Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Josip Perkusic, 1st Croatian UN Youth Delegate: Not all Dark for Cro Youth

August 30, 2022 - The election of a youth delegate to the United Nations is foreseen by the act by which Croatia, as a member state of the UN, adopted the content accepted by the World Program of Action for Youth from 1995.

As Poslovni writes, for the first time in 2020, the procedure for selecting youth representatives took place at that largest international organisation. Josip Perkušić, a 24-year-old law student from Split at the time, was chosen for this role from a number of applicants for the previous two years.

It's worth the effort
These days, it will be exactly two years since his election to the position of the youth delegate of the Republic of Croatia at the UN, and the mandate, as Perkušić says, was quite intense. At that moment, he was in the process of writing his graduation thesis on the topic of the UN, and he was also active as a student representative and the Split-Dalmatia County Youth Council, where he was the president until last year.

It was these references that were sought in the public invitation, and they even led him to attend the 76th session of the General Assembly in New York.

"The event that I especially remember is the opportunity to participate in the session of the General Assembly in the main hall of the United Nations in New York. I remember that constructed feeling that young people are an equally important and equal part of 21st century society and that it is worth fighting for a place at the table, so that the voice of young people is heard and accepted, if it is supported by quality arguments", Perkušić pointed out.

His work with young people, before the election as a youth delegate, was an opportunity for him to connect with them and understand how the system works and the representation of young people at the regional level, the representation of their rights at county bodies in areas that are close to young people, but also the organization of events with frequent topics with the aim of public speaking and canvassing for the purpose of solving problems.

Not everything is so dark
It is precisely these experiences that enable him to speak today without hesitation about the position of young people in Croatia, and one of the most pressing problems, we learn in a conversation with a youth delegate, is the problem of emigration, which is especially relevant during crises.

Problems that intersect with emigration are also problems of housing and the lack of qualified jobs. However, not everything is so dark, and as Perkušić adds, many young people who went abroad for education tend to return, and this is exactly where our opportunity lies.

"This is precisely our greatest opportunity as a country, to succeed in bringing together all these young, educated people, to provide them with quality conditions for work, so that they can work on strategic and key issues of national interest," Perkušić said.

However, in his mandate, he mostly advocated for the promotion of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations, all with the desire that international decision-makers will soon make decisions with strong effects.

"Apart from the SDGs, during my mandate I tried to spread rational optimism in every public or direct performance, because that is exactly what we all need as young individuals, but also for society as a whole, and at the same time influencing young people to develop individually as well as to be as competitive as possible and ready for personal career challenges, but also to help our community with their expertise", continued the UN youth delegate Josip Perkušić.

From the first day of the youth delegate's duties, the cooperation with the competent State Office for Demography and Youth and State Secretary Željka Josić, Perkušić points out, was highly commendable.

"They supported me all the time in the realisation of the ideas I had, but also in daily cooperation in order to prepare as well as possible for conferences that were held at the national level or in the distribution of information for events at the international level.

At a time when it is not popular to speak positively about state employees, I would like to single out one more sentence and thank and praise all the employees of the state office with whom I cooperated and at the same time express my desire for future quality cooperation, regardless of what form it takes", pointed out the youth delegate Perkušić.

Continue being active
Perkušić would like to continue working in the field of youth in the coming years, but not speculating in what position that would be. He believes that it will be easier for his successor or successors in the future, and this is because a formal channel of communication has already been established, as well as a defined program and goals of his work.

"Like every other responsible alumnus of an association, I will always be available for whatever is needed in the work, so that they can continue to represent our country in the United Nations as well as possible", concluded Josip Perkušić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Politics section.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

United Nations Selects Croatian Agrivi's Innovation as Best in Agriculture

September the 29th, 2021 - The Croatian Agrivi company has had its agriculture innovation recognised, praised, and chosen as the very best by no less than the United Nations (UN).

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, with software such as that created by the Croatian Agrivi company, farmers can work to successfully reduce risks and increase their overall yields while simultaneously increasing their product quality and creating additional savings.

Back in July this year, the Croatian Agrivi agritech (agricultural technology) company was among the 27 impressive finalists of the Digital Excellence in Agriculture in Europe and Central Asia competition organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN) from which it returned home as the winner in the Agricultural Innovation Systems and Sustainable Agriculture - Related Systems farm management category.

