Saturday, July 01, 2006

New country - 192nd Member of UN

Just after my college years, I interned at National Democratic Institute for International Affairs for three months. The specialty area I worked in was Albania and Serbia for Central and Eastern Europe. I occasionally did work for Macedonia, Bosnia, Slovenia, and Romania programs.

Serbia, the remnants of Yugoslavia, grappled with autonomy wishes of Albanian speaking Kosovo region and Montenegro. I started working in the team just after the former Yugoslavian strongman Slobodan Milosevic was outsed by peaceful means in October 2000. An overwhelming number of people basically flushed Milosevic and his cronies out when he didn't honor the election results (if memory serves me). Parties and their coalitions began work in the Parliament and presidency.

Milosevic's minions harassed people at road checks, mostly expatriates working with democratic parties to attain more democratic means of local and national government. Especially going into Kosovo region and Montenegro. After I completed internship in January 2001 I continued to pay passing attention of progress made by people and governments of the former Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia, especially Albania was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire for several hundred years just prior to the First World War. Montenegro, independent since the Middle Ages was forcibly made part of Serbia in 1919 and eventually into Yugoslavia. There was much progress in recent years and people of Montenegro elected to secede from the federation last month. United Nations welcomed its 192nd member of General Assembly - Montenegro.

I know I say the name frequently - it literally translates from "black mountains".. I'm an admirer of mountains and valleys myself.

here's a link from National Geographical site and the picture look just lovely. I wouldn't mind vacationing there for a month!

Oh, before I forget - World Federation of the Deaf did some work in Kosovo recently.


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