Alocuțiunea Președintelui României, domnul Klaus Iohannis, susținută cu ocazia primirii distincției „Light Unto the Nations”, în cadrul Forumului Global American Jewish Committee (AJC) - Sesiunea formală destinată liderilor internaționali

20:00 | 05 Iunie 2017 | Statele Unite ale Americii

Președintele României, domnul Klaus Iohannis, a susținut luni, 5 iunie a.c., la Washington, D.C., o alocuțiune cu ocazia primirii distincției „Light Unto the Nations”, în cadrul Forumului Global American Jewish Committee (AJC) - Sesiunea formală destinată liderilor internaționali.

 

Vă prezentăm în continuare textul alocuțiunii în limba engleză:

„Esteemed President Shapiro,

Esteemed President Anastasiades,

Dear Mr Harris, CEO

Dear Ministers,

Dear friends of the American Jewish Committee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here today, in front of this extraordinary audience. I am truly honored to be granted the prestigious Light Unto the Nations Award of the American Jewish Committee. Thank you for the warm welcome and for the great opportunity to address you this evening.

I particularly want to commend the American Jewish Committee for its very consistent, meaningful and transformative work throughout decades.

I praise your relentless and firm stand for human rights and democratic values, and for the global role you assumed on major issues impacting and shaping our world.

I accept the Light Unto the Nations prestigious award not for myself, but for my country and the Romanian people. It is their belief in democracy and the rule of law which is acknowledged through this award, and which has brought us, as a nation, where we stand today.

As a country once trapped in the darkness of communist dictatorship, we have come a long way. We have faced and overcome many challenges during the process of building a solid democracy based on the rule of law, a free-market economy, and an open society; A society which helps its citizens to have a powerful voice, even if they have to defend these values in the street.

Through the efforts, dedication and sometimes sacrifices of our people, Romania has taken its rightful place among the nations which value, protect and promote these principles.

This very special award makes me assume an additional commitment to put all of my strength, as President of Romania, to pursue justice, democracy, the rule of law for my country, for the region and globally.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

My vision for Romania is that of a strong, modern and stable country, developed through meaningful projects, supported by all of my fellow citizens. For this, I seek to establish a mentality based on normality, democratic consensus and responsibility. We need to build together an enduring project of a nation determined to achieve its full potential.

To this purpose, strengthening the rule of law and safeguarding judicial independence are, for me, top priorities. The fight against corruption is in good progress, but we need to continue. It is my personal pledge to further support it with even more intensity and determination. There is no other way forward!

­­­

Ladies and gentlemen,

I dare say Romania is a strong country. Its strength is not given by geography or circumstances. It’s given by the values we promote and our constant resolve to shape a distinct role of my country in safeguarding regional and transatlantic security.

Speaking about the values we uphold, this AJC event is all the more significant as it takes place shortly after Romania successfully completed the one-year Chairmanship-in-Office of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Last year, I was deeply moved during my visit to YadVashem, when Romania assumed this chairmanship. In a time when extremism, xenophobia and radicalism are dangerously rising in Europe and in the world, my country fully assumed its past and acts as a firm promoter of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect for diversity.

We cannot allow anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial to threaten the health of our democracies!

So, as chairmanship of the Alliance, we provided support to educational institutions and educators on how to use the lessons learned from the Holocaust tragedy to promote knowledge and tolerance, to strengthen the capacity to prevent anti-Semitism and discrimination.

In May 2016, a working definition of anti-Semitism was adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance plenary of Bucharest.

This was a great achievement of the Romanian chairmanship. I am convinced that it will provide new opportunities to counter contemporary anti-Semitism.

In 2015, I have promulgated a piece of legislation by which Romania has introduced in its criminal law one of the most modern set of legal rules in Europe, which allows for prosecuting extreme nationalism, racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism including when performed on social networks. I have also fully supported the initiative of establishing a Museum of History of the Romanian Jews and the Holocaust in Bucharest, in the near future.

The positive example of Romania can be followed by other Central and East European countries, where the communist distortion of the Holocaust left societies too vulnerable to populist excesses for cheap political gain.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

As President, my main commitment is to promote a strong Romania, in Europe and worldwide – for the security of our people and of our Allies and partners.