"I'm proud that Agrivi has once again been recognised as an innovative technological solution that contributes to the long-term sustainability of agricultural production, not only in Croatia, but on global scale. This award is yet another confirmation of the efficiency and quality of Agrivi's software, which brings numerous benefits to farmers and consumers in the long run.

With software such as that created by Agrivi, farmers reduce risks and increase their yields while increasing their product quality and creating savings. On the other hand, the implementation of this software in production ensures the constant control of the production process, which enables traceability, so that consumers have a completely transparent insight into the production process of the food they're consuming. This is no longer our future, but the present,'' said the founder and director of the Croatian Agrivi company, Matija Zulj, adding that he hopes that in the coming period, an increasing number of producers will begin to digitise their production.

For more on Croatian inventions, companies and innovation, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 17 September 2021

President Milanović to Attend 76th Session of UN General Assembly

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - President Zoran Milanović will fly to USA on Sunday to attend the 76th UN General Assembly in New York next week, the Office of the Croatian President said in a press release on Friday.

The 76th General Assembly of the World Organization starts on Tuesday, 21 September, and the Croatian head of state will address the General Debate on that day.

Milanović will also participate in the high-level meeting called "Transformative Action for Nature and People" on Wednesday.

During his stay in New York he is expected to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He will visit the local Croatian expat community and hold a lecture at Columbia University.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 19 March 2021

International Poetry Day Croatia: Non-Croatian Poets about Croatia

March 21, 2021 - In honour of International Poetry Day Croatia, TCN's Ivor Kruljac met with non-Croatia poets to share their views on Croatia through their art.

Since 1999 and the 30th General conference of UNESCO, March 21 is recognized as International Poetry Day. As said by the United Nations official website, the date was dedicated to poetry to celebrate „one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity“, which history remembers practiced in every culture on every continent. 

„Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings“, states the UN.

Supporting linguistic diversity and an opportunity of endangered languages to be heard within their communities along with encouragement to bring back the oral tradition of recitals, the promotion of poetry teachings and poetry in the media, as well as connecting this ancient art form with other art forms such as music, painting, and theatre, are all goals of the International Poetry Day. And here at TCN, we want to do our part and connect poetry with what we always struggle to report on: Showing all aspects of Croatia.

To the fans of contemporary poetry, it's no secret that poets today are very much alive, productive, and regularly present their work. If not in books then at poetry events, open-mics, and on social networks – either from their private accounts, blogs, or in groups dedicated to this wordy-art.

We asked non-Croatian poets through social networks and private group chats dedicated to poetry who either visited Croatia or know about Croatia to send us poems about Croatia with a promise that the top 5 will be published and authors presented. Now, to be fair, while the author of this article is a poet, that is far from being a legitimate poetry critic and the rest of the TCN's editorial team (at least to public knowledge) aren't even poets. The idea was to pick the poems based on how it resonates with us as individuals who gave the art a chance. The academic acknowledgment is nice, but resonating with the audience, the everyday people, should be the goal of any art publically displayed, right?

To be honest, there wasn't really any competition as, by the end of the deadline, we received only four poems. Nonetheless, the beauty of these poems and great resonation with TCN was there and we are happy to publish these poems and ranked them, from fourth place to the very best. You can decide for yourselves which poem you like best (and the messages you see in their work), but here the four poems that „knocked on the doors of our mailbox“ (metaphorically, quite poetically, speaking).

#4: „Croatia“ by Jesus McFridge 

Poets such as Charles Bukowski and Walt Whitman are very well known by their name, but just as in many other arts, poets are no exception in sometimes preferring to use pseudonyms to present their work while keeping their identity unknown and privacy secured. Such is the author that goes by the name of Jesus Mcfridge. Quite active in a Facebook group Poetry Criticism For Cool Cats, he revealed in his application that he is from California and described himself as a „24-year-old American that watches too much television“. He added that his knowledge of Croatia is limited to the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he has fallen in love with the Croatia national football team's checkered uniforms. Despite never visiting Croatia, after „Croatia's tragic loss in the 2018 World Cup final“, he found himself also crying just as many Croatians did.

„In this poem, I have attempted to capture the feeling of this tragic loss that we have shared together, despite the vast seas that separate us“ concluded Mcfridge in his application.

His bittersweet poem simply titled „Croatia“ indeed brings some painful memories but presented in a short and funny way allows us to look at the past in a brighter way, bring back smiles, and give us the strength to cheer for our Croatia national team as they prepare for the next trophy hunt.




Almost won

The world cup


Mandzukic scored

An own goal.


