International Organizations



Albania in OSCE

Albania became a participating State to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – (at that time CSCE) during the proceedings of the Ministerial Council of Berlin (19-20 June 1991).

The Helsinki Final Act was signed by Albania on 16 September 1991, followed by the signature of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe on 17 September 1991.

This moment marked a substantial change in the course of Albanian foreign policy, which would free Albania from international self-isolation and bring it closer to the Euro-Atlantic community by sharing the principles and values of freedom, democracy and rule of law.

The accession of Albania to the OSCE was accompanied by deep legal reforms concerning respect for human rights. The circumstances that enabled Albania to access the OSCE comprised the democratic movement of December 1990, the first pluralistic elections and the adoption of the Provisional Constitutional Package, on April 29th, 1991. This Package encompassed provisions that accepted political pluralism and respect for human rights.

Following the internal unrests of 1997, the relations between Albania and the OSCE entered into another phase. In 1997, the Permanent Council decided, upon the request of the Albanian Government, to send an OSCE Presence in Albania to help overcome the crises and take the country into general elections, in line with the OSCE standards. The Danish Chairmanship, through its Special Envoy, the former Austrian Chancellor, Dr. Franz Vranitzky, brokered the resolution of the political crisis and enabled the opening of an OSCE Presence in Albania. Due to the developments, the OSCE Presence in Albania extended its mandate, including monitoring of the north-eastern borders of the country.

At a later stage, which is also the current one, a re-shuffle of the mandate was agreed in 2003, in order to better reflect the developments and progress of Albania. The OSCE Presence is not a permanent representation in Albania. It has a temporary mandate, as adopted in 2003. The profile of involvement of the OSCE and its Presence in Albania over the years has duly changed, reflecting the profound and sustainable changes in the country, as well as Albania’s milestone achievements vis-à-vis the Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Today the Presence supports the legal, judicial, administrative and property reforms and helps the Albanian authorities in the parliamentary capacity – building, the fight against corruption and promotion of good governance and empowerment of civil society. The Presence also supports the State Police in the process of dismantling the old ammunitions stocks and supports Albania in the implementation of the commitments taken, as a participating country to the OSCE.

The OSCE Presence works very closely with Albanian institutions to support the country’s reform process in the framework of Albania’s EU membership. 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the OSCE Presence in Albania.

The increased role that Albania has continuously played in the region and beyond has had an impact on the substantial change of relations with the OSCE. Albania is no longer just a consumer of the OSCE expertise, but it contributes considerably in maintaining and boosting the role of the Organization in the European security architecture.

Albania has increased its profile in the OSCE. It hosted the Autumn Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (October 2012), the High Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (May 2013), the Third South East European Media Conference (September 2013), the Conference on the Freedom of Media in Tirana (June 2015), the second forum for media development (November 2016).

The most important Albanian engagement within the OSCE remains the Presidency of the Organization in 2020. Following the Recommendation for the Approval of a decision on the rotating OSCE Presidency for 2020 (PC.DEC / 1317 30 November 2018), the Participating States in Ministerial Conference, dated 5 December 2018, decided by consensus to entrust Albania with the OSCE Chairmanship in 2020.

On the eve of the OSCE Presidency for 2020, Albania led the Contact Group for the Mediterranean throughout 2019, the High Level Conference of which was successfully held in Tirana, in the framework of the 25th anniversary of the Contact Group for the Mediterranean, under the moto: “Achievements, challenges and future opportunities for partnership “.

The year 2020 marked the OSCE Albanian Chairmanship-in-Office. It was a successful Chairmanship, into a difficult year, culminating with the Tirana Ministerial Council of 3 – 4 December, which produced deliverables, rich in number and substance: eleven documents, across all the dimensions. Most notably, the 57 participating States agreed on the appointment of the new Secretary General and heads of independent institutions. This will give the Organization the senior management it needs at the respective challenging times.                                                                                                          

   UNESCO

ALBANIA IN UNESCO

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was set up on 16 November 1945. UNESCO’s main mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. Its moto is to avoid war and build peace in the mind of men.

Since the Albanian membership in this organization, on October 16, 1958, the spirit of cooperation has been constant and focused in all four areas of the Organization’s activity, namely education, science, culture and communication. Relations with UNESCO have always been characterized by a constant spirit of cooperation and are long-lasting and have proved very useful and productive. Despite the tight restrictions imposed by the dictatorship during the communist regime, the interaction with UNESCO helped in our efforts to fight illiteracy and pull the country out of the rooted underdevelopment.

After the change in the political system in Albania, the cooperation with the organization has encouraged qualitative education, preservation of cultural heritage, citizenship education, freedom of expression, establishment and functioning of civil society and the protection of human rights. Over the last three decades, cultural, environmental and spiritual assets with unquestionable universal values have been included in the various UNESCO programs.

The cooperation and interaction between Albania and UNESCO are multisectoral and coherent with national development priorities and meet joined efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Objectives. In this context, the country’s’ priorities reflected in the National Strategy on Economic and Social Development and the action plans that have been implemented on Albania’s EU membership process are taken into account to reaffirm the humanist missions of education, science and culture.

Albania is present in the World Heritage List with Butrint (1992), and Historical centers of Gjirokastra (2005) and Berat (2008) and Ancient Forests of Rrajca and Gashi River (2017);
In the Intangible Cultural Heritage List, Albania is represented with Iso – polyphony (2005);
while in the Memory of the World List, with the Purple Codices of Berat (2005);
In the Biosphere Reserve of the Human and Biosphere Reserve, our country has registered Prespa – Ohrid Basin as a biosphere cross-border reserve (along with North Macedonia).

During the General Conference of UNESCO, held in November 2017, Albania was elected for the third time as member of the Executive Board for the term 2017-2021, the highest executive structure of the organization.

In the same year, Albania was elected a member of the 1970 Convention Committee on Illegal Cultural Property Trafficking and Chairman of the Committee for the period 2017-2018. It was elected Vice-President of the Culture Committee of the General Conference, President of the Special Committee of the Executive Council; and of the Bureau of the Executive Council.

