Diplomacy & Commerce Welcome Summer Party – an Annual Friendly Gathering

On the 24th of June, the Diplomacy & Commerce magazine celebrated it’s annual “Welcome Summer Party”. with a joyful atmosphere and unique guests

The party was supported by the companies Carlsberg Srbija with the Somersby brand, Coca-Cola with the Schweppes brand and Valadier Design Jewels,

The event was opened by speeches from Robert Čoban, president of the Color Press Group, Soufiane Adjali, Representative of UNHCR in Serbia and Nataša Mihailović Vacić, Belgrade secretary for culture. As for entertainment for the evening, Liana Odinets, a singing professor from Ukraine who has been in Serbia for nearly three years, sang and moved the crowd in the wonderful atmosphere of the the lodging of the princess Ljubica (Konak Knjeginje Ljubice).

In adressing the crowd, Soufiane Adjali raised awareness on over 120 million forcibly displaced people around the world:

“Last week, we commemorated World Refugee Day and witnessed yet another rise in the number of forcibly displaced people, which has now reached the staggering figure of 120 million—an all-time record. As our HC Filippo Grandi put it: Behind these stark and rising numbers lie countless human tragedies. That suffering must galvanize the international community to act urgently to tackle the root causes of forced displacement. Just for the sake of comparison, when I joined UNHCR almost 30 years ago, the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide was around 10 million. It has been increasing ever since, reaching the exorbitant numbers none of us could have imagined back then.”

Even with the persisting problem, he added that there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel:

“Despite the grim picture, there’s always a glimmer of hope, and this event, for instance, only proves the point. Refugees and asylum seekers – and the communities hosting them – need solidarity and a helping hand. They can and do contribute to societies when they are included. No action is too small. Committing to include refugees in our schools, workplaces, health care systems and communities is the most effective way to support them in rebuilding their lives.”

Soufiane Adjali, Representative of UNHCR in Serbia

He thanked the president of the Color Press Group, Robert Čoban, for giving an opportunity for forcibly displaced persons to be seen:

“I’d like to thank Robert and his team for recognizing the potential of forcibly displaced persons and for giving them the chance to be seen and heard. This evening, we will have the pleasure of enjoying a lovely performance by Liana, a refugee from Ukraine who has found safety and protection in Serbia.”

For the end of his speech, he also took his time to recognize Serbia’s hospitality in welcoming refugees and to wish everyone a lovely evening:

“Serbia and its citizens have a long history of welcoming refugees from different corners of the world. While much has been done, we continue our joint efforts to close the identified gaps. Let me wrap up by saying that as this party marks the beginning of summer, the most carefree time for most of us, let us also not forget those less fortunate, who have lost everything overnight due to conflicts and persecution. No one chooses to abandon their homes and lives. Seeking refuge is not a choice but the only option for many to survive, find peace, and keep their dreams alive. Right now, refugees need our solidarity more than ever. Thank you and have a lovely evening!”

Nebojsa Ćirić, former Minister of Economy and Regional Development with his wife Katarina

The Belgrade secretary for culture, Nataša Mihailović Vacić, commended Diplomacy & Commerce for recognizing the importance of cultural diplomacy:

“Your commitment to the promotion of culture, art and history of Serbia, but also to the promotion of cultural democracy, is inestimably important. Not only for our country, but in this current, political, global moment in which we are faced with huge challenges. I personally believe that cultural diplomacy can play one of the key roles in connecting communities.”

Nataša Mihailović Vacić, Belgrade secretary for culture,

The lively atmosphere and the beautiful garden of the lodging of the princess Ljubica (Konak Knjeginje Ljubice) was enjoyed by all of the guests, celebrated in the warmth of the first days of the summer, with new issues of the latest Diplomacy and Commerce magazine.

Nina Mitić, Assistant Minister at Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue
Duška Jovanić, journalist & host, Vladimir Atanacković, Zorana Mihajlović, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia


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