On 24 January 2017, the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, convened a High-Level Dialogue on “Building Sustainable Peace for all: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace”. The event was attended by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the President of ECOSOC, Frederick Musiwa Makamure Shava, foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers from Sweden (in its capacity of acting President of the Security Council), Slovakia, Sierra Leone, Estonia, Columbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, France, Norway, Switzerland, India, ambassadors and representatives of the academic environment.
In his intervention, the Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN, Ambassador Ion Jinga, stressed that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development constitutes the universal framework for poverty eradication, ensuring gender equality, human rights and a fair balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development.
Quoting the UN Secretary General from 1953-1961, Dag Hammarskjold, who once said that “The United Nations was created not to lead mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell”, the Romanian diplomat remarked that “the reality of the last 71 years proved he was right, as the UN has saved millions of lives from wars, poverty, diseases and starvation.”
Referring to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres statement, that the actual international order, meant to prevent conflicts and maintain the world peace, is under great threat, the Romanian Ambassador was of the opinion that “we need to restore trust in our global order and show those millions left behind in conflicts, in chronic need and in constant fear, the solidarity they deserve and expect from us. Today, the United Nations’ role is dramatically tested by multiplication of threats posed to the international peace and security, because in less than 10 years the number of major civil wars almost tripled. More than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflicts. In many cases, lack of solid institutions and of fair and transparent governance, corruption and mismanagement of public funds – which cost the global economy 2.6 trillion USD – made states vulnerable to terrorism and violent extremist groups. Solving crises is costly both financially and in terms of human resources, and in many cases their relapse is almost predictable More than ever conflict prevention is intrinsically linked to sustaining peace, and more than ever sustaining peace depends on sustainable development.”
He expressed Romania’s support for the new UN Secretary General approach, that the interconnected nature of today’s crises requires us to connect our own efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, not just in words, but in practice.
Starting from the reality that the UN is the only global international organization where synergies can be generated to support peace and development, the Ambassador said that the peace and the sustainable development cannot be realized without good governance, opportunities for the youth, the plenary involvement of women and the civil society and addressing the root causes of conflicts: “The 2030 Agenda affirms that peace and development are mutually dependent, and Romania believes that once with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, UN has available a wide area of tools for conflict prevention and sustainable peace, particularly using Sustainable Development Objective number 16 – Peace, Justice and strong institutions.”
Evoking the cooperation between Romania and countries from other continents, Ion Jinga reminded that, during the years, tens of thousands of students from the Middle East, Africa and Asia studied on Romanian Universities, and Romanian specialists worked in these countries to carry out projects in the fields of industry, energy and transport infrastructure. Romania made significant investments in preventive diplomacy, prevention of conflicts, peace building and mediation: “Ever since becoming an ODA donor country in 2007, we devoted resources, including at the UN level, to capacity building for public institutions, election assistance, public order, anti-corruption, youth and education. Over the last 10 years, through our Official Development Cooperation the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided training courses for Afghan, Egyptian, Tunisian, Iraqi and Palestinian diplomats, and co-financed projects aiming to contribute to the transition process and to strengthen the institutional capacity in Afghanistan and in various regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Among the recent beneficiary countries of Romania’s ODA, I would mention Nigeria, Angola, Mali, Mauritius, Cameron and Nepal. In 2015 alone, Romania allocated one million Euro to help the Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. Romania contributes with military and police forces to 10 UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions, occupying the 1st place among the EU member states, participating with police forces, and the 12th place among the European countries contributing with troops under the UN flag. Romania is the only UN member state which provides close protection teams for the leadership of UN missions in conflict zones” concluded the Ambassador Ion Jinga.