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Diplomacy in Action

Science and Technology Agreement Signing Ceremony


Remarks
Maria Otero
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs 
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technological Development Bozidar Djelic
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 23, 2010

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UNDER SECRETARY OTERO: Good morning, everyone. I’m very pleased here to be able to welcome Deputy Prime Minister Djelic, who is here, and all our distinguished guests from Serbia. We have just signed – we will just sign now a Science and Technology Agreement which marks a new face for the United States-Serbia science relationship.

This agreement will open new doors, bringing scientists together and expanding the flow of knowledge between our two countries. This new agreement provides a framework under which our ministries, our institutes, our universities, and research centers can collaborate. Together, we will work towards new discoveries across the range – a full range of scientific inquiry.

It is our belief that both of our countries will benefit greatly from this new partnership. A visible result for Serbians could be closer relationship with American universities, expanding opportunities for Serbian students to work with American students in U.S. schools.

The problems facing the global community today are far too great for any one nation alone to overcome. The need has never been greater for the international scientific community to work together to overcome global challenges that affect all of us, such as global warming, food security, clean water, and earthquake forecasting and response.

Both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have advocated science diplomacy as an important component of U.S. foreign policy. Science has an inherent ability to bring international experts together regardless of their nationality or of their political leanings. This science and technology agreement is one more sign of the commitment the United States and Serbia have made to enhance our bilateral relationship.

This scientific exchange of ideas is one of the Obama Administration’s top priorities. I look forward to an open and friendly exchange of international – of scientific ideas and expanded opportunities of cooperation that can be afforded through this agreement.

I thank all of you for coming to witness the signing of this new agreement and I look forward to seeing the many positive scientific collaborations that will follow after today’s ceremony.

Thank you. Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, if you would like to say a few things.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER DJELIC: Thank you, Madame Otero. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Government of Serbia, I would like to express our deep gratitude and happiness for this signature today. It’s been 30 years since the United States and Serbia had a formal relationship in the area of science and technology.

Today, the signature of this agreement is, for our country, a very important step because the United States are the leading world force in the area of science and technology. And President Obama’s goal to double resources allocated to this essential part of the future of the world will maintain this position.

Furthermore, the Serbian scientific diaspora is strongest in the United States, and therefore, today’s agreement is giving the framework for Americans, Serbs, Serbians living in America, working in America, and hopefully more and more Americans coming to work with us in Serbia.

With this agreement, we will have a facilitation for the issuance of visas for scientists, technologists, and business people. We are solving important intellectual property issues and we are opening the door for further agreements between institutions at the level of universities, institutes, but companies alike. Indeed, we do not see this agreement only between state and state, between universities and universities. We see it as a great opportunity for American technological firms to come and work with us in Serbia.

With this, I would like to thank you once again, Madame Otero, to send a message to our scientific community but also to all the American scientists and technological entrepreneurs: Now Serbia is open for collaboration and for business. Welcome. Thank you. (Applause.)

UNDER SECRETARY OTERO: Thank you.

(The Agreement was signed.)

(Applause.)



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