In 2019, Albania joined North Macedonia in inscribing in the World Heritage List the part in its territory as part of the property: “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region”.

Albania is also a member of the United for Heritage Friends Group, for gender equality, for preventing violent extremism through education and journalists’ safety.

Over years, Albania and UNESCO have cooperated very closely in various programmes in the field of education, which have contrinuted to implement national policies and projcts, through strategic documents, expertise and recommendations in the analysis of the education system and the elaboration of long-term strategies for the development of policies for the pre-university and professional education. Education remains a key priority on the new global development agenda being formed by the international community. Climate change, declining biodiversity, and increasing demands for natural resources require more science and more scientists to increase our capacity to observe and understand the planet. Culture, a force for dialogue, social cohesion, economic growth and creativity, remains at the heart of UNESCO’s mission. UNESCO is determined that it should be a priority on the post-2015 agenda, which should be based on human rights, with a focus on governance and the rule of law.

Albania maintains that the world today needs UNESCO, for its experience, accumulated knowledge and its contribution to countering populism, divisions of any kinds and the preservation of cultural diversity and enrichment as an important part of the multilateral world. It is therefore essential that, in this age of great social change and growing constraints, UNESCO and its member countries invest in renewable resources, education, cultural diversity, scientific research – in the boundless energy of human intelligence – to enable and foster essential development for a just and sustainable future. This is one of the main commitments of Albania in UNESCO.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Albania and the Council of Europe

Albania has functioned as a pluralistic parliamentary democracy since spring elections of 1991. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe sent for the first time observers to this election. Based on the conclusions of the observer mission and the subsequent political developments, the Albanian parliament was granted the status of ‘special guests’ to the Parliamentary Assembly of CoE, on November 25, 1991.

From April 1991 to September 1993 eight constitutional laws were adopted thus improving the legal framework for the development of democracy. These laws provided the construction of a parliamentary republic and settled the foundation for the division of powers. Likewise, the laws provided a list of human rights and fundamental freedoms, based on consultation with international experts.

Albania applied to join the Council of Europe on 4 May 1992. By Resolution (92) 9 of 21 May 1992, the Committee of Ministers asked the Parliamentary Assembly to give an opinion, in accordance with Statutory Resolution (51) 30 A.

Starting from May 1992 the reporters of Monitoring Committee of the Assembly held several successive visits to the country. In January 1993 started the implementation of a joint program, co-organized by the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the fields of human rights and the rule of law. Furthermore assistance was even oriented in the drafting of civil and criminal codes as well as of their respective code of procedures. On 23 March 1995 an agreement was reached on a new joint Committee between the European Commission and the Council of Europe concerning another joint program on the reform in the legal system.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe evaluated that Albania, in terms of Article 4 of the Statute, was capable and willing to fulfill the conditions for membership to the Council of Europe, as defined in Article 3 which states that: ‘Any member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and the principle that any person within its jurisdiction enjoy the same human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively to the fulfillment of its goals”.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe trusted that Albania shall interpret the commitments taken fully in line with those defined in paragraphs 13 and 16 of its Statute, so it expressed a favorable Opinion in 1995, by accepting the request for membership forwarded by the Albanian authorities.

The thirteen commitments of Opinion 189 (1995) of Parliamentary Assembly settled the basis of obligations and engagements undertaken by the Albanian government with regard to the Council of Europe membership. So far Albania has almost met all of them.

Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of Albania (May 23 to November 9, 2012)

The Republic of Albania chaired the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for the first time since its membership in the second 6-month period of 2012 (May, 23 – November, 9). To support and promote the fundamental values ​​of the organization, the Albanian Presidency was focused on the following priorities:

  • Promoting sustainable democratic societies;
  • Strengthening the local and regional democracy;
  • Strengthening the rule of law in Europe;
  • Bringing forward the political reform of the organization;
  • Guaranteeing the long term effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Guaranteeing the protection and promotion of human rights;
  • Stimulating intra- and inter-institutional dialogue.
  • Promoting sustainable democratic societies;

The guiding motto of the Albanian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers was ‘United in diversity’, thus considering diversity not only as an important asset of European democratic societies, but also as a valuable element lying at the foundation of the Albanian tradition.

Programmatic Cooperation Document between Albania and the Council of Europe

The Cooperation Document is a strategic and sectorial instrument that allows for access to a comprehensive and contemporary cooperation and aims to support the country in meeting its obligations in accordance with European standards in the field of human rights, rule of law and democracy. Main areas in the document include the political priorities of the country (including the criteria for EU membership), the standards and recommendations of the CoE monitoring bodies as well as previous experience of the implementation of cooperation programs between the CoE and Albania.

The Cooperation Document covers the following areas:

  • Ensuring Justice
  • Fighting Corruption, Economic Crime and Organized Crime
  • Freedom of Expression and Information Society
  • Anti-discrimination, Respect for Human Rights and Social Inclusion
  • Democratic Governance and Participation

The first Cooperation Document covered the period 2012-2014 and the second one was for the period 2015-2017.

Cooperation between Albania and the Council of Europe under Joint Program Horizontal Facility II

The European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility II) 2019-2022 is a co-operation initiative of the European Union and Council of Europe for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It is one of the results of the Statement of Intent signed on 1 April 2014 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, in which both Organisations agreed to further strengthen their co-operation in key areas of joint interest.

The first phase of the programme included various Beneficiary-specific and regional initiatives from 2016 to 2019. The second phase of the programme (worth €41 million between 2019 and 2022) keeps building on the results of the phase I and broadens the thematic areas to new topics crucial for the Western Balkans region and Turkey – freedom of expression and media.

The Horizontal Facility enables Albania as a beneficiary to meet its reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, including where relevant within the framework of the EU enlargement process. The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the Beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.

Themes covered by the Horizontal Facility include:

  • ensuring justice;
  • fighting economic crime;
  • Combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups (including LGBTI, minorities and Roma) and
  • Freedom of expression and freedom of the media;
  • Constitutional issues, falling within the area of competence of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission).

