the other; more difficult but at the same time more noble. This is exactly the reason why on the Balkans, regardless of the religion, language, nation; regardless of divisions and sufferings, regardless of time - it has always been clear who is and who is not humane.

This world is only a place to live. Like it or not, we have to accept that we are one family and only visitors in our common home. Therefore, only people of virtue not violence will deserve eternity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am confident that the nations of Europe are proud of their national identities and histories, but they are also resolved to create a common future, be "united in diversity".

I profoundly believe that the world has existed and will exist only for this kind of people. Thank you.

Pręsident Svetzar Marovic' tale:

I am taking part in our today’s conference with great pleasure and a feeling of responsibility as I perceive its agenda as well as the presence of my dear friends – the leaders of the countries of our region, as the essence of the current and future relations in Southeast Europe.

I thank the UNESCO and the Government of Albania for having recognized the fact that the stability and development of Southeast Europe depend on the development of inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue and for having arranged this conference precisely on that topic. Serbia and Montenegro as multi-ethnic and multi-confessional republics are strongly interested in the development of such a dialogue for they see in this the only way leading to association with the European family.

All of us who represent the citizens of our respective countries here, together with the United Nations and particularly the UNESCO, are taking part in the promotion of universal values of civilization. Our duty is to win recognition for these values in our environment, particularly in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and media and communications. It is likewise our duty to recognize in that process the specific qualities of our region, so rich in diversity, which we must consider an advantage rather than a limiting factor in the 21st century.

I can, therefore, confidently make two points. First, the national, religious, cultural differences that are so much in evidence in the region we belong to are, by themselves, a great value and we are duty-bound to preserve them. Present-day Europe and the modern world do not recognize autarchic, isolated areas that do not communicate with their neighbours and seek to ensure that their internal differences are obliterated. Second, the only way for us to maintain and stimulate diversity is through dialogue - everyday, well-meaning and tolerant dialogue without setting any preliminary conditions or imposition of ready-made solutions.

I am confident that my friends, the Presidents of the states in the region, share my satisfaction at the fact that by following precisely this mentioned principle, we have managed over the past period to create a new spirit of mutual confidence, dialogue and tolerance in the Balkan region. Evident progress in our mutual relations in all fields is the result precisely of our shared willingness to discuss everything, at all levels and on all occasions. Understandably, we cannot reach agreement on all issues of relevance to the citizens of our respective countries but this fact does not discourage anybody among us in our efforts to continue our search for solutions. Our vision must be turned, just as it has been to date, to the prosperity of the entire southeast part of Europe, we are all committed to that and we have to exhibit this commitment of ours on a daily basis.

First, we have to do it through democracy, by showing our readiness to defend the fundamental values of civilized societies without any intolerance – freedom and the right of every citizen to freely choose his place of residence, enjoy freedom of movement, the right to employment. The Western Balkans must not be the only place in Europe where there are still parts from which people have been expelled, their churches torn down, their right of return insecure and uncertain. Second, we have to show solidarity and support one another in addressing the issues on which another country has made more progress. We should rejoice at the success of the other country as at our shared success. I myself have often spoken about this having in mind Croatia and its success in the process of association with the European Union. It is on the readiness of us, the leaders in this region to take on responsibility that largely depends whether issues related to our future will be addressed through negotiation in the Western Balkans rather than on the basis of intolerance and unilateral approaches. Everything that concerns our neighbour has to do with ourselves, too. Everything that is his problem is at the same time a request for our help and cooperation.

The dialogue with the past must reflect the full strength of our belief in the importance of multi-ethnic life. Dealing with the past requires the strength to face up not only to the good aspects but also the bad aspects within ourselves and our nations. Criminal liability knows no nationality. All those that have committed crimes against other people, against the peace and security must answer, regardless of whether they are Serbs, Montenegrins, Albanians, Croats, Bosniaks... The victory over the past will at the same time mark a defeat of the concepts of great mono-ethnic states, the state for one single nation, the state of one nation ruling other nations. One cannot build the future of a multiethnic Balkan region on mythical stories about great nations, the ideas of territorial and ethnic conquests. In this way, one cannot settle fairly and durably any single of the outstanding issues that our fate is vitally linked to. We have to be forward-looking and recognize that we cannot move forward if we judge only the past for in such a case we shall be judged by the future.

It is therefore important also for our economic relations that our common market with almost 60 million people becomes completed. Not a single democratic achievement will be able to leave its full imprint unless there are economic conditions guaranteeing autonomy to every individual in making political choices.

It is our duty to show, through our partnership with Europe, that we do not only demand and expect something from Europe, but also to tell Europe that there are here competent people and elites that know how to negotiate and come to good, European solutions. We have to show that also when it comes to the solutions for Kosovo.

