Mr. President, on behalf of the Directors and members of the World Federation of Consuls, I would like to thank you most sincerely for receiving us this afternoon. This is a great honour and it is much appreciated. Thank you very much.
I cannot say enough about the graciousness and the hospitality that we have all received since we arrived in your beautiful country. Thank you very much. We are very impressed with your newly formed Consular Corps of Serbia. Your founding President, Rajko Maric, has done an excellent job and we are going to work with them.
The World Federation of Consuls was established in Copenhagen in October 1982. Our Federation was born out of the necessity to bring together Consular Corps and Consular Associations to share experiences and coordinate efforts to enhance the effectiveness and status of the Consuls.
Our Federation is incorporated in Belgium by Royal Decree as a non-profit international organization with it Secretariat in Brussels.
Our Federation enjoys United Nations recognition as an NGO with ECOSOC Status. We have similar recognition at the European Union and we are also recognized by the Organization of American States.
Today our Federation has over 90 country members, associations and affiliated members with several thousand individual Consul members.
Our membership is a network of highly experienced, well-connected individuals, whose determined focus, combined expertise and resources can be used to impact the world for good.
We are already in discussions with Mr. Maric and Mrs. Pesic to develop programmes which will involve the Consuls of Serbia to assist in the development of trade and investment opportunities for your beautiful country. I am certain that your Corps, who are now members of our Federation, will make you proud of what we will accomplish for Serbia in the future.
Mr. President, I would like to thank you, on behalf of the Board of Directors of our Federation, and our new member, the Consular Corps of Serbia, for honouring us by allowing us to honour you and I am going to now aske our Secretary General to read the citation to you.
Thank you very much sir.