Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu participated on Friday in the UN Security Council’s High-Level Meeting on the ’75th Anniversary of the End of World War II in Europe; lessons for the prevention of international crimes in the future, the responsibility of the Security Council,’ carried out in a videoconference system, on which occasion he evoked Romania’s participation in WWII and the contribution of the Romanian troops to the victory against Nazism.
The Romanian Foreign Minister’s participation took place at the invitation of Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, a country ensuring the UN Security Council chairmanship in May 2020.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release, Aurescu evoked Romania’s participation in WWII and the contribution of the Romanian troops to the victory against Nazism, pointing out Romania had a major contribution to the final victory of the Allies.
“With over 167,000 dead or injured soldiers on the battlefield, Romania hasn’t only contributed in military terms to the defeat of the Nazi regime, but also to the end of the sufferings of civilians on the entire European continent,” Aurescu underscored.
He also highlighted that 2020 also marks 75 years of existence of the UN, and reiterated the importance of the global multilateralism framework represented by the UN and of observing the international law mechanisms. The Minister showed that, although in the 75 years since the end of WWII peace and stability prevailed mainly in Europe, “over the past few years, we have witnessed several challenges to international norms, including on the European continent.” Aurescu thus brought to mind that “Romania has firmly condemned the situations of illegal force use by some states and the attempts to illegally occupy other states’ territories.”
He reiterated Romania’s support for the UN member states’ common and solidary action in finding a response to the new global challenges. Aurescu pleaded for the UN Security Council’s responsibility for ensuring international peace and security in accordance with its mandate, including based on the provisions of the Charter that ban the use of force, and voiced support for the involvement of this forum in providing some responses to the new challenges and crises.
The Romanian top diplomat also reiterated Romania’s role of consistent player in supporting international peace and security, highlighting the endorsement for the UN Security Council activity and the observance of international law. “International law is essential for the prevention and limitation of local and regional conflicts and for avoiding their degeneration into major international wars,” he said.
Aurescu also pleaded for the UN Security Council assuming an enhanced role in the context of the current crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union, H.E. Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Professor Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University, participated in the opening session. Representatives of 65 UN member states, out of which 45 on a foreign minister level, delivered speeches during the debates.
The UN system periodically marks, through special events, the conclusion of WWII. Given the circumstances of the current period in New York, when the UN General Assembly cannot convene in plenary session, the 75th anniversary since the end of WII took place within this informal meeting of the Security Council, in a videoconference system.