Kosovo is one of those issues that are possible to settle only in a European way. Kosovo is becoming a symbol by which we shall prove that it is possible to reach agreement between the majority and the minority, that such an agreement will not pose a threat to anyone in the region nor give protection to anybody who has committed a crime at any time in the past. Justice is the pivotal virtue among human values. I think that Aristotle wrote somewhere that what is just is what is equal in equal situations.

Kosovo is today, and I am confident that this will be so in the near future as well, an issue that we all in the region are interested to see settled in a European way. It is only partly an issue between Belgrade and Pristina. Kosovo is an issue for which answer must be sought primarily by those who are living in Kosovo – Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrins and the other communities. Their mutual dialogue is the essential first step in achieving the European standards and establishing the European prospect. As I have mentioned, dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is necessary, necessary is a dialogue with all those concerned for the future of Kosovo – you who represent the countries of the region as well as the representatives of Europe and the wider international community.

The European solution for Kosovo, which Serbia and Montenegro favour, is possible to identify only through a patient and tolerant dialogue among all those I have mentioned. The aim of that dialogue can be only those solutions that give the citizens of Kosovo, regardless of their nationality or religion, a European prospect, full security, higher standards, new jobs. Present-day Kosovo, or the Kosovo we remember from some the past does not constitute such solutions. Present-day Europe does not accept killings and violence against people, their homes and cultural heritage as a lifestyle. Present-day Europe, however, does not accept any refusal to take part in democratic processes and institutions either. Finally, present-day Europe does not accept the fact that in one of its parts, in this case in Kosovo, two-thirds of people have no jobs and that tens of thousands of people still cannot return to their homes.

Such serious problems call for a strong commitment and a great deal of responsibility. But they first of all call for openness and willingness to engage in a dialogue. Should there be such willingness among all those concerned for the European future of Kosovo, a major step forward would be made. I am convinced that there will be such willingness on all sides. Kosovo today is the litmus test of our readiness to show in deed our commitment to European values and the values of modern civilization.

Our today’s conference, the presence of all regional leaders and our shared openness and readiness to continue making use of dialogue as the only way to achieve full stability and overall progress in our region instills in me the optimistic hope in the success of the European integration process in the entire region. Therefore, dialogue is a word that must not hide our differences, that must not inflame passions but stimulate reasonable thinking and lead to compromise-based solutions. This is a message that associates the Balkans with Europe. This is a message for the future of 60 million people. For that reason, we shall not close our eyes before any problem. By working together and extending a hand to each other we are holding firmly the hand of our European future.

Thank you.

Statsminister Bondevik's tale:


Ladies and gentlemen,

The termination of violence is the first, indispensable step towards lasting peace.

Then the hardest part starts: building sustainable political solutions based on democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

To quote John F. Kennedy: “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding barriers, quietly building new structures.”

In recent years Norway has played an important role as a facilitator in a number of peace processes. We have been involved in various ways in peace and reconciliation processes in South Africa, Colombia, Ethiopia/Eritrea, the Philippines, Guatemala, Haiti, Cyprus, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and the Sudan. As you know, Norway has also supported reconciliation efforts in South-East Europe.

Building peace means promoting fundamental values.

Without respect for human dignity, reconciliation is impossible.

Thus, promoting mutual trust and respect is essential to building peace. It is essential to inspiring hope for the future. The challenge is to replace fear with acceptance, harassment with tolerance, and hate with respect. In other words, to love one’s neighbour.

As many of you may know, in addition to being prime minister, I am an ordained Lutheran pastor. I firmly believe that inter-cultural and inter-religious contacts are vital if we are to succeed in reducing tension and building mutual trust and confidence between people. This holds true not only in South-East Europe, but also in very many other parts of the world.

I have made it a priority to fight racism and discrimination against Muslims and other religious minorities in my country. To show my respect for Islam, I have visited mosques in Norway and on visits to Muslim countries.

Religion is a strong force in today’s world. It has played an important and at times violent role throughout history.

Few know better than you how religion can be abused to stir up mistrust and hate. Few know better than you how religion can be abused to breed conflict and war. Too often, religious leaders have allowed themselves to become pawns used by political leaders in their struggle for power. In times of conflict religious symbols are often attacked, and this in turn inflames the tension and discord. The recent history of this region is a case in point.

Remarkable progress has been made in South-East Europe in recent years, thanks not least to your responsible leadership. We fully support you in your ambition to become further integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures. Our common wish for greater integration is based on the standards and values we share. Together we must commit ourselves to staying the course. We want your efforts to prevail.