During the first phase seven beneficiary-specific actions for Albania, with a total budget of EUR 4.75 million namely:

  • Enhancing the quality of the prisons services.
  • Supporting effective domestic remedies to prevent violations of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Strengthening the quality and efficiency of judical services
  • Fighting economic crime
  • Fighting bullying and extremism in the education system
  • Preventing and combating discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Strengthening the protection of persons belonging to national minorities

All Horizontal Facility actions address cross-cutting issues such as gender mainstreaming, protection of minorities and vulnerable groups and foresee the engagement of civil society organisations in the implementation of the Horizontal Facility.

More information can be found on the following the links:

https://www.coe.int/sq/web/about-us/who-we-are

 

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/albania

 

https://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/horizontal-facility

                                                                                OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN VIENNA

Albania and IAEA

Albania has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since its creation on 29 July 1957. IAEA consists of three main organisms: the Board of Governors, the General Conference and the Secretariat. The Board of Governors is composed of 35 member states, 10 of which are permanent (mainly the countries that have the most advanced nuclear technology). The temporary members are elected by the General Conference every two years, according to geographical criteria. The Republic of Albania has been member of the Board of Governors from September 2007 to September 2009. The activities of the IAEA focus on three main areas:

  • Radiation protection and safety of nuclear materials;
  • Nuclear science and technology;
  • Nuclear inspection and verification.

In 2004, the IAEA created the Cancer Therapy Programme, which helps countries exercise, expand and improve radiotherapy against cancer. The cooperation between Albania and IAEA has been important and successful. The priorities of Albania in this area are mainly linked to the use of nuclear technology in medicine for the early stage diagnosis of different diseases, the treatment of cancer through radiation, the protection of employees and patients from radiation, fight against illegal trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials.

Currently, Albania and IAEA have drafted the national framework Programme, which constitutes the 5 year strategy on technical cooperation with the Agency, for the period 2018-2022, focusing in the fields of nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and physical medicine, natural and medical resources, food and agriculture, environment, radiation protection and nuclear safety.

In compliance with the nuclear inspection and verification, the Agency treats important issues with regards to global developments, such as issues related to Islamic Republic of Iran, Syrian Arab Republic and the Democratic Republic of North Korea.

Albania and UNIDO

 

The United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) was established in 1966 and consists of 170 member states. UNIDO aims to support industrial development in order to improve the quality of life in developing countries. UNIDO operates through three main organs: the General Conference, the Industrial Development Board (IDB), and the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC).

Albania’s successful cooperation with UNIDO dates back to 1971, with an excellent track record of results. UNIDO’s portfolio in Albania has been dominated by technical activities related to meeting the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on OSDs. Attempts to diversify the focus were successful through the pursuit of activities on cleaner production under the One UN Programme, private sector development, investment promotion and others. In the past, UNIDO has implemented around 50 projects (national and regional) amounting to over US$ 5.5 million.

Albania has been a member of the UNIDO since 19 April 1988. In June 2009, the cooperation of Albania with UNIDO was implemented in the framework of the “One UN’ project, which was focused on two main projects: the “Pure Production” Project and the “Ozone Project”. Currently, Albania in cooperation with UNIDO has drafted the implementation of the 2018-2022 national programme which is dedicated to development activities in three components:

  • Industrial competitiveness and market access;
  • Productive employment and entrepreneurship development;
  • Sustainable energy for productive use and environmental management.

 

In this regard, UNIDO implements five technical assistance projects (national and regional) amounting to over US$ 2 million, in the field of energy and the environment with funding from Austria, Slovenia, the Montreal Protocol, GEF, One UN and UNIDO. The target areas include biomass for productive use of SMEs, efficient and cleaner resource production, HCFC phase-out, ODS alternatives, as well as ozone safe alternative technologies.

 

Albania and UNODC

 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the leading organization on the global fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNODC was established in 1997 and operates in all regions of the world through a vast network of field offices. It relies on voluntary contributions, mostly from governments, for 90% of its budget and assists member states in the fight against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. The UNODC country program is based on the following pillars:

  • Technical cooperation projects to increase member states’ capacities to combat illicit drugs, crime and terrorism;
  • Research and studies to expand knowledge about drugs and crime issues;
  • Normative support for member states in the ratification and implementation of international treaties;
  • The development of domestic legislation in the field of drugs, crime and terrorism.

Albania’s co-operation with UNODC focuses on the implementation of the Regional Program for Southeast Europe. As part of this program, the Joint Container Control Center has been implemented in the Port of Durres and a number of projects are being implemented for the prevention, treatment and care of drug addicts. In the current programming period, 2016-2019, the Regional Programme has been working on the basis of general United Nations principles and policies, most notably the SDGs, and in line with UNODC’s mandate and approaches. Through three Sub-Programmes, the 2016-2019 Regional Programme addressed strategic themes related to the rule of law; good governance (especially in the areas of organized crime and trafficking in drugs, human beings and goods); countering money-laundering; preventing and curbing corruption; supporting the development of national drug and crime policies and strategies and their implementation plans, in line with EU requirements under Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU acquis; and on drug prevention, treatment and care, in line with EU requirements under Chapter 28 of the EU acquis. All three Sub-Programmes are grounded in a gender-responsive and human rights-based approach and they include:

  • Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime;
  • Strengthening Criminal Justice, Integrity and Legal Cooperation;
  • Enhancing substance use prevention, drug use disorders treatment, and reintegration and care.

Albania and CTBTO

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization is not established yet, because the treaty has not been ratified by states that have been defined as nuclear powers or potential nuclear power. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was first introduced directly to the U.N. General Assembly, where it was adopted on 10 September 1996 and it includes three core provisions:

  • Prohibition of all nuclear explosions anywhere, by anyone;
  • Entry into force: the CTBT will enter into force after it has been signed and ratified by all the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty;
  • The establishment of a global verification regime, including the 337-facility-strong International Monitoring System (IMS) and an on-site inspection regime.