Jesus Mcfridge © Jesus Mcfridge

#3 „Daniela's song“ by Christian Sinicco (English translation by Daniela Sartogo)

Christian Sinicco was born in Trieste, Italy, and his poetry is published in various anthologies and magazines and an editor of the magazine Argo with which he has dealt with the widest overview of poetry in the Italian dialect from 2000 to the present day. He published three books of poetry: „Passando per New York“ (Lietocolle, 2005), „Ballate di Lagosta“ (CFR, 2014) and „Città esplosa“ (Galerie Bordas, 2017). He won the first Italian Slam Poetry Championship and served as the president of the slam poetry association LIPS - Lega Italiana Poetry Slam (2013-2014) and is the current vice president of Poiéin. He is also active in a global initiative of slam poets organizing the world slam championship which early results can be followed on Twitch.   

He participated in numerous book festivals including four festivals in Croatia: Zagreb Contemporary Poetry Festival, Forum Tomizza (in Umag), Pula Book Fair, and Rijeka Book Fair.

His second book of poetry „Ballate di Lagosta“, translates as Lastovo Ballads and it's actually a preview while Sinicco plans to soon publish the full book dedicated to this beautiful Croatian island on the southern coast.

„I was on Lastovo several times. I know a poet from there, Marijana Šutić and I spent a vacation there with other poets such as Ivan Šamija and Silvestar Vrljić“, said Sinicco in his application where he offered a poem from „Lastovo ballads“ which already seen its presentation on a prestigious literary site Versopolis.

„Daniela's Song“ may not bring out the most visual and most explicit Croatian motives, but the discrete and specific localization of Croatia is there all wrapped in a love poem to touch the heart and help us remember the summer sweethearts and romance in Croatia.

Daniela's song


She talks about how beautiful it is without knowing where to go

perhaps into the water of the sun like her cheek

simply necessary as the wet dream

in a wider galaxy if it can be understood,

she seduces you through valleys and dusty vineyards

with eyes towards the bay with the waterfall:

Za Barje the sign said, and so also barked the dog tied

under the cypress – his teethed mouth was the buried reason

the fishermen had left him there – near a house

covered with ivy and blackberries, in which had grown

an apple tree with sour fruits and roses

that only you will taste:

avoiding the asphalt and dirt road holes you followed Daniela

targeting yourself and the asphyxia of your life

that follows the path to erect the intelligence of the species

that on the concept of work has built its republic of theft,

then you saw her dancing on the beach between the warm rocks

and the boat pulled out of the lobster pot, the fishermen are back:

good and evil are triangles of waves that spread

on the sea towards the two islands where we swam

– the fish are not aware of it,

and so the man under the pine and his child

with the mask, another fisherman with the fishing line,

only you maybe on the petals you bite as the words



after quite a while we are outdoors and eat figs

at dusk time on this meadow

sliced on the wooden bowl,

we take the bread and tear it many times

because paradise is close to the fire

and the village to our left rises white in pink

made with scales like the barracuda

Korčula has no intention to leave our sight

I shouted as my usual self

you lit the candle and made me notice

we are not alone, but you can stay calm

slowly also the hut

and its fire have become attractive

calming the natural tension

of a darkening sky, not preventing us

from tasting the happiness

of a grilled fish, of tomato and capers

you are attractive when you smile

with a glass of water on the lips

too quietly they get up,

wanting to be born in the response they seek outside

the people at the tables next to us, and from the cottage

where they grill they come to clear up

a woman and the cook, as in a ceremonial

we ask for the check with the hands

they will be intertwined when we emerge from the field

toward the parking lot where we’ll get in the car

and head out to the highest point

of a series of bends, before descending to the valley

the vault of stars surprises us

we stop everything, propped on pillows of a land

that is still hot, we’re sure

that the star will fall, and it comes true


Christian Sinicco © Daniele Ferroni

#2 „The Lakes of Plitvice“ by Vanni Schiavoni (English translation by Graziella Sidoli)

Born in Manduria, Italy, but living in Bologna, Vanni Schiavoni published five poem collections: "Nocte" (1996), "The Suspended Balcony" (1998), "Of Humid and Days" (2004), "Salentitude" (2006), and  "Walnut Shell" (2012). He also published two novels "Like Elephants in Indonesia" (2001) and "Mavi" (2019) and edited the poetic anthology "Red - between eroticism and holiness" (2010). Most recently, he also published poetical plaquette „Croatian Notebook“ which features twelve poems dedicated to six Croatian sites: Plitvice Lakes, Kornati, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik. Schiavoni wrote the "Croatian Notebook" after a week-long journey in the summer of 2017. His birthplace Manduria is located in the region of Puglia which is 30 miles away from the Pelagosa (Palagruža), the most distant Croatian island, and his surname originates from the name of the Slavonia region in Eastern Croatia.

