Rule of law, human rights, education key to development, says Croatian President

Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic of Croatia. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

26 September 2013 – Sustainable development is not possible without peace and security, the President of Croatia today told the United Nations, stressing also the importance of the rule of law, human rights and education in post-conflict nations.

In his address to the 68th General Assembly high-level debate, President Ivo Josipovic stressed “the critical importance that the rule of law has in post-conflict peacebuilding, thus achieving lasting peace and sustainable development.”

In addition, Mr. Josipovic also noted the importance of good governance, efforts against corruption, and human rights, particularly for women and minority groups.

He noted that Croatia is currently the chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which was set up in 2005 to help countries emerging from conflict make an irreversible transition from war to sustainable peace. Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone are currently on its agenda.

Recalling his country’s own historical role in the Balkans, he highlighted that reconciliation and cooperation “are becoming a new standard” for the region.

Mr. Josipovic is one of scores of leaders to speak at the annual General Assembly session at which heads of State and Government and other high-level officials will present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance.

He noted that Croatia had become the 28th member of the European Union this July “to secure the safe, democratic and stable future for ourselves and forthcoming generations.”

Turning to the wider theme of this year’s General Assembly debate – which is setting the stage for a sustainable development agenda after 2015, the deadline for the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – Mr. Josipovic noted the role democratic ideals play in linkages with economic, social and cultural rights.

A sustainable future needs “a concurrent basis in strong institutions, in solidarity, justice and social development, with a more targeted approach to marginalized groups, including women’s empowerment, as well as a strong respect for the environment and innovative growth,” he said.

In response to his own question of how a transformative shift towards more sustainable development can be accomplished, Mr. Josipovic noted the importance of education.


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