Meanwhile, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Provisional Technical Secretariat, meant to help the Commission in implementing its duties, is set in Vienna. The Preparatory Commission was created in 1996 and Albania its member since that year, on 27 September 1996.Albania has ratified the Treaty on 23 April 2003 and continously joins the calls of the international community for its entry into force as soon as possible. Currently, the Republic of Albania is cooperating with CTBTO in facilitating the capacity building of the Geoscience Institution in the Polytechnic University of Tirana and the Institute for Nuclear Physics on training projects related to National Database Centre.

Albania and IACA

The International Anti-Corruption Academy is a new international organization based in Laxenburg, Austria. This is the first global institution of its kind and works for the overcoming of knowledge and practical shortcomings in the field of anti-corruption and the empowerment of experts, in order to face the challenges of tomorrow. The Academy represents a new educational and research approach in the field of anti-corruption. It offers special courses for professionals, academic curricula, and technical support for a large range of actors. Upon the initiative of UNODC, OLAF, the Republic of Austria and other actors, IACA was transformed into an international organization on 8 March 2011. To this day, 64 states and three international organizations have become members of IACA. Albania signed the accession agreement on 20 September 2010 and ratified it on 21 September 2011. The Albanian Government is interested in profiting as much as possible from IACA’s expertise and technical support.

International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. The Constitution of the ILO was drafted in early 1919 by the Labour Commission, chaired by Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labour (AFL) in the United States. It was composed of representatives from nine countries: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. ILO amended its Constitution in 1986 and to enter into force the Amendments must be ratified or accepted by two thirds of ILO Member States including at least five of the 10 Members of chief industrial importance.

ILO is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace. Today, ILO’s Decent Work agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.

The only U.N. tripartite agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. The unique tripartite structure of the ILO gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.

With permanent presence in the country since 2002 and assistance through the Decent Work Country Programs (DWCP), the ILO supports the country in overcoming the challenges. The current DWCP 2017-2021 focuses on job creation, social protection, and improved social dialogue. Albania has ratified 54 ILO Conventions including the eight Fundamental Conventions, the four Governance Conventions and 42 Technical Conventions.

ILO’s current development cooperation projects focus on reviving the National Labour Council as a dialogue platform on labour and social policies, promoting out-of-court labour dispute resolutions, extending public employment services to vulnerable groups, and improving the State Labour Inspectorate’s capability to monitor occupational health and safety standards in the workplace.

 

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system, and adheres to the UN values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity. The Constitution was adopted at the International Health Conference held in New York from 19 June – 22 July 1946, signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States and entered into force on 7April 1948, a date celebrated every year as World Health Day.

Furthermore, the values of the WHO workforce reflect the principles of human rights, universality and equity established in WHO’s Constitution as well as the ethical standards of the Organization. WHO is working in 150 country offices, in six regional offices and at the headquarters in Geneva.

WHO member states are grouped into Six regions. Each region has a regional office as follows:

  • Regional Office for Africa;
  • Regional Office for Americas;
  • Regional Office for South East Asia;
  • Regional Office for Europe;
  • Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean;
  • Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

The WHO Country Office supports the Government of Albania to shape its health policy in line with WHO’s principles and values and advocates for an integrated approach to health development. By means of a single, unified and functionally integrated country representation, WHO facilitates the implementation of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) with the Government of Albania and its corresponding country work plan. WHO Country Office in Albania provides leadership in health, coordinates partnership in health and all health-related activities  with all stakeholders in health sector. WHO helps the country to improve its health system and provides technical support, as necessary. The WHO country office administers, consolidates, manages and enhances WHO collaboration in the country including all resources deployed in the country either permanently or temporarily to maximize WHO impact. The Country Office also has a representational, fund-raising and resource mobilization for health function, as needed.

                                                                                                   International Organization on Migration

 

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 173 member states, and eight states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as the right of freedom of movement. IOM’s nine Regional Offices oversee, plan, coordinate and support IOM activities within the region. The Regional Offices are responsible for project review and endorsement and provide technical support to Country Offices, particularly in the area of project development.

IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:

  • Migration and development;
  • Facilitation migration;
  • Regulating migration;
  • Forced

The International Organization for Migration has been operationally present in Albania since 1992, while Albania became an IOM member state in 1993. IOM actively contributes to the implementation of the GoA – UN Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2017-2021 and supported the development of the National Strategy on Migration Governance 2019-2022, in line with the Migration Governance Framework.

International Committee of the Red Cross

Established in 1843, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence. It was on the ICRC’s initiative that States adopted the original Geneva Convention of 1864. Since then, the ICRC, with the support of the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, has constantly urged governments to adapt international humanitarian law to changing circumstances, in particular to modern developments in the means and methods of warfare, so as to provide more effective protection and assistance for conflict victims. The work of the ICRC is based on the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Over three-quarters of all States are currently party to the two 1977 additional Protocols of the Conventions. Protocol I protects the victims of international armed conflicts, Protocol II the victims of non-international armed conflicts. In particular, these treaties have codified the rules protecting the civilian population against the effects of hostilities. Additional Protocol III of 2005 allows for the use of an additional emblem – the Red Crystal – by national societies.

Albanian Red Cross is the oldest humanitarian association in Albania. It was established on October 4, 1921, and was officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1923. Since this year it is a member of the Federation (then the League) of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, being the 38th association founded up to that time. In this way, the Albanian Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which today has 187 associations around the world. Pursuant to Article 1 of Law No. 7864 on the Albanian Red Cross, approved by the Albanian Parliament on 29 September 1994, the Albanian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian association that operates independently on the basis of the fundamental principles of The International Humanitarian Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 – ratified by the Republic of Albania on 27 May 1957 – and the Additional Protocols of 10 June 1977 – ratified by the Republic of Albania on 16 June 1993.