The violent incidents in Kosovo last March were a clear demonstration that peace must be promoted every single day. They were a stark reminder of the potential for extremists to mobilise support for ethnic violence, and the vulnerability of minorities. This was emphasised by the Norwegian NATO ambassador, Mr Eide, in his report to the UN Secretary General.

Political leaders need to deal with the past and plan for the future in a constructive and responsible manner.

We all have a duty to ensure that those suspected of war crimes are brought to justice, including those indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. This is an essential step in paving the way for a genuine reconciliation process.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In many conflicts religion is considered to be part of the problem. In my view, it should be the other way around. Religion must become part of the solution. As leaders, we must take responsibility for encouraging dialogue between religions. Inter-religious dialogue does not mean giving up your own faith. We must focus on our common values such as respect for the sacred, human dignity and reconciliation.

To focus on the future, we must build on the values that unite us.

We must stop thinking in terms of “us and them”.

We must learn from history, and not let the forces of the past dictate our future.

Our children are our future. Educating our children is the key to achieve concrete improvements in our societies.

Let us teach our children that we stand for harmony, not conflict. Let us ensure that our schools foster respect, understanding and consideration for others. Let us ensure that our schools foster a sense of community and solidarity. Let us teach our children to cross ethnic and religious barriers.

I believe that such an approach can lay the foundations for co-operation and co-existence, instead of alienation and hostility.

Many children in South-East Europe have spent years of their childhood in conflict and war. Their wounds are deep. Although people are learning to live together again, there are still some places where youngsters have few opportunities to meet and get to know their peers from the other side. Their parents and community leaders discourage these contacts. This will prevent their wounds from healing. It may well prove to be the most long-standing threat to a common future.

Our challenge – and let me underline that it is a joint one – is to build an inclusive society. This was a core message in a speech I made three months ago to political leaders from other European countries in the Hague, on the politics of European values.

We need to focus on what unites people – on creating bonds, on paving the way for joint, positive experiences. What does this mean here in your region? It means making sure that different ethnic groups attend the same schools, share the same water, electricity and telephone systems, the same police service, the same postal service, the same hospitals and the same fire departments.

These practical measures are essential if progress is to be made where it counts – at the local level.

But not only at the local level. Any viable political and economic strategy has to facilitate regional co-operation, development and trade. Such a regional, European-oriented strategy is important to the objective of a wider European economic and political integration.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We must repudiate the violent history of Europe and the Balkans. We must demonstrate, not only to ourselves, but to the rest of the world, that Europe is a continent of peace.

Very Rev. Arthur E. Liolin's tale:


Honorable Presidents, our hosts Mr. Matsuura and Mr. Moisiu,

distinguished colleagues and venerable clergy:

It is a privilege and pleasure to join with you today as we affirm the lessons learnt and the aspirations to which all humankind aspires. Especially here - in this region and in this place of transitions - where, over the course of time, pain and grief have been brother and sister to codes of honor and to pride in one's identity. Here in Albania, where tolerance and individual worth are valued traditions, where the past and the present are in stark contrast and where the struggle to form a constructive future finds fertile ground as well as challenges.

UNESCO has been a valued resource. In so many ways, it provides us with a many-faceted prism in order to focus our shared faith in a constructive future: through education, in science, and by our respective cultures. That is, in part, why we are here: to place in perspective and incorporate our shared experiences. Hopefully, they will be forged into policy and practice. Most of us today, in our own labors, have duties to perform: we've been elected and appointed to governance, and we've assembled to record with others the data we have gathered and studied as writers, philosophers and researchers: ordinary people who care and serve.

My own wish is to pursue this course of discovery via a few modest ruminations and a series of questions. I view this assembly's goal as an affirmation as well as an adventure - which has yet to be fulfilled, a harbor yet to be reached, a journey just begun. To my mind, most questions will add to the quest. They are not limited to Southeast Europe, but have implications elsewhere as well. I thank you for this occasion.


Hatred between individuals, groups and peoples has long been recorded in history's annals. Our predecessors witnessed - as we continue to witness - personal crimes, internecine struggles, cultural differences, religious crusades and counter-conflicts, wars of oppression and liberation. Since Homo sapiens families and tribal clusters first appeared on the earth, these terms and others - such as "holocaust," "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" - have become far too common occurrences, even in advanced societies. We need to know why. Is it a genetic inheritance, or a learned behavior? Has a tool which may have facilitated the survival of earlier creatures and cultures, outlived its usefulness today? Or is it a latent human tendency which is easily exploited by other agendas?

Often, coexistence appears less of an ideal than it once was. Learning from debate & dialogue - in the free market of ideas - helps to refine one own belief. Is it true that advocates of a world view, may better advance their goals and vision - by contrasting their ideas with the ideas of others who differ? When will we learn that destruction of the adversary only returns in even more virulent ways to haunt and torment the perpetrator?