I designed our country’s National Defense Strategy under this resolution. All steps and actions we took have been consistent with it in our foreign policy, in our strategic partnerships, including with the United States.

We fully understand our responsibility in the current dynamic, dangerous and unpredictable security context. That is why Romania acts as a provider of security and a source of stability in the region, which contributes to a safer world and is fully engaged with its partners.

Being a NATO Ally means sharing the burden. In early 2015, one of my first decisions as President was to ensure a broad agreement of all political parties to increase our defense budget to 2% of the GDP. Now, Romania became one of the 6 NATO Allies which turn this promise into reality, because we believe it’s the right decision for our security and for the stability of our region.

Our brave men and women of the Romanian military are fighting alongside US troops in NATO and international operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. Romania is part of the Coalition against ISIS and is firm in fighting any form of terrorism.

I have strongly supported the recent decision for NATO to become a member of the anti-ISIS Coalition, as well.

However we do more than that: Romania, as a NATO and EU Member State, is a strong promoter of the transatlantic link. We must keep and reinforce its strength against the challenges both Europe and America have to cope with.

Both Europe and America need it, no matter if we speak about the EU-US relationship, or about what we have to do within NATO.

Present day Europe is faced with multiple, unprecedented crises. Extremism, nationalism, populism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination are threatening our democratic societies. They undermine our European project by prompting disbelief, resignation, skepticism and lack of solidarity. As you know, I strongly believe in the continued relevance of the EU. We are in need of a renewed creative effort and a close reconnection to our citizens, for a stronger, safer, more prosperous Europe.

I am sharing these thoughts because the US also need the European Union, as a strategic partner, to be strong and united.

The security of the EU, in the broadest sense, of Europe as a whole, is highly relevant for the security of the United States. It was always the case, and it will still be. In this context, I can assure you that we will continue to be one of the strongest transatlantic pillars inside the EU.

The transatlantic link continues to be our strongest guarantee for security, fundamental freedoms and prosperity. In the context of BREXIT, we are committed to step up our advocacy for a solid relation between Europe and the United States. 

For maintaining transatlantic security, we also need a stable neighborhood of the European Union and NATO. This is why Romania has acted as a pillar of stability in the extended Black Sea area. It continues to be a firm supporter of the democratic processes in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. We need to continue, together, this effort.

Last, but not least, Romania is a strong strategic partner for the US. Our special bond with the United States is a major pillar of our foreign policy. This year, we celebrate two decades of Strategic Partnership. This partnership is grounded on a common understanding of democracy and rule of law.

It is also based on a powerful joint stance for the Euro-Atlantic security. For Romania, the US remain the key security guarantor bilaterally and in NATO.

Indeed we have an excellent military cooperation. I have already mentioned our joint action in foreign operations theaters. I can add the joint countering of emergent security threats and the missile defense cooperation: Romania's hosting of the US Aegis Ashore Facility at Deveselu is one of the most important projects of the Strategic Partnership.

Beyond the security dimension, there are more opportunities. Romania, which had the highest economic growth in the European Union in 2016, welcomes US businesses and investments by providing a safe and open environment.

At the same time we look forward to more progress on the innovation, education and research dimension, as areas of great importance for our common future.

 

Dear friends,

Being in Washington as a guest of honor of the AJC is all the more significant: Romania shares an unshakable bond with Israel, as the only country in my region with uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1948.

As the regretted President Shimon Peres once said, «Romania for Israel is not just a point in geography, but a chapter in history. This is a friendship that will not expire and will go a long way in the future, not just a long way in history». It is my personal commitment to continue to expand and reinforce this special, strategic relationship with Israel.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am accepting this award as a recognition for my country and for the resilient and dynamic Strategic Partnership we have with the United States.

To quote President Trump, from a letter he sent to me in March this year, «I fully agree the United States and Romania enjoy a strong and vibrant strategic partnership.»

I look forward to meeting President Trump later this week, and to working together to make this partnership even stronger, deeper, broader and more meaningful for both our nations!

Allow me once again to express my profound gratitude for this award and to thank you all!”