UNHCR

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. As humanitarian crises have become more and more complex, UNHCR has expanded both the number and type of organizations it works with. UNHCR is also committed to working closer with other agencies through the “Delivering as One” initiative, which aims at improving cooperative UN action in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment. Additionally, UNHCR embraced the so-called “cluster approach” to IDP (internally displaced people) emergencies, whereby different agencies take the lead in their area of expertise while working together to help those in need. UNHCR takes the lead for protection and shelter needs, and camp coordination and management. UNHCR recognizes that efforts to protect refugees cannot be pursued in isolation from broader trends, policies and practices shaping global mobility. It also recognizes that people under its mandate – including asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons – are directly affected by migration policies and processes, particularly when they engage in mixed movements. UNHCR therefore strives to engage with migration issues that affect refugees and other persons under its mandate, including asylum-seekers, internally displaced people and stateless people. In certain circumstances, the General Assembly has asked UNHCR to contribute with its expertise to processes that relate to migration. With this in mind, UNHCR focusses broadly on:

  • Seeking to ensure that migration-management policies, practices and debates take into account the particular protection needs of asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless people, and acknowledge the legal framework that exists to meet those needs;
  • Assisting States and partners to meet asylum and migration-management challenges in a manner that is sensitive to protection concerns;
  • Identifying migration, trafficking and related developments impacting on persons under UNHCR’s mandate; and
  • Supporting stronger governance and closer observance of the universal character of human rights, including the rights of all persons on the move, regardless of their legal status, in ways that reinforce the principles and practice of international refugee protection.

To support these aims, UNHCR collects and analyses data and trends, develops policy and guidance, implements programmes and provides operational support to governments and other stakeholders on mixed movements and related issues such as trafficking in persons and protection at sea.

In Albania, UNHCR works closely with the Directorate for Asylum and Border and Migration Police to strengthen access to asylum and provision of safeguards during status determination procedures, particularly access to information and legal representation. Access to territory and asylum, issuance of documentation and the development of a national action plan on asylum in line with international and EU standards are the protection priorities of the office. UNHCR is maintaining an increased presence at the southern border, both directly and through partners, to enhance its border monitoring capacity, promote coordination of relevant actors at local and national levels and improve identification and referrals of persons with specific needs in the context of mixed arrivals of migrants and refugees.

Human Rights Bodies

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) works to offer the best expertise and support to the different human rights monitoring mechanisms in the United Nations system: UN Charter-based bodies, including the Human Rights Council, and bodies created under the international human rights treaties and made up of independent experts mandated to monitor State parties’ compliance with their treaty obligations. Most of these bodies receive secretariat support from the Human Rights Council and Treaties Division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

OHCHR

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations. The High Commissioner heads OHCHR and spearheads the United Nations’ human rights efforts. On September 1, 2018 Ms. Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. UN Human Rights provides assistance in the form of technical expertise and capacity-development in order to support the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground. It assists governments, which bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights, to fulfil their obligations and supports individuals to claim their rights. Moreover, it speaks out objectively on human rights violations.

UN Human Rights is part of the United Nations Secretariat, with a staff of some 1300 people and its headquarters in Geneva, as well as an office in New York. It has field presences that comprise regional and country/stand-alone offices.

The Geneva-based headquarters has three substantive divisions:

  • Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division (TESPRDD),
  • Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (CTMD),
  • Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD),

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Albania has a continuing relationship with the Office of the High Commissioner. In March 2018 a meeting was held between the vice. High Commissioner and Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Albania where the cooperation between our country and OHCHR was reconfirmed. MEFA has decided to contribute financially to the Office of the Commissioner for 2018, as a positive signal for the prospect of cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner Mrs. Bachelet.

HRC

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, established in 1946 and reporting to the Economic and Social Council, was the key United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for human rights until it was replaced by the Human Rights Council in 2006. The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States, which are elected by the UN General Assembly, responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

Albania, after three years as a member of the HRC 2015-2017, currently with the status of observer has managed to maintain a high level of representation thanks to a positive coordination and a new dynamic of organizing and overseeing the activities of the HRC. During the HRC Session37, in the High Level Segment, our country was represented at the level of the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. The Mission in cooperation with D-ON has prepared national statements for each of the three sessions of the HRC as well as for the Extraordinary Session in May 2018, as well as for the three sessions for the year 2019. Albania has prioritized issues of interest such as the death penalty, women’s rights, children’s rights, extreme violence etc.

The Mission of the Republic of Albania to Geneva has conducted informal negotiations on behalf of the delegation of the Republic of Albania and in cooperation with D-ON has taken initiatives to guarantee Albania’s active role in the process of enhancing efficiency and reforming the HRC. The Mission, in cooperation with the MEFA, and based on our country’s priorities related to respect and promotion of human rights, continues to make statements in national capacity throughout HRC sessions.

Based on the instructions from the MEFA, the Mission has aligned with the EU Declarations and had an active participation and co-operation with the OIC and OIF in designing and implementing the HRC cooperation procedures.

UPR

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. The UPR also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe. Currently, no other mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR was established when the Human Rights Council was created on 15 March 2006 by the UN General Assembly in resolution 60/251. This mandated the Council to “undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfilment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States”. On 18 June 2007, one year after its first meeting, members of the new Council agreed to its institution-building package (A/HRC/RES/5/1) providing a road map guiding the future work of the Council. We are currently in the third cycle of UPR: Third cycle (2017-2021); Second cycle (2012-2016); First cycle (2008-2011). During the first cycle, all UN Member States have been reviewed, – with 48 States reviewed each year. The second cycle, which officially started in May 2012 with the 13th session of the UPR Working Group, will see 42 States reviewed each year. The reviews take place during the sessions of the UPR Working Group (see below) which meets three times a year. The order of review remains the same as in the first cycle and the number of States reviewed at each session is now 14 instead of 16.

During the UPR sessions for the last years 2018-2019, Albania has intervened in national capacity focusing on the requirements for the implementation of international conventions related mainly to Human Rights and our country’s priorities in the field of human rights. At the same time, the interventions have also promoted the application of Human Rights Conventions in our country. Albania has successfully reported during the UPR33 Third Cycle Working Group, in May 2019. The final report on Albania was adopted during the HRC42 session in September 2019.

