Vuk Jeremić

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Vuk Jeremić
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
18 September 2012 – 17 September 2013[1]
Preceded by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
Succeeded by John William Ashe
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
In office
15 May 2007 – 27 July 2012
President Boris Tadić
Slavica Đukić Dejanović (Acting)
Tomislav Nikolić
Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica
Mirko Cvetković
Preceded by Vuk Drašković
Succeeded by Ivan Mrkić
Personal details
Born (1975-07-03) 3 July 1975 (age 39)
Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Political party Independent
Democratic Party (until 2013)
Spouse(s) Nataša Jeremić
Residence Belgrade, Serbia
Alma mater Cambridge University
Harvard University
Religion Serbian Orthodoxy[2]

Vuk Jeremić (Serbian Cyrillic: Вук Јеремић, Serbian pronunciation: [ʋûːk jěremitɕ]; born 3 July 1975[3]) is the President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD) and Editor-in-Chief of Horizons, a prominent global public policy English-language magazine.

Jeremić was previously President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, having formerly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. In addition, Jeremić is the president of the Tennis Federation of Serbia.

Jeremić’s name is being mentioned amongst candidates to be the next UN Secretary-General.[4]


Vuk Jeremić was born in Belgrade on 3 July 1975 to Miško Jeremić and Sena Buljubašić. He completed his elementary schooling in Belgrade, moving on to the First Belgrade Gymnazium where he began his high school studies.[5] One of his teachers was Boris Tadić, who later went on to become Serbia’s first democratically-elected president.[6] Jeremić completed his secondary education in London, England.[6]

Jeremić graduated from Queens' College, University of Cambridge, in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. Jeremić began his PhD studies in quantitative finance at Imperial College, University of London, and worked in London for Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Jeremić studied under professor Jeffrey Sachs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Fellow of the Kokkalis Foundation’s Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe, graduating in 2003 with a master’s degree in Public Administration/International Development.[7]

Political career[edit]

In July 1997, Vuk Jeremić co-founded and became the financial manager of the Organization of Serbian Students Abroad[8] (OSSA), the first international organization of Serbian students, which at the time had several thousand members. Jeremić was an active supporter of Otpor! (“Resistance”), the Serbian civic youth movement that employed non-violent civil disobedience tactics against the regime of Slobodan Milošević.[6]

In the wake of Belgrade’s 5 October 2000 democratic revolution, Jeremić was appointed as an Advisor to the Minister of Telecommunications of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the summer of 2002, Jeremić served in the cabinet of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjić.[5] Jeremić was responsible for organizing the first international investment conference for the Serbian government in New York, which took place in September of that year in cooperation with JP Morgan and Brian Mulroney, a former Prime Minister of Canada and head of the International Council for Supporting Reforms in Serbia.[9] In June 2003, Jeremić became Foreign Policy Advisor to the Minister of Defense of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. From July 2004 to May 2007, Jeremić served as a Senior Advisor to the then-President of Serbia, Boris Tadić.[10]

Foreign Minister[edit]

Vuk Jeremić with George Papandreou in Athens in October 2009.
Vuk Jeremić with British Foreign Secretary, William Hague in November 2011

During the period after Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008, Jeremić lobbied across the world against the recognition. He traveled to countries with which Serbia enjoys good relations from the times of Yugoslavia and some of these visits were the first after a lengthy economic and political crisis in Serbia, during which the normal diplomacy development was prevented. His visits included those to Central and South America (Argentina,[11] Brazil,[12] Chile,[13] Cuba,[14] Jamaica,[15] Venezuela[16] and Mexico[17]), Africa (Egypt,[18] Libya,[19] Gabon,[20] DR Congo,[21] South Africa,[22] Ghana[23] Morocco,[24] Algeria,[25] Lesotho,[26] Namibia[27] and Nigeria[28]) and Asia (China,[29] India,[30] Indonesia,[31] Malaysia,[32] Singapore,[33] Vietnam,[34] Kuwait,[35] Azerbaijan,[36] Thailand,[37] Philippines,[38] Pakistan,[39] Syria,[40] Oman[41] and Lebanon[42]). He also traveled to summits of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, Iran,[43] African Union in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea,[44][45] Thirty-eight regular session of the Organization of American States in Medellín, Fortieth regular session of the Organization of American States in Lima, Regional economic forum in Mexico, 2010 Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Rio de Janeiro and the Arab League meeting in Egypt.[46] In Tehran he had meetings with Foreign Ministers of Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Brunei, Kenya, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Bhutan, Laos, Bangladesh, Singapore, Venezuela, Panama, Chile, Colombia, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Bolivia. In Mexico Jeremić had meetings with Felipe Calderón, Daniel Ortega, Antonio Saca, Álvaro Colom Caballeros, Manuel Zelaya and Fernando Araújo Perdomo. In 2009, he met with Vatican prelate Pietro Parolin in order to confirm and approve the non-recognition of Kosovo by the Holy See.[47]

