f_0010093_7840

f_0010093_7840 - Montenegro: A Commentary Thomas P. Melady,...

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Fall 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 72 Source : The World Factbook, 2008. Montenegro: A Commentary Thomas P. Melady, Ph.D. Professor and Senior Diplomat in Residence, Institute of World Politics United States Ambassador to the Holy See, 1989-1993 United States Ambassador to Uganda, 1972-1973 United States Ambassador to Burundi, 1969-1972 Senior Advisor to the US Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly President Emeritus of Sacred Heart University Former United States Assistant Secretary for Post Secondary Education Timothy R. Stebbins Graduate Student, Institute of World Politics Executive Assistant to Ambassador Thomas P. Melady The day of their restoration will also be the day of deliverance for the world. Small nations have surely played a significant part in humanity’s history. -- David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister from 1916-1922 t has been almost three years since the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro peacefully attained her independence, becoming the newest fully recognized sovereign state in the world. Though she is still very young and of course has her share of internal problems, Montenegro has made impressive strides towards becoming a fully inte- grated member of the democratic West. The referendum of May 21, 2006, which officially severed the union between Serbia and Montenegro, is reflective of the growing and enthusiastic democratic culture of this fledgling nation. Over 85 percent of the total electorate cast their vote. According to BBC News, preliminary election results indicated 230,711 people, 55.5 percent, had voted for independence while 184,954 voters, 44.5 percent, had voted to remain with Serbia. 1 The margin was enough to achieve the 55 percent threshold required for validation under the strictures of the European Union, and the results were formally recognized by the European Union and the United Nations Security Council. The referendum was overseen by the International Referendum Observation Mission (IROM), which included observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Parliamentary 1 BBC News, “Serbia Accepts Montenegro Result,” May 26, 2006. Accessed on October 1, 2008, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5009242.stm. I
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Fall 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 73 Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. IROM declared that “overall, the referendum was conducted in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and other international standards for democratic electoral processes.” IROM also stated that during the voting period “there were no reports of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights.” 2 Some had feared that due to the narrow half-percentage point margin by which the referendum passed, there might be violent ethnic clashes instigated by the large Serbian ethnic population dwelling within Montenegro’s newly established borders. However, on
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f_0010093_7840 - Montenegro: A Commentary Thomas P. Melady,...

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