Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu emphasized the importance of the Ministry’s Open Doors Day held on Friday in a bid to open the institution to the public, as part of a series of events dedicated to the 160th anniversary of the creation of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Aurescu explained that the Open House event is highly relevant for the diplomats, and that approximately 150 visitors stepped into the premises of the institution in a first group.
“I think this is an important moment and for us, diplomats, it is highly relevant that we open the institution to the public for people to know exactly what we do, because in fact the Foreign Affairs Ministry works for each individual citizen, even if at first glance it seems like an abstract exercise behind closed doors, or in a select atmosphere. In reality this isn’t so. We work for the security of the citizens, for their prosperity. We are trying to make things better for Romania,” Aurescu declared for AGERPRES.
Minister Aurescu presented the visitors a series of exhibits, including a copy of his pleadings before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the Judgment of the International Court of Justice from February 2009, by which Romania was awarded jurisdiction over 9,700 square kilometers of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea.
In the central building of the Ministry, the public can see the exhibits displayed in the entrance hall, as well as in the “Grigore Gafencu” Hall: diplomatic documents and objects, an exhibition dedicated to the diplomatic dress, and another one dedicated to the illustrious professor, jurist and diplomat Vespasian V. Pella, founding father of the concept of the International Criminal Court and of international criminal law; there is also an area dedicated to official photos and press conferences, as well as the gallery of portraits of Romanian Foreign Ministers.
The public also has access to the “Mihnea Constantinescu” Hall and the “Nicolae Titulescu” lounge, the usual venues for various diplomatic activities such as receptions of foreign officials, political consultations, meetings of the Ministry’s Crisis Cell, working lunches and dinners, negotiations, signing ceremonies for international treaties.
The exhibits include the investiture sword of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, gifted to him by Sultan Abdul Medjid in 1860, on the occasion of Cuza’s visit to Constantinople; the ruler of the United Principalities is the one who, in 1862, signed the decree on the reorganization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also on display are several passports of famous Romanian personalities such as George Enescu and his wife Maruca Cantacuzino, Elena Vacarescu, Grigore Gafencu’s military record book, or the staff records of several Romanian Foreign Ministers: Mihail Kogalniceanu, Vasile Alecsandri, Lucian Blaga, as well as several treaties concluded by Romania over time, starting with the 1864 act of navigation at the mouths of the Danube, at a time when Romania had not yet acquired its independence, and ending with the Ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, by which Romania obtained for the first time after 1918 additional territories – the continental shelf around Serpent Island.
The “Gafencu” Hall also hosts an AGERPRES photo exhibition.
“We also have an AGERPRES exhibition, which we inaugurated a few years ago. It is called ‘Romania Before & After’ and offers a visual comparison of Romania’s transformation, a juxtaposition of black and white photos taken before 1989 with color images of the same places nowadays, to allow a comparison on how Romania has changed,” the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Archives Doru Liciu told Agerpres.