2018 is especially significant for Romania as we celebrate a century since the unification of all Romanian provinces in one democratic state. The Centennial of the Great Union has given us the opportunity to become aware of lessons from our history, as well as to honour the memory of the sacrifices made for laying the foundations of modern Romania, which have ultimately placed us today in the midst of the great European family. Celebrating this historic event, we assert our identity in an united and powerful Europe. The Centennial invites us to reflect on the process of restoring stability in regions with conflicts, on the steps to follow for consolidating peace, and on the role of diplomacy in the former and current global context.
The First World War represented an unexpected inflection point in history, causing deep paradigm shifts both in international relations, and at socio-cultural level. On a human level, the conflict included all – the soldiers on the battle fronts, the families remaining at home, as well as the political and military decision-makers having to take strategic and pragmatic measures. Today, we unanimously agree that war, classic or hybrid, must be avoided through dialogue and cooperation aimed at building sustainable international relations.
For Romania, as for many other countries in the region, the end of the war turned a new page of our history. Although Romania was neutral until 1916, it was not spared from the violence that Europe was confronted with. Romania’s involvement in the Great War is synonymous in our collective memory with achieving the national unitary state. This ideal took shape, through the will of the Romanian people, at The Great National Assembly on December 1, 1918 in Alba Iulia. For the first time in history, the overwhelming majority of Romanians lived in a single state.
100 years after the Great Union, Romania reaffirms its attachment to the principles of international law, to the promotion of mutual respect and good understanding, to dialogue and to multiculturalism, values that are the basis of its international profile and its external action. Romania is not only a historically mature state, but also actively involved in the consolidation of the European and transatlantic projects, as an anchor of stability in the region. Today, Romania enjoys unprecedented development, security and welfare. Our collective duty is to protect and secure them in the medium and long term, as well as to be prepared for challenges ahead. We are committed to building a future which preserves our authentic values, and promotes creativity, dynamism and social inclusion, in keeping with European principles.
As diplomats, we will continue our efforts to consolidate Romania’s international profile, through a coherent, effective and predictable foreign policy, to work towards building an international system based on stability and respect for universal human rights, fostering intercultural cooperation and constructive dialogue.