National Intervention of the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, at the high-level segment of the 74th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation

09:15 | 25 september 2019 |

Honourable President,

Honourable Secretary General,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to address the General Assembly and to present a renewed commitment of Romania to multilateralism and the rules-based international order, with the United Nations at its core.

With the fall of the hideous communist regime, 30 years ago, my country embarked on a new era of freedom, democracy and prosperity.

The Iron Curtain was replaced by our strong determination to re-join the family of western values and to interact openly with the rest of the world, driven by the deep respect for democratic principles and International Rule of Law.

Today, we are – all of us – profoundly interconnected by multilateral governance and, more than ever, we must value the genuine spirit of cooperation the United Nations has always promoted and which is indispensable for finding efficient solutions to the international challenges.

The forthcoming 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 is an opportunity for our Organisation to step up the implementation of the UN Secretary General's ambitious reform package, renew our Organisation and make sure that it delivers for all.

You can count on Romania and our active commitment in achieving these ambitious endeavours. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Climate change is no doubt a global challenge – from water shortage and food insecurity to sea level rise.

I thank the Secretary General for his leadership in generating a meaningful agenda on this issue all along this year.

Romania unfortunately was not spared by the adverse effects of climate change.

But we came to this session of the General Assembly with a sense of hope and responsibility.

Hope that it is not too late to secure a safe and environmentally-friendly planet for our children and responsibility to undertake concrete steps in order to keep the pace with our promises under the Paris Agreement and the rules agreed in Katowice, including by pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

Our National Strategy on Climate Change has been conceived with the aim to shape an economy resilient to climate change, with low carbon dioxide emissions, able to integrate climate policies through a smart economic growth.

Our objective is to reach, by 2050, a society in which economic, social and environmental policies are interconnected and designed to ensure sustainable development, high living standards and quality of environment.

Advancing the European Union agenda on climate change was also a priority for Romania during its mandate as Presidency of the European Union Council, in the first semester of this year. The transition to a climate-neutral economy was intensively debated within the EU and its long-term strategy on climate change is to be finalised soon.

At the same time, Romania answered the call of the Secretary General to come up with national initiatives undertaken along nine portfolios of concrete actions with potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increase global action on adaptation and resilience.

A list in this respect was sent to the United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Summit.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Adaptation to and mitigation of the negative effects of climate change are part of the wider strategy of sustainable development at national and global level.

In Romania, a dedicated strategic document launched last year – The 2030 Reviewed National Strategy – guides our action over the next 12 years.

Based on a broad public consultation, the Strategy mirrors the expectations of our society and maps the policies needed to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The establishment of sustainable development units in the administration and the creation of a civil society coalition for sustainable development are just a few tools we envisage in order to scale-up our national efforts in this area. 

Dear colleagues,

Esteemed delegates,

Development and security go hand in hand. Nevertheless, the approach based on the security-development nexus may not be enough to overcome the security challenges, as these may have roots going beyond the development dimension.

Unfortunately, we continue to witness, in our region, deliberate actions aiming at undermining security.

The belt of unresolved conflicts around the Black Sea – which has strategic importance for the transatlantic security – remains a serious source of instability, hampering regional cooperation and the overall international security.

Military presence on other countries’ territories without their consent, military build-ups, aggressive gestures, threats to use force and the use of hybrid tactics to undermine the internal stability are worrying developments and should be rejected by all of us.

Romania remains a strong supporter of the multilateral rules-based international order built around the United Nations, which represents our best hope to tackle such challenges. The effectiveness of this international order depends on the willingness of all United Nations Members to engage in finding lasting multilateral solutions, in conformity with the United Nations core values.

Romania is strongly committed to act in this way, as a pillar of stability in the region and we constantly supported the United Nations efforts in tackling such risks, including through the General Assembly resolutions pertaining to these matters.

Romania participated and still participates in United Nations peacekeeping operations covering countries all over the world, from Afghanistan and Sudan to Georgia and Haiti, and now in Mali.

In mid-October 120 Romanians and four helicopters will start their mission in Mali, a critical area, in support of the United Nations effort to assist the Malian Government to achieve stability and build a safer future for its people by promoting sustainable development, peace and security.


Romania reiterates its deep concern regarding the global spread and magnitude of terrorism and condemns in the strongest terms the continued recurrence of terrorist attacks, including those targeting representatives of diplomatic missions.

Recently, such attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan, tragically ended the life of two Romanian citizens and seriously wounded one.

I reiterate the firm commitment of Romania to combat terrorism at international level, by using all available tools, including international law. Romania has welcomed the reform launched by the Secretary General at the beginning of his term and supported the United Nations efforts aimed at enhancing coordination and improving the coherence in the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

To conclude, let me reassure you of Romania’s full support in the endeavour to galvanise multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion during the whole of the seventy forth session of the General Assembly.

Thank you!