The Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations, Ambassador Ion Jinga, was elected by acclamation as President of the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee) in the elections held within the UN General Assembly plenary session on 5 June 2018. The mandate of the Romanian Representative is to be exercised during the 73rd session of the General Assembly, between September 2018 and September 2019.
It is for the first time that a Romanian diplomat is elected president of this main committee of the UN General Assembly. Previously, Romanian diplomats have served five times in the position of vice-president (1972, 1983, 2002, 2003 and 2014).
In his address, Ambassador Ion Jinga expressed gratitude to the UN member States for their trust, underlying that: “This election represents a recognition of Romania’s long-term commitment to multilateralism, as well as of my country contribution to the work of the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee. Romania has an outstanding tradition of leadership within the UN and a solid reputation as an honest and impartial peace promoter.”
The Permanent Representative of Romania highlighted a series of contributions brought by our country to the promotion of international peace and security within the UN in a number of positions: founding member of the UN Disarmament Conference; Chair of the Committee on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery (The 1540 Committee, named after the resolution adopted by the Security Council in 2004); Chair of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission (PrepCom); initiator, along with Germany, of the biennial resolution on transparency of military expenditures (MILEX), adopted by the UN General Assembly since 1998. He also stressed that: “In our world of today, the Disarmament and International Security Committee has a duty to operate at the highest possible standards. Romania will continue to bring its active contribution to the work of the First Committee, in line with the UN Charter and the norms of international law. The Presidency’s approach will be that of an “honest broker”, acting in transparency to identify the best solutions for preserving peace.”
The UN Disarmament and International Security Committee, also known as the “First Committee”, is one of the six main specialized bodies of the UN General Assembly, consisting of all the member States of the organization.
In conducting its work, the First Committee considers the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, the principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments, as well as cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments. Its portfolio includes all disarmament and international security matters within the scope of the Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any other organ of the United Nations.
The candidature of the Permanent Representative of Romania was endorsed by the Eastern European Group which, in accordance with the rule of geographical rotation between the five regional groups of the organization, was responsible for nominating the Chair of the First Committee for the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.