I have been deeply touched by the recent scenes from Italy of people gathering on their balconies to sing or play instruments for their neighbors. This is surely a tribute to the Italian spirit, a spirit I know Montenegro shares. I have been inspired by the home-made banners draped from Italian balconies urging people to stay strong and the hope they share via #Tuttoandrabene, that is, “Everything is going to be okay.” In Montenegro, we would say #BićeOK
As the global community strains to meet the challenge of a global pandemic, this is surely a time to cherish stories of hope and for us to remember that tutto andra bene. We all need to stay strong in the fight against this virus and that includes helping one another.
Montenegro and the United States are friends, partners, and allies in a relationship that has stood the test of time. We share values and democratic principles. Each nation’s efforts to rid the global community of COVID-19 naturally starts with those closest to us – our families, friends, and neighbors. But as we look to heal at home, we must also work to help our partners recover as a community. With this aim in mind, the G20 met on March 26 to take necessary steps for the long-term recovery of our economic security, as well as to begin preparations to fight possible future challenges. We know we all must do our part to help mitigate the crisis at hand.
In this effort, we welcome cooperation with any country that is seriously tackling this global challenge. If a country believes that it has the ability to scale-up production or more effectively distribute excess existing capacity across the globe, we welcome efforts to do so. At President Trump’s direction, the U.S. Administration is deploying the full range of U.S. resources to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 not just at home, but also across the globe. We are also working with international public and private sector partners, including the World Health Organization, to rapidly enhance our knowledge of the virus, inform our public health decisions, coordinate assistance efforts for the worst affected countries, and accelerate the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. The United States is committed to health initiatives globally. In fact, the U.S. remains the largest funder to the WHO, providing the body with more than $100 million annually in assessed contributions, or 22% of all such contributions.
This is only the first part of America’s contribution to “tutto andra bene.” I hope you can contribute as well. As the United States prepares to face the worst of the pandemic, we are looking for examples of hope through Montenegro’s positive efforts to stay strong and preserve life and community. It is wonderful to see how active the Red Cross has been here in Montenegro, and I encourage you to use the hashtags #AllTogether when posting or sending tweets about positive examples of how Montenegro’s friends are helping friends and neighbors are helping neighbors. I will be tracking your experiences and will share them with my compatriots to inspire them to stay strong in this crisis. Will you share your stories? After all, we are all in this together.
Photos from the Red Cross Montenegro