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July 31, 2021

55 years since Romania joined the UN – the past year has been one of the most challenging

Address by Machiel Salomons, Rotating Chair of the United Nations Country Team, on the occasion of United Nations Day 2010.

“It is an honor for me to address you this evening on behalf of the United Nations System in Romania. As the world’s most famous refugee, Albert Einstein, once said: “The only source of knowledge is experience”. We certainly can boost a lot of that.

The UN is currently providing food to 108 million people in 74 countries, vaccinating 40% of the world’s children, assisting over 34 million refugees and others fleeing war, famine or persecution, fighting climate change, and maintaining the peace with 116,000 peacekeepers in 17 operations on 4 continents. We also work towards fighting poverty, promoting human rights worldwide, mobilising $7 billion in humanitarian aid to help people affected by emergencies, as well as promoting universal primary education.

Sixty-five years have passed since the signing of the Charter of the United Nations and 55 since Romania has joined the UN. Of these 55 years, allow me to resolve that this past year has been one of the most challenging, albeit equally rewarding. On a local scale, each of the seven UN agencies present in Romania, are witnesses of just that.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims for social inclusion and democratic deepening with a focus on vulnerable groups in Romania, for regionally promoting shared resources through cross border programming and energy efficiency, biodiversity preservation interventions, and for promoting Romania’s contributions to global development goals.

The strategic intent of the cooperation between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Romania is to ensure sustainability of reforms and to reduce disparities identified as the central target of the social inclusion agenda in Romania. UNICEF continues to build its local fundraising capabilities.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) continues to support mechanisms for informing population and development policies and programmes and to ensure universal access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, including family planning, while also being devoted to supporting initiatives dedicated to fighting gender based and domestic violence.

Set up in 1970 and being the first UN agency in Romania, the UN Information Centre is working closely with the UN system, reaching out to the media and educational institutions, engaging in partnerships with government institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, and maintaining a library and electronic information resources.

The UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education undertakes projects relevant to the development and reform of higher education, promotes policy development and research on higher education and serves as a forum for the discussion of important topics in higher education, gathers and disseminates a wide range of information on higher education and provides consultancy services. The World Health Organisation country office maintains its increased operations linked to strengthening the stewardship role and capacities of the Ministry of Health and to introducing strategies and reforms for increasing health system resources.

UNODC maintains its presence as project/programme office dedicated to implementing projects in thematic areas such as: HIV/AIDS, drug demand reduction, and prisons.

And last but not least, allow me to mention just a few of the recent milestones for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): the first Emergency Transit Center in the world, located in Timisoara which has brought more than 600 persons to safety, Romania becoming a new resettlement country with the arrival of 40 Myanmar refugees from Malaysia to the Galati Center, and the state visit of High Commissioner Antonio Guterres.

On behalf of the United Nations Agencies in Romania I would like to thank you all for being with us on this occasion and foremost for working alongside us throughout the years. Each one of you has played a role in improving the society we live in today.

Thank you.”

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