 UN Special Procedures

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 August 2017, there are 44 thematic and 12 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.

Albania has a very good cooperation with UN Special Procedures. It follows up in collaboration with the OHCHR Secretariat of SP, individual complaints cases against Albania, and Special Rapporteurs’ questionnaires according to the themes required by the Rapporteurs.

Human rights treaty bodies

There are 9 core international human rights instruments. Each of these instruments has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns whereas the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture establishes a committee of experts. The human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. Each State party to a treaty has an obligation to take steps to ensure that everyone in the State can enjoy the rights set out in the treaty.

Currently, there are nine human rights international treaties, and one optional protocol, from which 10 treaty bodies have been established. The treaty bodies are composed of independent experts of recognized competence in human rights, who are nominated and elected for fixed renewable terms of four years by State parties.

Albania has a very good cooperation with Treaty Bodies and has reported on CERD and CED in 2018, as well as on CMW and CRPD in 2019. Our country was represented at a high level during these reporting. Furthermore, our country has international experts selected in some of these Committees, one of which CED is headed by the Albanian expert for the period 2015-2019. Finally, Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, held in Geneva on 3 October 2019, was chaired by the Ambassador of Albania Ms. Ravesa Lleshi.

The treaty bodies meet in Geneva, Switzerland. All the treaty bodies receive support from the Human Rights Treaties Division of OHCHR in Geneva.

In addition, Albania has ratified all documents related to treaty Bodies, see list:

COUNTRY
Treaty Description
Treaty Name
Signature Date
Ratification Date, Accession(a), Succession(d) Date
Albania Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CAT 11 May 1994 (a)
Albania Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture CAT-OP 01 Oct 2003 (a)
Albania International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights CCPR 04 Oct 1991 (a)
Albania Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming to the abolition of the death penalty CCPR-OP2-DP 17 Oct 2007 (a)
Albania Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance CED 06 Feb 2007 08 Nov 2007
Albania Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW 11 May 1994 (a)
Albania International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination CERD 11 May 1994 (a)
Albania International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights CESCR 04 Oct 1991 (a)
Albania International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families CMW 05 Jun 2007 (a)
Albania Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC 26 Jan 1990 27 Feb 1992
Albania Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict CRC-OP-AC 09 Dec 2008 (a)
Albania Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography CRC-OP-SC 05 Feb 2008 (a)
Albania Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD 22 Dec 2009 11 Feb 2013

The Inter Parliamentary Union

The IPU facilitates parliamentary diplomacy and empowers parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development around the world. The work of IPU revolves around eight strategic objectives: building strong democratic parliaments; advancing gender equality and respect for women’s rights; protecting and promoting human rights; contributing to peace-building, conflict resolution and security; promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue and cooperation; promoting youth empowerment; mobilizing parliaments around the global development agenda; bridging the democracy gap in global governance. The IPU’s 130th anniversary takes place on 30 June 2019, on the International Day of Parliamentarism.

Albania has an excellent co-operation with the IPU, which consists of, among other things, high-level participation during the sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly, which are held mainly in Geneva. During Assembly work, the delegations of our country hold bilateral meetings with delegations from different countries of the world also participating in the IPU Assembly.

ALBANIA IN THE UINTED NATIONS ORGANIZATION

The United Nations Organization (UN) is the largest international organization in the world, with the main purposes to maintain peace and security, develop relations among nations, foster cooperation between nations to solve economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian international problems and provide a forum for bringing countries together to meet the UN’s purposes and goals. It was founded shortly after the World War II, on 24 October 1945, with an aim to enable dialogue between the countries of the world, due to its unique international character and take action on the issues confronting humanity.

During the Cold War, the UN has played a major role in reducing conflicts in a polarized world. Despite major changes in the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall and contemporary challenges facing the international community the UN has been able to maintain its authority amid the difficulties. In an increasingly fragmented world, the need for a stronger UN advancing and pushing for multilateralism is more crucial than ever.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shed a new light on humanity’s need for a strengthened multilateral system, based on the principles and ideals enshrined in the UN Charter and the international law. Albania remains committed to uphold the charter of the UN convinced that a rule based international order with effective multilateral institutions is the best way to address the global challenges we face to ensure stability, security, and respect for human rights, development and prosperity. Albania will continue to work with like-minded countries and partners to support and further strengthen the United Nations, as the cornerstone of the multilateral system.

Undoubtedly, Albania’s accession to the United Nations on December 14, 1955, constitutes a historical landmark. Shortly after joining the UN, Albania participated actively in the work of UN organs and specialized agencies. Looking back on 65 years of our UN Membership we have good reasons to be proud that Albania has done its part and played a constructive role in the service of International Peace and Security, Human Rights and Development. Albania holds permanent diplomatic missions at the UN headquarters in New York and the UN Offices in Geneva and Vienna.

Albania has been actively supporting the UN peacekeeping efforts. It takes part in several UN peacekeeping operations by contributing with troops, military and police observers as well as contributing with funds to the budget of peacekeeping operations. In June 2019, Albania sent for the first time two women peacekeepers in an UN Peacekeeping operation in South Sudan.

Albania was twice elected member of ECOSOC for the period 2005-07 and the period 2013-15. During 2013 Albania has also contributed to ECOSOC as the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council.

Albania is part of the “One UN” pilot country that is implementing the reform of the United Nations. The international conference “Delivering as One”, held in Tirana from 27-29 June 2012, praised Albania’s experience in this regard.

Since January 2011, Albania is a member of the Executive Board of UN-HABITAT. Albania was elected in April 2011 to the UNICEF Executive Board for the term 2012 -2014 and the UNEP Executive Board for the period 2012-15. Albania concluded a successful mandate in the Human Rights Council for the period 2015-2017. Albania is a member of the Women’s Status Committee (CSW) for the period 2016-2019.