„For me, it was not just a holiday trip but a journey in and out of everything that I am, a travel diary through which to bring out the game of mirrors between me and that place, between what I am and where I come from and what I have encountered“, said Schiavoni. This journey impacted him with images of the signs of Italy engraved in stone, mournings of the war, communist history („most heretical Communist party in the east in front of the largest Communist Party in the west“, as Schiavoni puts it) and as he added, „the same Adriatic Sea which gives both of us fishes and earthquakes“.

His poem „The Lakes of Plitvice“ is a lovely description of the mixture, the game, and visual eye-candy of the waters in Croatia's oldest National Park, and it linked with a search for bravery and the encouraging point that good and beauty can defeat evil and change it to something better.  


The first day they always plunge down into the same spot

the river rapids that come to the encountering

of the white river with the black river

and the more we think ourselves ready with our shrewd eyes

the fewer the adjectives made available to us before that wonder:

the green rush pushes our pupils towards a wild frenzy

it pushes them inside the tearful torrents by our feet

in the shrouded darkness of the sequential caves

and in the vertical caverns sculpted

as if by a hand capable of it all.

Yet Judas must have passed by this place

and though perhaps not the one with burning lips

a simple Judas must have become lost

in this mysterious grid of remorse.

These lakes fall into lakes as lashings on yielding branches

they flow into other waters and so they rain


and perfectly untouched.


Vanni Schiavoni © Dino Igmani


#1  „Dubrovnik Rock“ by William Vastarella

After Schiavoni and Sinicco, our first-ranked poet is the conclusive evidence there is something so incredible about Croatia it really inspires poetically-inclined neighbors across the Adriatic. Born in Napoli in 1974, William Vastarella is a teacher of Italian Literature, geography, and History. He's has a Ph.D. in semiotics from the University of Bari and writes for several literary and cultural magazines in Italy. He also edited several poetry anthologies as well as semiotic essays. Vastarella visited Croatia several years ago and had a cultural and relaxing holiday on the seaside. „I found her so full of the Mediterranean spirit that I wrote a poem in Italian. I tried to translate it in other words, trying to leave intact the sounds of that memory“, said Vastarella about his poem on Dubrovnik.

The poem „Dubrovnik Rock“ is fantastic in the way, Vastarella visually invokes the images from the history of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Republic and the relationship it had with Italians at that age with the waves of the Adriatic Sea as the link between Italy and Dubrovnik but also between past and present.


Dubrovnik Rock

Other singers claim to feel

singular vibes in the waves

Nearby this shore,

and so do I.

Ragusa, Dubrovnik

A name is not enough

To trap a soul.

I ask myself

Who’s the other side

Of the other side

As the seawater shuffles.

I touch with my finger

and now I know it’s real

the steel and the wood of the boat

powerful works of man

that wipe out weapons

and I ask no more.

I realize

we have been both

pirates and emperors

centurions and barbarians

through the centuries

each one to the other

a flurry flow

of slavers and Slavs,

slayers and saviors.

Sometimes when the north wind blows,

melting the white in waves,

painting clouds of amazing blues

mirroring the water in the sky,

space seems to become so narrow,

so easy the neighborhood,

then all

the voices of the ancient age

of an ancient game

of thousands lost

in that spot of time,

that spot of sea,

mutate in a mute roar singing

in which merge the rage of riot

and the call for help of a lot

castled in the rock

waiting for a drop of rain to drink

or friend sails on the horizon.


William Vastarella © Vito Signorile

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic Calls for Reform of UN

ZAGREB, Sept 25, 2020 - The crises that have impacted the world in 2020 show that commitment to multilateralism is more relevant than ever, Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in an address at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, calling for reform of UN.

The crises of 2020, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent economic downturn, "clearly showed that our collective commitment to multilateralism is more relevant than ever," Plenkovic said via video link.

The current crises must not lead to isolationism in the international community but motivate readiness for cooperation in the spirit of solidarity and mutual support, and no other organization is better placed than the United Nations for global delivery of the goals of international cooperation, he said.

