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Declaration of Good Will about Montenegro

The First Congress of the Montenegrin Diaspora

By freely expressed will of the delegates present at the session on October 10 1999, the Congress adopted:

Declaration of Good Will about Montenegro

Strongly inspired by the feeling of connection, love and good intentions towards our homeland, Montenegro, we, the participants of the Congress, people of different nationalities and religions but with the same feelings towards the state of Montenegro

Starting from a natural and historic right of Montenegro, one of the oldest states in the Balkans, open-mindedly considering the current situation and the need for a guarantee of a lasting peace, stability and prosperity in South eastern Europe, as well as considering the inherent right of the people of Montenegro to self-determination and independent decision making about their crucial internal matters and the relations with the neighboring and other countries.

Refusing to let our country, Montenegro, with its 10-century-long statehood, stay the only country without its own statehood and international recognition after the break up of Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia

Strongly supporting the efforts of all democratic forces in Montenegro to find a solution to the current crisis, for a permanent protection of Montenegro and its citizens from attempts to be sacrificed and kept as hostages of an outdated, xenophobic, nationalistic and imperialistic politics of Serbia, the politics which directly leads towards the extinction of the Montenegrin state, nation and church and every other form of uniqueness, the politics which is alienating Montenegro from any European and
Atlantic integration and from a possibility of a dignified existence of a human being

We, the immigrants from Montenegro: Montenegrins, Serbs, Muslims, Albanians and Croats are unanimous in these demands:

That the Parliament of Montenegro holds a referendum on the issue of independence of Montenegro. This is necessary to protect national interests of Montenegro and create overall progress and development, according to the given right of the citizens. This is necessary for Montenegro to regain its international recognition and integration in European and North Atlantic economic, political, defense, cultural, athletic and humanitarian organizations.

That Montenegro preserves and improves its historical achievements of friendly and harmonious relationships for the coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups, that it secures full individual and collective freedom of its citizens and in such way responds to any and all unacceptable attempts of dividing Montenegro on a tribal, religious, ethnic or regional basis, which would tear apart the territory and the vital tissue of the country.

That the Montenegrin government stop with rejecting and discriminating Montenegrin Orthodox Church and its members.
We also support the founding of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church Diocese in America

That Montenegro with its policy of openness and networking with the world creates conditions for its full cooperation with its Diaspora in all domains: economic, political, cultural, athletic and media related. In order to unify the creative potential of the cradle and the Diaspora and to establish better cooperation and understanding, we suggest that the next Congress of the Montenegrin Diaspora be held in year 2000, in Cetinje, the capital of Montenegro, and that President Djukanovic be the chair of the organizational committee.

The First Congress of Montenegrin Diaspora: Resolutions

Montenegro should become a free, sovereign, democratic, multinational and internationally recognized country and a member of the United Nations.

The Congress suggests that the groups both inside and outside of Montenegro, the government, political parties, NGOs and other organizations unite on the issue of resolving the statehood and the
legal status of Montenegro, all with the goal of achieving independence for Montenegro.

The Congress demands from the Montenegrin Parliament to invalidate the illegitimate decisions of the so-called "Grand National Assembly of Podgorica" from 1918.

The Congress appeals to the Montenegrin government to follow and respect the decisions of the Session of the Montenegrin Parliament from December 23, 1991, by which Montenegro's status as an
independent and sovereign state was guaranteed.

The congress demands from the current government that every diplomatic representative of Montenegro has demonstrated a pro-Montenegrin disposition. Career-hungry and grafted Montenegrins
can never represent Montenegro appropriately nor can they establish good ties and rapport with the Diaspora.

The Congress demands that the Montenegrin Orthodox Church be allowed to register as a religious organization and that all of its sacred places and material property be returned to the Church.

The Congress demands from the Montenegrin Parliament to invalidate the decision of Regent Aleksandar from year 1920 by which the Montenegrin Orthodox Church was abolished forcefully and against the canon.

The Congress most strongly protests the political and financial support of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the current Montenegrin government.

The Congress suggests that the Montenegrin government resolve the legal status of the heirs of the dynasty Petrovic-Njegos. We also ask that in the spirit of the Montenegrin state's tradition and our language, Nikola Petrovic Njegos II be given the title of Prince.

The Congress demands that the Montenegrin language becomes the official language in Montenegro and that as such be instituted in the constitution, schools, institutions and media.

The Congress suggests to the Montenegrin government and cultural institutions to organize a world exhibition, dedicated to the thousand-year-old Montenegrin history and culture. This exhibit would be held in cultural and political centers of the world such as Paris, Rome, Moscow, New York, and Washington D.C. The intention of the exhibit would be to culturally and politically resonate the
achievements and history of Montenegro. The Diaspora is willing to contribute to this exhibit with all its means.

The Congress supports the continuation of the Cetinje Biannual Festival of Arts and promises a contribution to the affirmation of this significant cultural event.

Montenegrin societies and organizations in the world will work on developing amicable relationships between the people of Montenegro and the country in which these groups are active.

The Congress protests and dissociates itself from the use of the adjective "Montenegrin" by the groups which do not recognize the Montenegrin nation, church and the state and work against the
interests of Montenegro.

The Congress suggests that the Cradle of Montenegro (Matica Crnogorska) be renewed in a form of an NGO which would have its monthly publication, a part of which would be published in English.

The Congress constructively criticizes the Montenegrin Government for its insufficient cooperation with the Montenegrin Diaspora and its societies.

The Congress also forms a collective North American body to which the following members are elected:

Blazo Sredanovic, president and as vice presidents:
Ivo Djukanovic, The Montenegrin Association of America,
Vesna Radunovic, Montenegrin Independent Cultural Center of New York,
Beco Cubic, "Rumija" Cultural Center, Chicago
Branko Aleksic, Montenegrin Cultural Society "Crna Gora," Toronto.

The Congress also decided to form a delegation of Montenegrin Diaspora in the United States which will request a meeting with the three American congressmen who recently raised the issue of
Montenegrin independence. This delegation would also deliver a petition with our demands to President Clinton.

The Congress formed a coordinating committee of the Montenegrin World Congress whose goal would be to link all Montenegrin associations in the world and initiate the foundation of new association in the countries where Montenegrins live.
The committee
members are:
Blazo Sredanovic,
Vojo Rasovic,
Fado Redzovic,
Radosav Krsikapa,
Savic Rasovic, from North America,
Mihailo Mandic from Australia,
Jovan Radonjic from Croatia and Dr.
Nebojsa Popovic from Germany.

The Congress adopted the suggestion that the Second Congress of the Montenegrin Diaspora and the Montenegrin Gatherings be held in Montenegrin capital of Cetinje and that the President of Montenegro be the chair of the organizing committee.

For the First Congress of the Montenegrin Diaspora:

Blazo Sredanovic, The Montenegrin Association of America
Vesna Radunovic, Montenegrin Independent Cultural Center of New York
Branko Aleksic, Montenegrin Cultural Society "Crna Gora" of Toronto
Fado Redzovic, "Rumija" Cultural Center from Chicago
Mihailo Mandic, Montenegrin Ethnic Association of Australia
Jovan Radonjic, Montenegrin National Association of Croatia.

October 10th, 1999.




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