Venue and date of opening:Archives of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, May 31. 2021

Exhibition opened by: Ambassador of Canada to Serbia H.E. Mr. Giles Norman

Organisation: Archives of Yugoslavia, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade

Authors of the exhibition: Dušan Jončić and Miroslava Medaković

Information provided in announcement poster, e-catalogue

The Archives of Yugoslavia prepared the exhibition of the Archival documents Belgrade – Ottawa Diplomatic Relations from Their Establishment on the account of marking 80 Years of establishment of diplomatic relations. This exhibition is result of cooperation with the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade and Diplomatic Archive of the Ministry of the foreign Affairs..

On the opening Ceremony, Director Dr. Milan Terzić delivered a speech as well as Nemanja Starović, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia; Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada Robert Oliphant as well as the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia in Canada Dejan Ralević who by the video link addressed the visitors; H.E. Mr. Giles Norman, Ambassador of Canada in the Republic of Serbia, who opened the exhibition.

First, being the host, Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia addressed the audience, mentioning that the exhibition consist of the archival documents, photographs and bilateral treaties witnessing the continuance of the solid ties between Serbia and Canada. Although the diplomatic relations were established  in the twenties of the last century, the official date of establishment of diplomatic relations between Belgrade and Ottawa was May 30, 1941 what is the date of the Decree of King Peter II deciding to open Legation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, pointing out that all heritage is based on good quality foundation enabling us to inherit all that positive experience that generations before us  well-grounded by cooperation in important diplomatic matters. Terzić said that geographic distance between Serbia and Canada hasn’t been obstacle to establish sound and good relations.

State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nemanja Starović reminded, that our two nations had been tied by bright traditions even before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations and that relations established at the time of great challenges, when our people had shown a great courage, unity and solidarity in the struggle for protection of mutual civilization values, so this suggests that our two counties could be frank allies today. He singled out continual Canadian support of the Serbian process of integration, pointing out that Serbia and Canada are aware of the necessity of peace and its protection, stability and security being the vision of prosperity in the Region of West Balkans. Starović as well glanced at the fact that large Serbian diaspora lives in Canada presenting important integrative element and direct bond of our two states.

Talking about three threads connecting two nations H.E. Giles Norman said that the first thread is immigration, since in the XIX century immigrants from this region started to come to Canada in significant number, establishing Serbian diaspora in that country, so diaspora presented basic connection between two nations that enriched, and intensified bilateral relations. As second thread, Mr. Norman emphasized that both Serbia and Canada were allies in both the First and the Second World War, that Serbia in both wars suffered a great loss and that great number of Canadians participating in international health missions in the First World War in this region as well as in air actions in the Second World War, those killed were buried at the War Military Cemetery of the British Commonwealth in Belgrade that witnessed the role of Canada. According to the official census there are almost 100.000 of Canadians of Serbian origin in Canada, although that number is undoubtedly bigger and with diaspora from the other countries from the different part of the worlds, abundance of different languages, religions and cultures form inclusiveness that even more strengthens Canada, present the third thread that connects those two nations. And when you look at all three threads (immigration, Europa, inclusiveness) it is obvious that even after 80 years, after establishment of diplomatic relations, many dimensions of the relations of two countries remain the same even beyond those that are obvious and singled out such as bilateral and multilateral cooperation, trade and investments.

After thanking the Archives of Yugoslavia and the Departments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for cooperation as well as for the efforts made to prepare material for the exhibition, Mr. Norman opened the exhibition. Upon the opening Mr. Nemanja Starović and Giles Norman look around the exhibition. At the exhibition in the form of poster, 189 documents and photographs from the fonds and Collections from the Archives of Yugoslavia, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Archives of Yugoslavia talking about the most important events from the history of mutual relations of two countries were presented.

The exhibition will be opened till August 1, 2021 every working day from 10:00 a.m. to 4: 00 p.m.


Date of last change: 23. 03. 2022

2023. The Archives of Yugoslavia

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