Foreign visits of Vuk Jeremić

British journal The Economist has said that Serbian diplomacy, led by Jeremić, is "on steroids"[48] due to frenetic activity. Serbian media have frequently reported that Western leaders are increasingly nervous about the successes of Serbian diplomacy and issued a stern warning to Jeremić to "cool down" his activities in the wake of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence.[49] Jeremić was the first foreign official to visit the new Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou following his election.[50]

International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Kosovo[edit]

Jeremić, taking the position that Kosovo's declaration of independence was illegal, asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence; he said the ruling would "be a precedent".[51]

The court ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence had been legal;[52] Jeremić's tactic had "backfired badly".[53]

United Nations General Assembly presidency[edit]

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Vuk Jeremić in February 2013

Jeremić was elected president of the Sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly (starting in September 2012) in the 2012 election. Notably, under his watch, United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19 granted Palestine non-member observer state status. In addition, Jeremic facilitated the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in the UN General Assembly.[54]

During the presidency of the Sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, Jeremić met with over 50 heads of state or government and more than 100 ministers of foreign affairs, incluled U.S. President Barack Obama,[55] China's President Xi Jinping,[56][57] French President Francois Hollande,[58] Pope Francis,[59] the Emir of Qatar,[60] the Emir of Kuwait,[61] President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia,[62] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,[63] President Jacob Zuma of South Africa,[64] the President of the Spanish Government Mariano Rajoy,[65] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan,[66] and Italy's prime minister Mario Monti[67] as well as his successor Enrico Letta.[68] He also met with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso[69] and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.[70]

In honor of the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, a survivor of an attack by the Taliban in Pakistan for her outspoken stance on the right to receive an education, Jeremić convened a United Nations Youth Assembly.[71] At the UN, Malala delivered her first public remarks since recovering from the attack.[72][73] The Youth Assembly took place on 11 July 2013, and was organized together with UN's Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

During the Jeremic's presidency, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution 67/296 proclaiming 6 April as the annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.[74][75] Proclaiming the International Day of Sport was a joint initiative by Vuk Jeremić and Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).[76][77] UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Novak Djoković and Rogge attended the session as special guests and addressed the General Assembly: Djoković speaking on behalf of world athletes and Rogge on behalf of Olympic Movement.[78][79]

Post-UN General Assembly Presidency[edit]

After completing the mandate of the United Nations, Vuk Jeremic founded the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development.,[80][81] Belgrade, in November 2013. In May 2014, he joined the Leadership Council [82] of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the network launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012.[83] [84]

Democratic Party[edit]

At the 2012 parliamentary election, he has been elected MP of the Democratic Party. During the regime change with Tadić's withdrawal and rise of the new leader Dragan Đilas, as member of the pro-Tadić camp, Jeremić withdrew from all positions in the Democratic Party. He is at odds with Serbia's new opposition leader Đilas, who demands him to pay the consequences of an unpopular government and resign from his position of Member of Parliament, which he staunchly rejects. Eventually, Jeremić was excluded from the Democratic Party on 14 February 2013.[85] After the decision to exclude him, Jeremić filed suit at the Constitutional Court, claiming that the party's decision is unconstitutional.[86] After the rejection of the appeal by the Constitutional Court, Jeremić complied with the decision and left the party but kept his parliamentary seat.[87]

Candidate for UN secretary-general[edit]

Press reports have mentioned Vuk Jeremić as a likely candidate for the future UN Secretary-General. It is assumed that the next UN chief will come from the Group of Eastern European States.[88]

Reuters ran a story on 19 October 2012 stating that “a number of U.N. diplomats have mentioned Jeremić as a potential candidate to succeed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when his term ends in December 2016.” The report said that Jeremić “declined to comment on his future plans apart from returning to Serbia, […] but he did not rule out the idea of running for the top UN post.”[89]

Another source has indicated that “Jeremić has the credentials of a successful UN gen-sec. He is committed, passionate, popular with most of the world, and hails from an underrepresented area of the globe.” [90]

On 19 November 2013, former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Moratinos stated that “the best candidate for Secretary-General is Vuk Jeremić, and that his election would be great news for the 21st century.” Moratinos added that Jeremić would succeed in changing the current structure of the UN and enable it to play a new role in the world.” [91]


Vuk Jeremić is married to Nataša Jeremić (née Lekić), a journalist and news anchor for Radio-Television Serbia.

Jeremić’s paternal grandfather, Bogoljub Jeremić, was an officer in the Royal Yugoslav Army, spending much of World War II in the Matthausen and Dachau concentration camps.[6][92] For nearly five years, Bogoljub Jeremić was jailed at the Goli otok prison and labor camp, which was used to incarcerate political prisoners by Yugoslav communist government in the wake of World War II.[93] Through his maternal grandmother Sadeta Buljubašić (née Pozderac), the daughter of wealthy land-owner Nurija Pozderac and his wife Devleta, Jeremić also stems from the Pozderac family, considered the most influential Bosnian Muslim political family during communist Yugoslavia (Nurija’s sons and Sadeta’s brothers Hamdija and Hakija Pozderac occupied some of the most powerful political posts for years in the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina).[94] In November 2012, Jeremić's great-grandfather and great-grandmother Nurija and Devleta Pozderac were posthumously awarded the honorific of Righteous among the Nations by the Jewish victims memorial Yad Vashem for their acts of saving Jews during World War II in Cazin on the territory of the Ustaše-run Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia. The Jews Nurija and Devleta sheltered escaped during transport to the Jasenovac concentration camp.[95]

Jeremić was interviewed in Boris Malagurski's documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014).


