ICFTU Congratulates President Djukanovic on election victory in Montenegro

ICFTU Online..., 136/980603/DD, 3 June 1998

Brussels June 3 1998 (ICFTU OnLine): ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan has written to President Milo Djukanovic congratulating him on his election victory in Montenegro on May 31. He also expresses confidence that the President will ensure the full respect of human and trade union rights in the country, particularly in view of his courageous stand on Kosovo, where he has distanced himself from Milosevic's policies of violence in the region.

In the letter Bill Jordan refers to the International Conference held in Montenegro on The Social Dimension of the Reform Process in Montenegro co-hosted by the ICFTU, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Montenegro (the national trade union centre) and the ILO. The Conference discussed privatisation, poverty, the social dimension and social partnership, and there was high-level participation from the Montenegrin government.

The Conclusions adopted by the Conference drew attention to the international community's pledge that it would try to spare Montenegro from the full impact of sanctions taken against Yugoslavia in recognition of President Djukanovic's stand in relation to Kosovo, a position fully supported and shared by the CITIM.

In his letter to President Djukanovic, Bill Jordan asks the government to work in social partnership with the CITUM to promote democracy, push through reform and ensure the trade union and human rights are full respected.

The ICFTU has also written to the CITUM concerning President Djukanovic's victory, suggesting that it contacts the government asking it to ensure that any financial assistance from donor countries should enable it to begin building a democratic future within the international community.

As with other countries in the region, Montenegro has suffered as a result of the war, sanctions and economic reform, and has a 40% unemployment level. The trade unions are very anxious to play a positive role in rebuilding the country, both its economy and its social and political institutions.