The Development Partnership Framework between the Serbian government and the UN Country Team for the period from 2016 to 2020 has been signed in Belgrade. The document was inked by First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Karla Robin Hershey. The Development Partnership Framework is “fully aligned with the national development priorities of the Serbian government, as well as with the process of pre-accession negotiations between Serbia and the European Union and the UN Agenda for sustainable development by 2030”. The estimated value of the program of activities for a five-year period covered by the Development Partnership Framework amounts to USD 170 million. Dacic said he hoped that through the joint work of Serbian ministries, offices and agencies of the UN system, the Development Partnership Framework will be successfully put into practice, in the interest of all citizens of Serbia.
Belgrade will address the UN because of a statement made by the former head of the OSCE verification mission in Kosovo. This comes after reports that William Walker spoke about his work on a project of creating the Greater Albania. Walker is known for heading the OSCE “verification mission” in the Kosovo, whose activities and reports during 1998 and 1999 influenced the public opinion abroad in favor of launching a war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Earlier that year the bodies of 45 Albanians were discovered in the village of Racak and the Walker-led OSCE mission accused Serbian security forces for killing them without presenting any evidence – although it was never determined whether the victims were in fact civilians. Reports coming from the Serbian side said that Albanian terrorists – members of the KLA – were the ones killed in Racak, but in the West, the event was qualified as a crime against civilians, used as an excuse to launch NATO’s bombing of Serbia. According to the Minister without portfolio, Jadranka Jankovic, who is in charge of EU integration, Walker’s statement is proof that the Greater Albania project is not merely flirted with at election time, but is instead “something that exists and is not only Serbia’s problem. It includes the territory of several countries in the Balkans, and I think all of us need to be concerned”.