  1. ^
  2. ^ Patrijarh Irinej služio liturgiju u Sabornoj crkvi. Radio-televizija Vojvodine. Retrieved on April 15, 2012.
  3. ^ T. Nikolić (May 19, 2007). "Vuk Jeremić (Ljubitelj ptica)" (in Serbian). Glas Javnosti. 
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  11. ^ Jeremić travels to Argentina. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  12. ^ Jeremić: Čvrst stav Brazila o KiM. (2011-10-19). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  13. ^ (Serbian) Podrška Čilea Srbiji. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  14. ^ (Serbian) Zahvalnost Havani na podršci. (2010-04-15). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  15. ^ Jeremić na Jamajci. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  16. ^ Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Serbia realizó visita de trabajo en Venezuela. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Jeremic: I Meksiko snazno protiv jednostrane nezavisnosti. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  18. ^ Jeremić danas u Egiptu. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  19. ^ Libija protiv nezavisnosti Kosova. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  20. ^ (Serbian) Jeremić u Gabonu. (2009-11-21). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  21. ^ Jeremić continues African tour in Congo. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  22. ^ (Serbian) Jeremić u Južnoj Africi. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  23. ^ (Serbian) Jeremić na proslavi u Akri. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  24. ^ Jeremić: Morocco won't recognize Kosovo. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  25. ^ Jeremić u Alžiru: Čvrsta podrška Srbiji. (2009-10-20). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  26. ^ Jeremić u poseti Namibiji i Lesotu. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  27. ^ (Serbian) Podrška Namibije. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  28. ^ Ministar Jeremić u Nigeriji
  29. ^ Jeremić: Igre nisu samo sportski, već i politički skup[dead link]
  30. ^ Jeremić: Indija podržava Srbiju. (2009-10-20). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  31. ^ Jeremic: Puna podrska Indonezije protiv nezavisnosti Kosova. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  32. ^ Jeremić: Malezija zamrzla odluku o priznavanju Kosova. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  33. ^ Jeremić: Singapur će podržati inicijativu Srbije u UN. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  34. ^ Jeremić u Hanoju. (2009-10-20). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  35. ^ Jeremić in Kuwait on Wednesday. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  36. ^ Jeremić u Azerbejdžanu: Poznate i priznate granice dveju zemalja. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  37. ^ (Serbian) Jeremić na Tajlandu. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  38. ^ (Serbian) Podrška nesvrstanih u očuvanju Kosova. (2010-03-18). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  39. ^ (Serbian) Zahvalnost Pakistanu za stav o Kosmetu. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  40. ^ (Serbian) Sirija uz Srbiju protiv nezavisnosti Kosova. (2009-05-13). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  41. ^ (Serbian) Oman ne menja stav o Kosovu. (2010-03-15). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  42. ^ Jeremić in Lebanon on Monday. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  43. ^ Jeremić seeks backing from Non-Aligned. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  44. ^ Tadić na samitu Afričke unije. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  45. ^ Jeremić: Otvorena vrata Gvineje. (2011-06-27). Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  46. ^ Jeremić attends Arab League summit. Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  47. ^ "Vatican's Kosovo position unchanged". Retrieved on December 16, 2011.
  48. ^ "Better troublesome than dull". The Economist. October 22, 2009. 
  49. ^
  50. ^ Serbia – Jeremic on visit to Greece, ISRIA
  51. ^ "JEREMIC: ICJ RULING NOT BEFORE MID 2010". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  52. ^ "Kosovo independence declaration deemed legal". Reuters. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  53. ^ "Vuk Jeremic is standing for the presidency of the UN General Assembly: A divisive Serb". The Economist. June 7, 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
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  72. ^ "Malala at U.N.: Taliban failed to silence us -". CNN. July 12, 2013. 
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  85. ^ "I Vuk Jeremić isključen iz DS-a" (in Serbian). B92. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  86. ^ "Odluka DS o mandatima krši Ustav" (in Serbian). B92. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  87. ^ "USS nenadležan za mandat Jeremića" (in Serbian). B92. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  88. ^
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  94. ^ Slobodna Bosna (June 7, 2006). "Vuk Jeremić and Bosnian Kennedys" (in Bosnian). Slobodna Bosna.
  95. ^ Memorijalni centar Jad Vašem odlikovao Jeremićeve pradedu i parababu;Blic, 11 November 2012.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Vuk Drašković
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
Succeeded by
Ivan Mrkić
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
President of General Assembly
Succeeded by
John William Ashe