To be sure, such issues are not confined to the dramatic, to the melodramatic, to the sinister and to the criminal. Even in the loftier areas of human debate, they pertain to the refined questions of competing value systems, and of cultural goals and aspirations. Too often, these too explode from simple "differences of opinion" into combative ideological conflicts and not only for Southeast Europe. Such attitudes seem to strike at the heart of a group's world view and become a matter of destiny. And with it, comes the larger dilemma: how can an individual or group preserve the integrity of its own beliefs, while not infringing on the similar sentiments of other, different individuals and groups? It is an issue which affects neighbors on the same street, as well as neighboring countries.

In other words, what is the nature of compromise and cooperation in a world of competing values?

My first question arises: What is behind this motivation? What purpose does it serve and what may have been its primeval origins?


Every religion has had to face the challenge of such behaviors in its constituents. No scripture is without accounts of battles and "spiritual warfare." Its focus is to strengthen the believer's pursuit of knowledge of God and devotion to the Creator. Why is it translated into defending one's beliefs at the expense of others' convictions? In extreme instances - no doubt out of necessity - why must theologians feel complelled to clarify whether a war has its "just cause," or is the "lesser of evils?" And when an individual or group is found on the losing side, it festers into the deeper throes of victimizations, only to rise again, sometimes centuries later with a new vehemence. Indeed, why?

There is even a powerful slavic term for this phenomenon: "Zolpamiatnost:" the insidious delight in recalling over and over again the evil done to us. Instead of learning from our own sins and flaws, we wallow in them, and appeals for repentance go unheeded. It is the easy way and contradicts the Divinity. Ultimately, it is an insult to our Creator. Even Almighty God may weep at what His creatures do, or fail to do.

Question number 2: How may we foster the view that dogmas serve God and man - not as rigid or stagnant museum pieces - but as living avenues to the holy, which are firmly linked to the human aspiration to love God with "mind, heart, strength and soul?"


The legacy of the Enlightenment is often counterpoised, in Europe and elsewhere, as the antidote. One ideology strives to replace another.

Rival political camps, each with a differing world view, tempt destiny. Each seek followers and power, in a shifting landscape which leaves most folks in a state of perpetual bewilderment and insecurity. Indeed, living with ambiguity - especially in the SE region of Europe - is counterpoised by a rush to totalitarian forms of security. Nearly every secular system and every ideology arose from organic necessity and need, as well as from vision. For each, the challenge is to find avenues for change even while remaining committed to essential principles.

In this and in neighboring regions, for example, it is often said that society has moved from the ruination of one ideology into the harsh reality of another: from communism to capitalism, proceeding from vicious security to harsh insecurity, from total service to all to service only to oneself. Both are impervious to the consequences which our own deeds have on one another. And its effect on ordinary people has often been to increase bewilderment, cynicism and disillusionment.

This phenomenon has even taken on an ontological nature. It is a compelling question on the nature of being: of what it means to be a Homo sapiens, to be a person - and we struggle with questions on what it means not only to be, not only to fulfill one's potentials, but whether our existence requires a return to ancient tribalisms.

Is God and scripture the measure of man, or is man's own discovery the measure of society? Is our destiny anthropocentric or theocentric? One hopes that both views together would balance and complete the picture.

Question Number 3: It seems apparent today that Secularism and Dogmatism also require a bridge between them. Where and how are to build it?


Societies and ideologies hold double standards in this regard. On the one hand, we extoll the virtues of peace, while at the same time we bless those who must do battle. Oftentimes, there is only a fine line drawn between bemoaning the war, while at the same time safeguarding the warrior. It is the dilemma of all who govern. We run the risk becoming many warring islands. And the call for justice too often masquerades as other more sinister impulses.

In all conflicts, there is a tendency to identify and idealize the hero. Usually, he is thought to be the protector of the patrimony and enters into myth as symbol of the nation, or of a victimized people. But the truly heroic should be seen not only for what he is, but for what he ought to be. One who sees clearly, who has a vision, and is able to overcome adversity not simply by popularized strength, but by his ability to lead people one step forward, beyond what is expected.

How does one compare a mythic hero from an exaggerated ego? One gives, while the other is prone to take. The former's strength enables him to relent and yield, while the latter's insecurity makes him deride and intimidate. The first one understands and persuades, whereas the second enforces and imposes. The former is liberated by his office, while the latter is clad only in armor. The hero loves, while his opposite grasps at that which is not contained. One creates an opening, while the other closes doors. One admires those whom he serves, the other imprisons his charges. One listens, the other only hears. One protects, the other ridicules.