Albania signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement on April 22, 2016, ratified it on July 14, 2016, and deposited the instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General in September 2016, becoming one of the 55 first states undertaking this step. Since November 2016, this agreement is in force for Albania.

Albania is committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030, and is among the few countries in the world, part of the UN pilot program, for the implementation of Objective 16 “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The interrelation between the Albania’s EU integration and development goals with the SDG’s targets is so obvious that there are depicted 134 SDG targets (79% of SDG targets) which match together. Albania was elected to the Executive Board of UNICEF for the term 2012 -2014.

Albania has embraced the Global Partnership, designed to make a strong contribution to the attainment of Agenda 2030 and is fully committed to implement the Agenda 2030 in the context of the National Strategy for Development and Integration and the European Integration process.

In July 2018, during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), Albania submitted, for the first time, the Voluntary National Review (VNR), which presented the steps undertaken by the Government of Albania in the framework of the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the progress made in this regard.

Albania served as a member of the UNDP / UNFPA / UNOPS Executive Board, for the term 2016-2019. Albania’s Permanent Representative to the UN served as vice-President for two consecutive terms (in 2018 and 2019), representing the Easter European Group in the Bureau of the Board. During its mandate, Albania has been mainly focused on negotiating the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan for these agencies and the reform of the UN developing system.

In June 2020, Albania (Permanent Representative) has been elected Vice-President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, thus, getting itself, as well, a seat in the Committee of Conferences for 2021. This is the second time, Albania takes over such an important seat on behalf of the Eastern European Group.

Albania has submitted its candidature for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council, for the period 2022-2023. Albania’s bid for membership in the most important body of the UN is a major goal of Albanian foreign policy and a testimony of our commitment to multilateralism. If elected to serve as a non-permanent country to the SC of UNO, Albania stands ready to offer its contribution in service to peace and security, human rights and sustainable international development.

ALBANIA’S COOPERATION WITH THE OTHER INTERNATIUONAL INSTITUTIONS

Albania and IAEA/ANEA

Albania has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA/ANEA) since its inception on July 29th, 1957. IAEA consists of three main bodies: the Board of Governors, the General Conference and the Secretariat. The Board of Governors is made up of 35 member states, 10 of which are permanent (mainly countries with the most advanced nuclear technology). Temporary, the members are elected by the General Conference, every two years, according to geographical criteria. The Republic of Albania has been a member of the Board of Governors from September 2007 to September 2009. IAEA activities focus on three main areas:

  • Radiation protection and safety of nuclear materials
  • Nuclear Science and Technology
  • Nuclear inspection and verification

In 2004, IAEA established the Cancer Therapy Program, which helps countries practice, expand and improve radiotherapy against cancer. The cooperation between Albania and IAEA has been important and successful. Albania’s priorities in this area are mainly related to the use of nuclear technology in medicine for the early stage of diagnosis of various diseases, treatment of cancer through radiation, protection of employees and patients from radiation, fight against illegal trafficking of radioactive materials and nuclear materials.

Currently, Albania and IAEA have drafted the National Framework Program, which is the 5-year strategy of technical cooperation with the Agency, for the period 2018-2022, with a focus on the fields of nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and physical medicine, natural and medical resources, food and agriculture, environment, radiation protection and nuclear safety.

Albania and UNIDO

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was established in 1966 and consists of 170 member states. UNIDO aims to support industrial development in order to improve the quality of life in developing countries. UNIDO operates through three main bodies: the General Conference, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and the Program and Budget Committee (PBC).

The successful cooperation of Albania with UNIDO dates back to 1971, with an excellent record of results. The UNIDO portfolio in Albania is dominated by technical activities related to meeting the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on OSD. Efforts to diversify the focus were successful by pursuing cleaner production activities under One UN Program, private sector development, investment promotion, and others. In the past, UNIDO has implemented about 50 projects (national and regional) worth over US $ 5.5 million.

Albania has been a member of UNIDO since 19 April 1988. In June 2009, Albania’s cooperation with UNIDO was implemented under the “One UN” project, which focused on two main projects: the “Clean Production” project and The Ozone Project. Currently, Albania in cooperation with UNIDO have drafted the implementation of the national program 2018-2022 which is dedicated to development activities in three areas:

  • Industrial competition and market entry;
  • Productive employment and entrepreneurship development;
  • Sustainable energy for productive use and environmental management.

In this regard, UNIDO implements five technical assistance projects (national and regional) worth over US $ 2 million, in the field of energy and environment with funding from Austria, Slovenia, the Montreal Protocol, GEF, One UN and UNIDO. Target areas include biomass for productive use of SMEs, resource efficient and cleaner production, HCFC completion, ODS alternatives, and safe ozone alternative technologies.

Albania and UNODC

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the leading organization in the global fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNODC was established in 1997 and operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices. It relies on voluntary contributions, mainly from governments, for 90% of its budget and assists member countries in the fight against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. The UNODC country program is based on the following pillars:

  • Area of technical cooperation projects to enhance member countries’ capabilities in combating illicit drugs, crime and terrorism;
  • Research and studies to expand knowledge about drugs and crime issues;
  • Normative support for member states in the ratification and implementation of international treaties;
  • Development of domestic legislation in the field of drugs, crime and terrorism.

Albania’s cooperation with UNODC focuses on the implementation of the Regional Program for Southeast Europe. As part of this program, the Joint Control Center has been implemented in the Port of Durres and a number of projects are being implemented for the prevention, treatment and care of drug addicts. In the current programming period, 2016-2019, the Regional Program has worked on the basis of the general principles and policies of the United Nations, in particular the SDGs, and in line with the mandate and approaches of the UNODC.

