Former Montenegrin PM vying for UN Secretary-General

Article published on March 8, 2016
Article published on March 8, 2016

On the 15th of January 2016, the Government of Montenegro nominated H.E. Dr. Igor Luksic for the position of Secretary-General of the UN, for which he will be running against 5 other candidates officially endorsed by their Governments.

Previous to his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012, Luksic served as a member of parliament, as Minister of Finance from 2004-2010, Prime Minister from 2010-2012.

After graduating from the University of Montenegro Faculty of Economics in 1998, he obtained his Master and PhD on the topic of transitional economy.

His practical experience includes working as an associate during the implementation of the EU Commission's assistance program (1998-2000) at the MFA, which was followed by the position of international relations advisor for the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). In 2001 he acted as Secretary at the MFA.

In Montenegro he is mostly known as the youngest Minister of Finance. During his mandate, Luksic supervised multiple reforms in the banking and insurance sectors, tax and budget systems, and reforms to state aid and internal audits.

Additionally, Luksic served as the Montenegrin Governor at the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and lead the membership negotiations to the World Trade Organisation.

As Prime minister, Luksic sought to include the civil sector in the work of the Government through the Open Government initiative, promoted the adoption of vocational training to college graduates, initiated the launch of an e-petitions portal, and brokered a number of agreements regulating the relationship between the State and religious communities.

During his mandate as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Montenegro started talks in 20 chapters of its accession negotiation with the EU. Luksic was also an important player in the Montenegro-NATO membership negotiations.

He is dedicated to regional economic cooperation and he has launched the Western Balkans 6 mechanism, supported by the EU Commission. He is also an Associate Professor in Economics and is fluent in English, also speaking Italian, French and German.

Luksic will resign from the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in March 2016 in order to prepare fully for his candidacy. His team will be lead by Milorad Scepanovic, Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the United Nations.

According to current Montengrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, the main reasons for nominating Dr. Luksic for this position were his experience in the public sector and with diplomacy, and his managerial competences. Djukanovic added that Montenegro decided to endorse its candidate after consultation with "affluent UN members".

Whether Dr. Luksic's candidature will be successful depends on the Security Council, which nominates candidates to be approved by the General Assembly. Montenegro has also recently received a NATO membership invitation.

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This article is part of our East Side Stories project. Through fighting the most common clichés levelled at Southern and Eastern Europe, it aims to keep the European idea alive by raising awareness, creating dialogue, exchanging ideas and reporting beyond the mainstream media.