The idealist prefers to honor his most positive deeds. The realist tells us that the hero serves only a defined, separated group. To be most effective, he and she must embody both attitudes. Mostly, the authentic hero encourages heroism in each and every individual. It is of such ordinary heros that conflict might be transformed into goals for peace and opportunity.

Question #4: How then may we encourage healthy heroism in the people of our respective societies?

V. Psychology, Sciences & Literature:

Thus, in issues of conflict, it comes down to essential matters of fear and hatred, and overcoming them -of discerning truth from fiction, of what is good or evil, of what is right and wrong, and of the gradations in between extremes. Often that which is hidden is more telling than that which is transparent. We know that behavioral patterns often stem not from the obvious, but from what is veiled.

To attain a goal, we must know what we are up against. One needs a microscope to peer into origins, then a telescope to view the future. Or to choose another metaphor: like the physician, each of us - in our own life's work - must look deeply into causes and not only at symptoms. Why, for example, is it said that "anger is the most pleasurable of human passions?" Do our angers arise out of necessity, or out of the pursuit of justice, and when might our emotions deceive us? When is anger appropriate, and when is it destructive? Here, our writers and novelists offer this challenge with clarity. And not only them, but it is our parents and teachers, and the examples which they give by their own behavior.

Question #5: Hatred, violence and fear - are they inherited, or learned?


Providing an answer to the dilemmas posed to governments and to all people seeking peaceful resolution to conflict must therefore begin by rephrasing the question. What is it in human behavior - and by extension the policy of any given government - that finds in vicious conflict something that appears to be beneficial, but eventually is found to be counterproductive, destructive, and in the end can lead - to make a moral judgment - evil?

And following that: what can be learned about ourselves by not only avoiding our crimes of conscience and deed, but in deeply exploring the roots which prompt such behavior?

Studies of the psychology and anthropology of hatred, abuse, racism continue to be undertaken, as well as of their moral and ethical implications. For example, Prof. Robert Sternberg at Yale studies "The Psychology of Hate," as does sociologist Jack Levin at Northeastern University in Boston. Prof. Lawrence Kohlberg at Harvard and Notre Dame University outlined a "theory of moral development." In researching the aspects of the brain, Professor Susan Fiske of Princeton University, concludes from empirical data that "prejudice is not inevitable." University of Toronto Professor William Cunnigham's soon-to-be-published research results challenge the notion that "racism is natural and unavoidable." From authors, we have Vaclav Havel's compelling talk, "On Hatred." From social philosopher, Hannah Arendt, was coined the arresting phrase: "the banality of evil," when doing violence to others seems so casual, so everyday, so ordinary, so accceptable, and even worse, so easy.


In summary, the hero teaches us that justice is attained when all are satisfied or no one nearly so. Justice, clarity, self-criticism, repentance, forgiveness, foresight and vision: all these hard-won virtues may be drawn from theology, from society and science, from worldwide scripture, from national myth and are embodied in constitutional aspirations. All these help bring us out of conflict and to conciliation, from derision to respect. Each individual by each. One person by one. One neighbor with another neighbor down the street. And by every nation to its neighbor and to those beyond its borders. It all begins next door.

We are all vulnerable. All are warmed by the same sun, inhabit the same earth, enter a common pit, envision a shared future. Our views on this may differ widely. Yet, it is in the sharing and mingling of those views that we refine our own view. It is in relation to others that we strengthen our own group's awareness. Diversity is such a rich gift.

Our primordial human ancestors - who began the journey so long ago - often found security, self-protection and solace by demonizing others because of their perceived differences. And yet, little by little, they began to discover the merits of leaving behind untoward and hostile behaviors. We ought to have learned by now that we all have more to gain by exploration, curiostiy and cooperation than by limiting our adventures only to those who appear similar to ourselves.

This then, is a lesson to be learnt: to fully "know ourselves" - and ultimately "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God."

Officielle fotos

Pręsident Moisiu med
statsminister Kjell Magne Bondevik, Norge

Med pręsident Svetozar Marovic,

Alle de deltagende pręsidenter
og statsminister Bondevik

Pręsident Moisiu's holder sin åbningstale.
Ved hans side parlamentsformand Pellumbi
og Director-General Matsuura

Pręsidenterne, statsminister Bondevik
Med pręsident Mesic, Kroatien


Afslųringen af Mother Teresa-statuen

Med pręsident Parvanov, Bulgarien

Med pręsident Paravac, Bosnien-Hercegovina
Med pręsident Crvenkovski, Makedonien

Med director-general Matsuura

Pręsident Moisiu's afsluttende tale;
fremlęggelse af Tirana-deklarationen

Pręsident Moisiu og director-general Matsuura
under afslutningen

Med stormuftien af Bosnien-Hercegovina

Med Father Artur Liolin, den Albanske Kirke i USA

PM Nano med Erhard Busek og med pręsident Marovic
PM Nano med statsminister Bondevik

Ved afslutningen blev der udfęrdiget et dokument - The Tirana Summit Declaration on Inter-Religious and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in South-East Europe: http://miqesia.dk/Declaration-2004.htm.