Through three sub-programs, the Regional Program 2016-2019 addressed strategic topics related to the rule of law; good governance (especially in the areas of organized crime and trafficking in drugs, human beings and goods); money laundering counteraction; preventing and curbing corruption; supporting the development of national drugs and crime policies and strategies and their implementation plans, in line with EU requirements, in accordance with Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU acquis communautaire; and for the prevention, treatment and care of medicinal products, in accordance with EU requirements under Chapter 28 of the EU acquis communautaire. All three sub-programs are based on a gender-responsive and human rights approach and include:

  • The fight against illicit drug trafficking and transnational organized crime;
  • Strengthening Criminal Justice, Integrity and Legal Cooperation;
  • Improving substance use prevention, treatment of drug use disorders, reintegration and care.

Albania and CTBTO

The organization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has not yet been established because the treaty has not been ratified by states that have been designated as nuclear power or potential nuclear power. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was first introduced directly to the UN General Assembly, where it was adopted on September 10, 1996, and includes three key provisions:

  • Prohibition of all nuclear explosions anywhere, by anyone;
  • Entry into force: The CTBT will enter into force after being signed and ratified by all 44 states listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty;
  • Establish a global verification regime, including the International Monitoring System (IMS) with 337 facilities and an on-site inspection regime.

Meanwhile, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Interim Technical Secretariat, which aim to assist the Commission in carrying out its tasks, are based in Vienna. The Preparatory Commission was established in 1996 and Albania became a member since this year, on 27 September 1996. Albania ratified the Treaty on 23 April 2003 and has consistently joined the calls of the international community for its entry into force as soon as possible. Currently, the Republic of Albania is cooperating with CTBTO in facilitating the capacity building of the Geosciences Institution at the Polytechnic University of Tirana and the Institute of Nuclear Physics in training projects related to the National Database Center.

ALBANIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD SECURITY ENFORCMENT

Albania and the Fight against Terrorism

The fight against terrorism is considered by the Albanian Government as a national priority, making Albania being ranked among the first countries that, pursuant to UNSC Resolution 2178 (2014), took concrete steps reflected in the national legislation.

More specifically, by amending the Code of the Criminal Procedure, the aim is to strengthen the ability to address the problem of foreign terrorist fighters, by considering illegal and punishable the participation, organization or any incitement to participate in military operations of a foreign country.

Albania remains determined to achieve tangible results and, to mark the progress, it has undertaken the respective steps to review, strengthen and change the current control mechanisms of the terrorist financing and asset freezing for individuals and entities, involved in terrorist activities.

In this context, Albania has signed and ratified all resolutions, conventions and protocols against terrorism, of the UN Security Council and the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.

It should be noted, however, that the measures taken by Albania respect the basic principles of protection of the human rights, especially those of the freedom of expression and information.

Albania participates and is represented with concrete contributions in all activities, the working groups of the Global Coalition D-ISIS, and the forums of international organizations, where Member States exchange best practices related to the implementation of the UN Globdal Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the Action Plan for the Prevention of the Violent Extremism.

Thus, Albania has provided its assistance in the realization of the Regional Platform for the fight against Radicalism and Violent Extremism and the phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Southeast Europe, of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

Albania ranks among those countries which have strongly supported the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) and Action Plan, with the conviction that it would serve as a successful guide in joint efforts in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Increased attention is being paid to the implementation of the effective state policies, not only for the investigation and bringing to justice, but also for the repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the Albanian citizens and their families, who joined the cause of ISIL and have participated in the conflict in Syria. An Inter-Institutional Action Plan for the reception and treatment of Albanian citizens returning from the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq is under implementation, which provides concrete tasks for all Albanian institutions, for medical, psychological, social, economic assistance, and establishment of logistical and human capacities for reception, escort, as well as the measures for their rehabilitation and reintegration.

The Coordination Center for Countering Violent Extremism (hereinafter The CVE Center) since the beginning of the institutional work in 2018 functions and operates in line with the “National Strategy for Combating Violent Extremism”. The focus of the CVE Center in Albania has been primarily directed towards promoting and advancing the focus of the educational role in strengthening peace and national security in the prevention, dis-engagement and rehabilitation / reintegration of the Albanian citizens in countering the phenomena of radicalism and violent extremism that leads to terrorism (VERLT).

Albania and the Disarmament Policies

As a member of NATO and EU candidate, Albania has always encouraged, supported and strengthen its arms control policies, disarmament and non-proliferation, as key elements of Euro-Atlantic and global security, as well.

By Chairing OSCE during the year 2020, Albania encouraged full implementation of all OSCE principles and commitments, to increase military transparency, reduce risks, and rebuild trust in OSCE Participating states.

In close cooperation and coordination with other relevant actors like UN, EU and NATO Partners, Albania will continue to work to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. In this regard, the Republic of Albania attaches great importance to arms control disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and also to export control regimes as means to prevent such proliferation.

Aiming to establish international standards in addressing arms control issues, in line with the provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty, in July 2019, a new law, pertaining to transfers of arms and ammunition was adopted by the Albanian Parliament.

Albania remains focused on disarmament and arms control efforts on all weapons, not only on those considered WMD, but including the small arms and light weapons, too. Albania has approved the National Strategy on SALW (2019-2024) and the Action Plan (2019-2021) and has established the National SALW Commission. It remains engaged to regional and sub-regional cooperation in international transfers of conventional arms.

During the last years Albania has successfully eliminated is chemical weapons arsenal and significantly improved the storage infrastructure, physical security and stockpiling management for the SALW ammunition.

Effective multilateralism, prevention and international cooperation are the three main pillars of Albania’s foreign policy. In this context, Albania promotes the universal adherence to and full implementation of all non-proliferation and disarmament treaties and conventions, in particular the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Albania will remain committed to support the negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, or other nuclear explosive devices.

Convinced that, in addition to actions at the national and regional levels, Albania believes there is a need to strengthen the global approach. In this context, it is particularly underlined the need for compliance with obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1887 (2009), and a call for improved nuclear security for highly radioactive sources.

Albania is devoted to continue the deliberations on issues such as Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, outer space and cybersecurity and counter the threats posed by the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. Also, the implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention is e commimtnet, even during this pandemic time, which has demonstrated the need for cooperation and capacity building in biosecurity/biosafety and the need for solid confidence-building measures.