February 18, 2019

Kosovo celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its Independence

On the picture Dr. Mimoza Ahmetaj.

By Dr. Mimoza AhmetajFormer Minister of EU Integration & MP who signed the Declaration of Independence.

February 17th will mark the 10th Anniversary of Kosovo’s independence with Kosovo being the youngest country in Europe and with the youngest population.

Although it is a time for celebration, we should spend few moments to look back at the path we went through, the achievements and the challenges and obstacles we have gone through and think what we aim to achieve in the future.

Ten years ago, on a cold freezing day of February 17, the world woke up with another state on the global map. After many years of struggle, devotion, and dedication from many people, although from different background and different walks of life, they were united in a simple truth: the right for life, liberty, and happiness for generations to come. We have learned that nothing is more precious than independence and freedom.

It took us a long path to get to the destination but finally, the democracy has prevailed, the right to live and breath free, the dream and the will of Kosovo’s people, whenever they’re living, came true. In the freezing day of February in the country covered by the thin layer of snow, the elected people of this nation in coordinated with the most advanced democratic countries throughout the world have gathered together to declare and sign the highest act of the nation-Independence.

Hundreds and thousands of people from all around the world, whose destinies were linked in some sort of way with Kosovo during their lifetime, flooded Kosovo to see the rise of the country, to witness the birth of the state in the beginning of XXI century. It was a privilege to witness that moment of our lives but it was more than an honor to be among those representing the nation and being able to sign on their behalf the Declaration of Independence. The existence of Kosovo was sealed and the bright future of our country was paved. Kosovo was not alone in this path. There were nations from the most advanced global democracies that stood side by side with us in that long run of the statehood the same as they are with us today in a process of the state building.

They were moments of disbelief and distrust that the country will not be able to exist and survive but we managed to show to the world that the will of the people and their commitment, the hard work of our institutions and dedication are the best guarantees that we will stay firm toward fulfilment of our ambitions and the creation of the state who is provider of stability in the region and who has a perspective for the better future. This is the state that belongs to its citizen no matter of their religion or national background.

Over the years, the world has changed, the core democratic values have been challenged, but despite that, Kosovo’s people continue to believe and will never abandon the values which are the core, the essence of liberal democracy and are the ruling model for our country.

Throughout all these years, Kosovo has achieved many successes and marked its short history in the global scene. Beside investments in education, rule of law, reforms in public administration, fight against terrorism, crime and corruption and the rise in the economy of the country, Kosovo has signed the first Stabilisation and Association Agreement with EU, the process that paved the way toward EU integration process and sealed our future to the EU. Kosovo became a member of many regional and international organizations, IOF, IOC, UEFA, and FIFA. Our judo wrestlers such as Majlinda Kelmendi and her team won a gold medal at World Olympic Games in Brazil, hence, Kosovo’s flag was waving on top of all others, a proof that the potential of the young people of Kosovo will prevail over political barriers. Kosovo signers such as Rita Ora, Dua Lipa, Era Istrefi are already shining in the musical world. Our artists such as Sisley Xhafa and Petrit Halilaj are making the history of art throughout the world.

And, of course, countries were not built in ten years … Despite a remarkable progress that we have made, Kosovo is still facing the challenges: UN membership, EU and NATO integration, economic development, increase of foreign investment, education, unemployment, membership in other international organisations, regional cooperation, continuation of reforms in different sectors, are ranked highly in our agenda and it is us who should continue and do our at most for a better Kosovo.

There is still a long way ahead of us but together we can make the years ahead the best years our state has ever had if we can rise above cynicism and doubt and continue to remain united for the better future of our generations to come. It is obvious that all the problems could not be solved over the night but it is important to have good faith and remain committed to our duties and objectives and make the dream of Kosovo’s people come true; to be proud of our achievements and successes, to be proud of being Kosovar, as an equal member state of the EU and NATO.

Happy 10th Anniversary Kosovo! Tomorrow is another day!

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