Statue for Mother Teresa afslųret

Tirana 2004. Foto: Bjųrn Andersen. Dette og de fųlgende billeder kan forstųrres ved at klikke på dem [click on the photos to enlarge them]

Under konferencen var der en hųjtidelighed hvor der blev afslųret en statue for Mother Teresa [se: http://bjoerna.dk/albanien/Teresa.htm]. Statuen er skabt af den albanske skulptųr Thoma Thomai. Nedenfor billeder fra forberedelsen og fra selve hųjtideligheden:



PM Fatos Nano holdt flg. tale [pt kun på Albansk]:

Nė ceremoninė e Inagurimit tė Monumentit tė Nėnė Terezės morėn pjesė autoritete tė larta tė vendit, Presidenti i Republikės Alfred Moisiu, Presidentė tė vendeve tė rajonit etj, pjesėmarrės nė Samitin e Europės Juglindore "Zhvillimi i dialogut ndėretnik dhe ndėrfetar, njė faktor i rėndėsishėm pėr stabilitetin dhe progresin e Europės Juglindore".

Nė fjalėn e mbajtur me kėtė rast, Kryeministri Nano u shpreh:

Ėshtė njė kėnaqėsi e veēantė pėr mua qė si Kryeministėr i Shqipėrisė t’ju uroj mirėseardhjen nė njė moment kaq sinjifikativ pėr mbarė shqiptarėt: inagurimi i Monumentit tė Nėnė Terezės.

Kjo vepėr ka njė autor tė nderuar, artistin dhe profesorin Thoma Thomai, por nė tė vėrtetė kjo vepėr ėshtė ngjizur kohė mė parė, ditė pas dite, moment pas momenti, mrekulli pas mrekullie nė vetėdijen e ēdo shqiptari, madje mė shumė se kaq, nė memorjen e ēdo qytetari tė botės. Kėshtu, para se tė materializohej nė kėtė pėrmendore, ne tė gjithė e kemi njė pėrmendore tė Nėnė Terezės nė shpirtin tonė. Sepse brenda figurės sė Nėnė Terezės mishėrohen cilėsitė mė tė mira tė nėnave shqiptare, dhe ne jemi krenarė pėr kėtė.

Nėnė Tereza ishtė njė bijė e thjeshtė, lindur nė njė familje shqiptare, tė cilės nuk i mjaftoi hapėsira shqiptare pėr tė demostruar zemrėn e saj tė madhe. Pėr kėtė arsye, Ajo e shpėrndau dhembshurinė e saj anekėnd globit. Pa fjalė, pa deklarata tė mėdha. Ajo asnjėherė nuk pyeti pėr kombėsinė, racėn apo bindjet e tė vuajturve dhe tė sėmurėve, por u afroi atyre shėrbimin e saj tė ēmuar.

Kryemedikamenti i saj ishte dhėmbshuria njerėzore. Tashmė, Kisha Katolike, pas lumturimit, ėshtė pėrfshirė nė njė proces tė vetin pėr shenjtėrimin e Nėnė Terezės. Ekipe tė specializuar do tė vėrtetojnė sipas rregullave tė Kishės mrekullitė e kėsaj nėne, por pėr ne dhe pėr mbarė tė vuajturit e botės ajo ėshtė tashmė e shėnjtė: ajo ėshtė dhe do tė mbetet symbol i humanizmit. Dhe pėr kėtė ne jemi pėrunjėsisht krenarė!

Inagurimi qė po bėjmė sot merr njė simbolikė tė veēantė sepse bėhet nė atmosferėn e Samitit rajonal pėr zhvillimin e dialogut ndėretnik dhe ndėrfetar. Nė diskutimet e sotme dhe nė ato qė do tė vazhdojnė, politikanė tė lartė dhe studiues do tė kenė rastin tė nėnvizojnė se si bashkėjetesa jonė fetare ėshtė njė nga pasuritė mė tė mėdha qė ka siguruar jo vetėm kohezion kombėtar, por edhe skalitje tė vlerave humane tė shqipėtarėve, ndėr tė cilat unė do tė veēoja solidaritetin njerėzor.