That is why "we need a United Nations fit for the 21st century," Plenkovic said, calling for a reform of UN, including its founding document, the UN Charter, as well as of the Security Council, the most powerful body in the UN in which relations reflect the situation at the end of World War II.

"Our organization has to maintain its core values and principles on which it has been founded but it must also reflect the realities and needs of our times," he added.

Critics often call out the UN for allegedly irrational spending, slowness to act, failure to implement its decisions, and bias in adopting them.

The organization's budget last year lacked 768 million of a total of 2.85 billion US dollars because 51 countries did not meet their financial obligations, including Brazil and the USA, Reuters has reported.

Experts underline that the financial problems are a symptom of a broader crisis of confidence in that institution.

Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats

Apart from going down in history as a year of crises, 2020 is also a year of anniversaries - the 75th anniversary of the UN and the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement, which put an end to the "bloodiest war in Europe since the Second World War," said the Croatian PM.

Meanwhile, this part of Europe "has profoundly changed for the better but some problems still prevail and merit our full attention".

Croatia believes that the anniversary of the Dayton peace agreement should be used to reflect on its achievements as well as the contemporary situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Plenkovic, calling for full equality for Croats as a constituent people in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as for the adoption of appropriate election law to prevent electoral engineering.

Plenkovic recalled the Zagreb Summit of 20 years ago and the second edition of that event, held this year online during Croatia's EU presidency, as well as the country's unequivocal support for the European perspective of Western Balkan countries.

Looking back, much has been achieved, much has changed for the better. Looking ahead, sincere reconciliation is essential to regional stability. It can be built only on truth and grounded in facts, in conjunction with finding all the remaining missing persons and rendering justice for all victims, he said.

Plenkovic also stressed in his address that he was proud that for the first time ever Croatia has a candidate for a judge at the International Court of Justice - an international law professor and vice-dean for international cooperation of the Zagreb University Faculty of Law, Maja Sersic.

"Besides her professional qualities, we believe that her election would also be important for achieving a better gender balance and fairer participation of states within the Court's composition."

Plenkovic also recalled that Croatia was dealing with the consequences of a disastrous earthquake that hit Zagreb in March and thanked world leaders for sending messages of support and offer assistance.

Vaccine for all and protection of the planet

Plenkovic welcomed the UN's resolution on a "Comprehensive and Coordinated Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic" and said that "it clearly demonstrates the need for a global joint approach in addressing the impact and consequences of the pandemic."

"The vaccine must be available to as many as possible and we should spare no effort to make it so," he said.

He also spoke about "the perils of global climate change, which will be the challenge of this century."

He said that world leaders must not ignore the fact that "the past five years hold the highest record for global ocean temperatures", noting that "the oceans play a central role in regulating the Earth's climate."

"Ocean plastic pollution is also unfolding at an alarming rate," he added.

"If we do not act now, the damage (to our planet) will become irreparable," he said.

"Let us, therefore, unite as nations and assume our responsibility to create a healthier, equal, and more sustainable world for the generations to come," Plenkovic said.

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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Plenkovic Says United Nations Must Fit 21st Century

ZAGREB, September 22, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN, that it was necessary to "make the United Nations fit for the 21st century" and called for reforming the Security Council and combating climate change.

"Today we live in a much different world than 75 years ago. The technological revolution changed and improved our lives beyond comparison. Yet the scourge that plagued the world in the autumn of 1945, the hunger and poverty, the disease and refugees, still burdens parts of our planet," the prime minister said in a video message.

The UN has 193 member states and Croatia has been one since 22 May 1992.

Plenkovic said "unprecedented progress has been achieved in the past 75 years."

"Whereas two out of three people lived in extreme poverty at the end of the Second World War, today this share has fallen to less than one in ten, and by 2030 this should fall under one in 16," he added.

But the world is facing new challenges and it is necessary to revitalise the UN, he said, calling this year's General Assembly session "a springboard for that."

"We must make the United Nations fit for the 21st century... The revitalisation of the United Nations's work has to go beyond the General Assembly. Reform of the Security Council is long overdue. Our historical anniversary should also be an occasion for revisiting the UN Charter to meet the needs and realities of the new era."

Plenkovic also called for combating climate change, saying "climate change is one of the pivotal fields for the future of humanity. This is where we cannot afford to fail. We have to adjust to new realities, find the way to meet new challenges... achieve all Sustainable Development Goals and avoid the pitfalls of the past."


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