(Press Release) Montenegro takes over ICPDR Presidency from Moldova for 2021

News & Media
A Montenegrin and Moldovan representative exchange bottle of Danube water

VIENNA, 26 January 2021 (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) – As Montenegro is taking over the annual Presidency of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in 2021, incoming President Momčilo Blagojević described the bold aims for his forthcoming term at the online event: finalizing the Danube River Basin and Flood Risk Management Plan Updates, emphasizing the public consultation process backing up both plans, plus focusing on strengthening Montenegro’s involvement in ICPDR expert and task groups.

Another aim of incoming ICPDR President Blagojević will be to lead the development of the Ministerial Declaration endorsing the updated management plans, due to be presented at the beginning of the Romanian presidency in February 2022. Overall, Montenegro’s presidency will mark a special era of cooperation throughout the Danube River Basin, fuelled by the lessons learned in 2020 and 2021 during the global pandemic, which has required and continues to require special measures to be taken at all levels of management throughout the Basin.

Held both in-person in Vienna, and over video conferencing, the event saw representatives from the Montenegrin and Moldovan missions in Austria handing over a bottle of Danube water on behalf of the respective incoming and outgoing Presidents, as is the tradition. Passed over to every single ICPDR president since the mid-90s, the bottle symbolizes the way in which the President of the ICPDR holds the future of the basin’s waters in their hands.

Unable to attend, due to the ongoing pandemic, incoming President Blagojević spoke remotely at the event. “It is strange to be taking over the ICPDR Presidency during the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when all Contracting Parties to our Convention are struggling with different sets of restrictions and economic hardships. While Montenegro is a smaller member of the Danube family, it is a strong country, and we see this Presidency as an opportunity to expand the role of Montenegro and engage more fully in the work of the ICPDR’s Expert Groups.” The President also emphasized a new focus on Montenegrin efforts on the operation of the Trans-National Monitoring Network, flood protection efforts, and the ICPDR’s Accident Emergency Warning System.

Specific priorities of the incoming Montenegrin Presidency include:

  • Finalize the development and adopt both the DRBM and DFRM plans;
  • Put a strong emphasis on the process of public consultation on both plans;
  • Strengthen Montenegrin involvement in activities of Expert Groups, with additional focus efforts on the Trans-National Monitoring Network, flood protection and the Accident Emergency Warning System;
  • Together with the ensuing Romanian presidency (2022), lead development and endorsement of the Ministerial Declaration, adopting the DRBMP & DFRMP updates and evaluating their progress.

Previously having long served as Montenegro’s head of delegation to the ICPDR, Momčilo Blagojević is acutely aware of the commission’s achievements and acknowledged its ongoing success. “The ICPDR,” he said, “remains a beacon of international river basin management and a champion of transboundary cooperation.”

Outgoing President Dorin Andros from Moldova, received warm acknowledgements at the event for his successful tenure as ICPDR President, steering the commission through unprecedented times in 2020. Mr. Andros bestowed his best wishes upon his successor and extended his deepest gratitude to his team for all their hard work throughout his presidency.

The recording of the live stream of the event can be viewed on the ICPDR YouTube channel

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For further information, please contact:

Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov
Public Participation and Communication
ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220
Email: helene.masliah-gilkarov[at]icpdr.org
Web: www.icpdr.org