Ėshtė pikėrisht kjo trashėgimi e mrekullueshme shqiptare e cila ka siguruar pėrballimin me qetėsi jo fort tė zakonshme tė sfidave mė tė egra me tė cilat ėshtė detyruar tė pėrballet njeriu shqiptar nėpėr kohėra. Ėshtė pikėrisht kjo trashėgimi e mrekullueshme e cila e zmadhoi edhe zemrėn e kėsaj nėne para tė cilės pėrkulemi tė gjithė me respekt, ashtu siē pėrkulet njeriu vetėm para nėnės.

E pėrjetshme vepra e Nėnės Terezės!

Billeder fra konferencen. Bilaterale drųftelser

Et par billeder fra konferencen (se links til officielle billeder ovenfor). Borgmester Edi Rama hilser på den Gręsk-Katolske Ęrkebiskop (siddende tv.: Arthur E. Liolin fra den Albanske Kirke i USA). Lederen af Stabilitetspagten, Erhard Busek, bliver interviewet; under sit ophold benyttede Busek lejligheden til at drųfte mulighederne for at give stųtte til en videreudvikling af de Albanske jernbaner. Nogle af konferencemedarbejderne fordeler opgaver:


Under konferencen var der mange bilaterale drųftelser mellem Albanske ledere og de udenlandske statsledere. Blandt dem der mųdtes var PM Fatos Nano og Pręsidenten for Serbien-Montenegro, Svetozar Marovic. Udenrigsministeriet for Serbien-Montenegro har udsendt flg. telegram fra Tanjug:

TIRANA, Dec 9 (Tanjug) Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano said during his meeting with Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic in Tirana Thursday that without Serbia-Montenegro's contribution, there could be no prosperity or stability in the Balkans.

Nano and Marovic, whose Thursday meeting was not planned but was organized at the initiative of the Albanian side on the sidelines of the meeting of Southeast European leaders on interreligious and interethnic dialogue, also agreed that a solution for Kosovo can only be found using a peaceful way and through dialogue. The two statesmen also confirmed that the SCG and Albania share the same political would to join the European Union.

"Albania and SCG share the efforts to jointly make the region European. Without cooperation and strengthening of our position in Europe, we shall not be able to achieve that goal," Marovic told reporters after his meeting with Nano, adding that the topic will be discussed more during the forthcoming visit of SCG Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic to Tirana.

Marovic also said that some outstanding issues, such as Kosovo the issue Nano also defined as Europe's challenge should be solved by people who have a European way of thinking.

Det Makedonske Makfax har udsendt tilsvarende om Pręsident Crvenkovski's deltagelse i konferencen:

Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski today will complete his visit to Tirana, where he took part in the two-day Regional Summit on Development of Interethnic and Inter-religious Dialogue, co-sponsored and co-organized by UNESCO and the Albanian authorities. The aim of the summit is to assess how religion and multi-ethnicity can be put constructively to work through dialogue in the areas of UNESCO's expertise - education, culture, the sciences and communication and information - as an important contribution to the stability and progress of the Balkans.

On the sidelines of the summit, President Crvenkovski held bilateral meetings with the Serbia-Montenegro's President Svetozar Marovic, Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano and the Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

President Crvenkovski is scheduled to meet today with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Prvanov and the Director-General of the UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura.

Bagsiden af Pyramiden. Skanderbeg-pladsen


Ovenfor et billede fra bagsiden af Pyramiden og to billeder fra Skanderbeg Pladsen.

Kampen mod korruptionen


Én af dagene var der demonstration på Skanderbeg Pladsen mod korruption. Der var omkring 1.500-2.000 deltagere. Der blev holdt tale og der blev rejst en anti-korruptionspyramide. Till slut vęltede man pyramiden. Efter sigende var arrangųrerne skuffede over at der ikke var flere deltagere i demonstrationen. [Billedet th er taget fra TV og kan ikke forstųrres].

Uafhęngigt heraf udsendte OSCEs Ambassadųr i Albanien samme dag flg. om kampen mod korruptionen:

TIRANA, 9 December 2004 - The OSCE Presence in Albania has today issued the following statement:

"The OSCE Presence in Albania commends the efforts of all Albanian citizens, state and political leaders, non-governmental organizations and other individuals and institutions who are dedicated to fighting corruption and congratulates them on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day.

The International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December marks one year since the signing of the UN Convention against Corruption in Mérida,Mexico. The purposes of the Convention are to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively, and also to promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property.

The Presence also wishes to congratulate on the International Human Rights Day, recalling tomorrow's 56th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration calls on every individual and every organ of society to promote respect for human rights and freedoms and by progressive measures to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.

The OSCE participating States expressed their strong determination to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to build, strengthen and protect democratic institutions, and to promote tolerance throughout society, also in the 1992 CSCE (OSCE) Helsinki Summit Document.

