Reception for the ambassadors of Switzerland and Slovakia
Mayor Ljubiša Petrović organised a reception for the ambassadors of Switzerland and Slovakia at the City Administration today.
On that occasion, he said that it was an extraordinary honour to host the two ambassadors in Bijeljina on the same day. There were various topics during a friendly conversation with the guests - economic challenges that Bijeljina, Srpska and the entire region are facing, culture, art, film and photography.
They discussed what has been done in Bijeljina in the previous period, mostly related to the seventeen sustainable development goals. The progress of our city in this regard is very significant.
“Today’s visit was an opportunity to clarify some of the details related to the preparation of project technical documentation – building new parks, bicycle and pedestrian paths, solving the issue of air pollution during winter,” said Mayor Petrović.
He reminded that, administratively, a decision is being prepared with an aim to subside the replacement of solid fuel heaters with heat pumps, or environmentally acceptable energy sources. Pro-natal policy, which the City Administration is committed to, was another topic of the meeting.
“We are increasing the number of children included in the preschool education, and there are measures directed towards the primary school students – free textbooks. We have not forgot the young couples facing challenges related to their progeny, so significant subsidies have been secured for this purpose,” explained Petrović.
There is consent to expand the child care to the children who grow up in the streets or in the risk of becoming the children of the streets, and socially endangered child population.
The support of the embassies of Switzerland and Slovakia was expressed in the position that these embassies would support equipping shelters for children at risk.
Ambassadors have also been informed about the status and functioning of the public enterprises during the previous period, and what has been done to inspect their operations and possible future sanctions. As for the seventeen sustainable development goals and smart and green city concepts, Bijeljina is trying hard to have as many green areas as possible, as well as environmentally acceptable air.
“There is a readiness for agreement and dialogue with all those who can support projects which would help implement the mentioned concepts. We are sure that we will find partners at the embassies and organisations, like the United Nations Development Programme, with whom we made an important agreement which will have significant results in culture, sport and infrastructure,” said Mayor Petrović.
Swiss Ambassador to BiH, Daniel Hunn, expressed his gratitude to Mayor Petrović for his hospitality and the pleasure he is in Bijeljina again, and explained the reasons for his visit.
“My colleague from Slovakia and me had a meeting with the representatives of civic society and nongovernment organisations, with the aim to determine how to further expand the cooperation, with a special attention to the projects related to younger population,” explained Ambassador Hunn.
In relation to talks with Mayor Petrović he said that, among other things, they talked about intensifying and deepening economic cooperation between Switzerland and Bijeljina region, with a special emphasis on diaspora, since there is a big community of diaspora in Switzerland. They also mentioned possibilities of cooperation in culture, and there is an intention of Swiss artist to visit Bijeljina.
Ambassador said that he was very impressed by the way in which Bijeljina is implementing and working on the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, and commended the efforts of Mayor Petrović in this area.
Ambassador of Slovakia to BiH, Martin Kačo, said that Bijeljina was one of the strongest economic clusters, and that he was pleased that he had the opportunity to learn more about the situation on the ground and talk about Slovaks living in our local community.
“We talked about development of local communities, especially about the inclusion of neglected children and investment options, as well as the economical situation of the entire region,” said Ambassador Kačo.