President Vjosa Osmani’s address at the Solemn Session of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of independence

Honourable Speaker of the Assembly Mr. Konjufca,

Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Kurti,

Honourable Ministers,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Distinguished diplomatic representatives of amicable countries,

Honourable former presidents and former prime ministers,

Honourable Rugova family, Jashari family, families of martyrs,

Representatives of security institutions,

Dear citizens of our Republic,


Happy 16th independence anniversary!

It is a great honour for me, on this sixteenth birthday of our Republic, to address you from the pulpit of the temple of democracy, the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, and to congratulate the citizens of our Republic, who, today, with pride and joy celebrate the growth of our beloved Kosovo.

February 17th is our greatest historical achievement, it is a reflection of our ideal, the ideal of our grandparents and great-grandparents, of entire generations over the centuries, to build a free and independent stat, in which freedoms and human rights, peace and harmony are essential to our success. Our new republic is consolidating each and every day, honouring its citizens and their name around the world.

For the citizens of Kosovo, having a state has always been a sacrifice and an ideal. This ideal captured the hearts and, often times, even the lives of entire generations, of our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, our grandparents and great-grandparents, who gave immensely for this land and kept the flame of freedom burning for generations until ours.

Well, we shall extend that further, because freedom means for us the very character of human existence.

Dear citizens,

February 17th, as much as it is a unique date for its historical weight, it is just as much a special date in the emotional plane, standing out as the day that unites us around one cause: love for the Republic and dedication to hallow its name. !

Our journey, marked by challenges and triumphs, is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and is a story that continues to unfold with each and every passing day.

Despite the centuries-old difficulties, we resisted and held our heads high with great pride and determination, not only presenting ourselves as an example of nation-building rooted in democratic values, but also vowing that each new day will find us better than the day before. preliminary.

Sovereign Kosovo is proof of what can be achieved when the invincible will of citizens is united around a common goal.

Therefore, let us rejoice in the happiness brought by the fact that we are now a free people, among free peoples, free citizens, in our country, on our land.

Today, we bow initially to the generations who dedicated themselves to freedom. Let us remember them today. Let us unite our strength, our spirit, in memory of the founding fathers, the men and women, the sons and daughters of this land, who sacrificed everything; who did not give up, despite the fact that history dealt treacherously with them.

It is time to look back and take a look at our journey, the steadfast effort for freedom and remember those who kept alive the ideal of the state and fought for it, from the great visionary and architect of independence, President Ibrahim Rugova, to the example of resistance and human sacrifice, the legendary Commander-in-Chief Adem Jashari. From the delegates of July 2nd to the representatives of the people who declared independence on February 17th. Above all, we remember the martyrs and martyrs of freedom, whose blood is the strongest foundation of our state. This is Kosovo, which never bowed down and kept alive the spirit of freedom and love for the country.

Honourable Members of Parliament,

At the heart of our journey lies the strength of our alliances. Therefore, today in a special way I want to thank our friends – the friends of freedom!

You were with us throughout our journey; when we were denied every right, when we were cruelly oppressed and when we fought for freedom, when we were liberated and when we built our state and our democratic institutions and we have you by our side without any doubt even today in defense of the sovereignty of our borders and our democracy.

Among these alliances, our alliance with the United States of America stands as the most powerful pillar of our statehood, while our journey towards the Euro-Atlantic institutions is irreplaceable. These partnerships, based on mutual respect and common values, have been and remain vital to the development of our state. These alliances remind us that our struggle for freedom, marked by the blood of all those who sacrificed in the most sublime way, is also distinguished by the unsparing and sacred support of those who share with us the common commitment to democracy, sovereignty and dignity. Let us never forget that Kosovo won not only because it had every right, not only because it was on the right side of history, but Kosovo also won because it acted wisely and built vision and alliances based on values.

Dear citizens!

In the life of states, 16 years is not much. However, during these years, Kosovo has developed and strengthened as a new state and has demonstrated democratic culture in the organization of political life and the functioning of democratic institutions.

Our commitment to regional peace and cooperation remains unwavering. In a world increasingly affected by divisions, conflicts and polarizations, we must think how to rise above malicious forces and how to work together to improve the lives of our citizens every day.

Our independence is not just a symbol of our sovereignty, but also a responsibility to continuously contribute to the promotion of democratic values, peace and security in the region and beyond. I wish that our efforts to build and nurture partnerships are always based on the conviction that security and lasting peace do not come alone, but always as a result of joint efforts with friends and allies.

Therefore, let us diligently preserve the spirit of democracy and cooperation on which our Republic was built; to commit at all costs to the preservation of the sovereignty which we are strengthening each day; and to act wisely in the direction of promotion of the values that lie deep in the foundations of our statehood day after day.

Dear citizens!

All these achievements were made possible thanks to the steadfast trust of our people. But, like democracy, peace and security require daily and permanent engagement.

In the early morning of September 24th last year, Kosovo was again challenged by the hegemony from beyond the northern border. The aggression against our country and the paramilitary terrorist attack, organized and supported by Serbia, showed that the hegemonic cloud continues to cover the sky over Serbia – it keeps the political regime in that country immersed in the darkness of the past. Our reaction to Serbian state aggression was determined and I assure you it will always be such. Let it be clear: Serbia’s military and police presence in Kosovo ended once and for all in June 1999 when the spirit of freedom invaded the skies of Kosovo.

In the morning of September 24th, our boys and girls in uniform have shown determination and sacrifice in protecting and keeping their country free; they have demonstrated that patriotism is a virtue and virtues also require sacrifice; with their sacrifice and dedication to the homeland, they proved that Kosovo is and will remain free, sovereign and able to, together with its allies, keep the peace in the region unshakable. They gave full meaning to the motto of this year’s celebrations: Kosovo, we shall defend you! The hero Afrim Bunjaku, whose family we salute today, gave his life to give a resounding echo to the motto: Kosovo, we shall defend you; today and forever! May the memory of him and of all our heroes be eternal!

Honourable members of parliament!

Dear citizens!

Independence is not only a privilege that historical fate has preserved for us, but an obligation to protect and nurture our values and traditions, to build a just society and to represent our values with dignity on the international stage.

The heart of our country beats strongly to the rhythm of the noble and unparalleled ambition of our youth. Our country is an example of a dynamic civil society and a country that confirms the transformative role of the inclusion of girls and women in decision-making positions and not only. We are witnessing how the empowerment of women and the engagement of youth, as well as the protection and advancement of the rights of all communities living in Kosovo, are catalysts for a positive change. Our engagement for these principles must continue to remain unwavering, because we know that a society that values all its members without distinction, that gives a voice to the voiceless, is a society of the best and of the most promising future.

Looking ahead, our eyes are fixed firmly on the horizon, towards our future in the Euro-Atlantic family. This vision for our country is not just a dream, but a historic goal, which we will achieve together.

On this day of celebration, let us renew our engagement for the values that define us, alliances that strengthen us and the future that awaits us.

May your people be blessed Kosovo, the ancient Dardania!

Happy Independence Day!

Thank you!.

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