The OSCE Presence will continue to help Albania implement its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people. It will keep contributing to capacity-building of state institutions, such as the Office of the People's Advocate, the primary human rights agency in Albania, and working with civil society.

The Presence will also assist the country in fighting corruption and in increasing transparency of government and the political process. It has designed projects to strengthen public participation in legislative drafting, raise trial standards, and ensure workers' rights and a greater transparency in court practices, the judicial process, and the work of the Assembly."

Den Amerikanske Ambassade har udsendt flg. om et anti-korruptionsprojekt der gennemfųres af USAID i samarbejde med Albanske partnere::

December 8, 2004

USAID Funds New Anti-Corruption Project for Albania

U.S. Ambassador Marcie Ries joined USAID Director Harry Birnholz and the Democracy and Governance in Albania (DGA) Consortium to announce the launch of its new initiative today at the Rogner Hotel. The project focuses on combating corruption through work with citizens, civil society institutions, the media, and political parties. The Consortium – comprised of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Partners for Democratic Change (Partners Albania) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) – is funded by USAID.

The project's implementation furthers the fight against corruption in Albania, a struggle involving institutional, legal, social, and political solutions. The program’s goal is to encourage greater participation by citizens, NGOs, media and political parties. Working together, they can create a more participatory and open process to combat corruption and promote better governance.

During the launch, Jennifer L. Butz, Country Director for NDI and Chief of Party for the DGA Consortium stated “this unprecedented initiative will build on progress achieved to date in Albania’s democratic transition. The anti-corruption measures being implemented through this program are essential toward helping Albania move forward on reform.”

The broad aim of the Democracy and Governance program is to support NGOs. As these NGOs band together, their efforts will result in more civil society participation, greater government accountability and better service to the public. The program will also work with the media to raise professional standards and provide citizens with the objective, accurate information they require to participate in democracy. Another program goal is to discuss with political parties concrete ways in which they can better represent members’ interests, and translate those concerns into effective policy.

NDI Director Jennifer Butz can be contacted (068 20 74 345) for additional information about the project.

Stor byggeaktivitet

Der er (fortsat) meget stor byggeaktivitet. På billedet nedenfor tv ses den nye Romersk Katolske Katedral, Skt Paul's, i baggrunden. Kirken ligger ved Lana-floden vis-a-vis den store pyramide. Katedralen er bygget i meget enkel stil og er udsmykket med en serie glasmosaikvinduer - med billeder af Jesus, Pave Paul, Moder Teresa og flere andre.



The Tirana Summit Declaration on Inter-Religious and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in South-East Europe: http://miqesia.dk/Declaration-2004.htm

Side om Albanerne: http://bjoerna.dk/albanerne.htm

Forberedelseskomitéen hos pręsident Moisiu. Kozara Kati sidder ved siden af pręsidenten. Foto: Pręsidentkontoret (kan ikke forstųrres)

Efter konferencen har pręsident Mosiu takket politichefen, Bajram Ibraj, og chefen for republikgarden, Arben Ēuko:

December 20, 2004 - President Moisiu has sent a message to the General Director of State Police in which states: “I wholeheartedly thank you and through you all the employees of the State Police that were engaged with dedication and professionalism for the progress and the successful conclusion of the Summit of Southeastern Europe on the inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue, held in Tirana from December 9 to 10 of 2004.

By overcoming the great weight during the days of the Summit you showed that the State Police is capable to face events and activities that honor the country and our society domestically and abroad.

Next year, in which will be held the parliamentary elections, will be a year of more work and responsibility, but I have complete trust that the State Police will know how to face the situations and fulfill its constitutional mission in the service of the citizens and country. I assure you for my institutional engagement in support of your work and activity.

At the end, I wish you and all the employees of the State Police, Happy Holidays of the end of the year, health and happiness to your families!”

- - -

December 20, 2004 The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu sent a grateful message to the Commander of the Guard of Republic, Colonel Arben Ēuko, in which it is stated: “On the occasion of the successful conclusion of the Summit of Southeastern Europe on the inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue, held in Tirana from December 9 to 10 of 2004, I thank you and the employees of the Guard of the Republic, officers, corporals and soldiers that participated in the guarding and defending the high state personalities of the country and foreign dignitaries, in conducting the ceremonials and guards of honor.

By appreciating the importance of this Summit, you successfully managed with dedication to face a heavy load of work.

On this occasion, I congratulate you on your undeniable achievements in the mission that the law invests on you for guarding and defending the high state personalities and in the mean time to wish you and through all the effectives of the Guard of Republic Happy Holidays of the end of the year, health and happiness to your families!”

Version 2.9: 06th January 2005. Ed.: Bjoern Andersen

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