September 24, 2014

New York: President Vujanović in a meeting of the Open Government Partnership at the 69th UN General Assembly
The President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović participated today in a UN conference entitled: “Open Government Partnership” held at the UN Headquarters, where, on the occasion of the prize award ceremony, he presented the second prize of the Open Government Partnership’s international initiative in a competition of the best projects from 33 world countries which promote citizen involvement in public policy. The prize was awarded to the coordinator of the campaign “Be responsible. ItČs up to you. Zero Grey Economy” Vuk Vujnović from the Public Relations Bureau in the Government of Montenegro and Professor Slobodan Đukanović, Coordinator of the Creative Programming Team at the Faculty for Electrical Engineering in Podgorica.

The following is the text of the speech by President Vujanović:

Distinguished Co-Chairs,
Your Excellences Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished delegates,

First of all, I would like to commend Open Government Partnership activities on the occasion of its third year anniversary. I believe that all of us share gratitude for an excellent leadership of Indonesia as well as good wishes for full success of Mexico in that role in the forthcoming year.

Montenegro has been working with determination over the years to enhance partnership of the Government with the civil sector and individual citizens. As a result, its civil sector comprises 1500 active Civil Organizations, which is a remarkable figure given that population of Montenegro is 620.000. The Government has reiterated its call for partnership with civil sector on a number of occasions, involving Civil Organizations into legislature process and governmental working groups.

One of the remarkable examples of the partnership is the project Be Responsible to be awarded here. The Be Responsible campaign has managed to bring together the skills and resources of public authorities, academic community, international partners and citizens to tackle grey economy, as one of the challenges facing Montenegro today.

In just nine months, this campaign has given visible results. Today, the so-called ‘citizen inspectors’, make almost one percent of the adult population of Montenegro. Those responsible individuals are using their smart phones to photograph and report black market activities, submitting ten times more citizen reports than ever before.

In order to encourage citizens to report grey economy, the Government of Montenegro has committed to invest half of the revenues resulting from citizen reports to community projects that they select.

By taking a certain amount of money away from grey economy and investing it in an old people’s home or a piece of medical equipment, citizens have proved that their engagement can bring very tangible benefits to their communities.

This campaign would not be possible without the advanced academic skills of the Podgorica Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the expertise and financial support of UNDP Montenegro and British Embassy Podgorica, the dedicated and committed work of inspection services, the leadership vision of the Ministry of Finance and, of course, without the responsible citizens willing to help the authorities and create new value in Montenegro.

Finally, much of the credit goes to the Montenegrin media for their constant attention and support for this campaign and to civil society organizations: Center for Democratic Transition, Institute Alternative, Civic Alliance, Environmental Movement Ozon and Green Home for endorsing Montenegro’s application for the Open Government Partnership Awards.

Therefore, it gives me a great pleasure to present this prestigious international award to the Montenegrin team. I am confident that their efforts and the evident success of this initiative will inspire the Montenegrin society to continue to work together for the good and prosperity of our citizens!

Thank you for your attention!

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