https://www.stiripesurse.ro-Author: Bran Irina Alexandra
In a speech to the 130th session of the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers, Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu touched on the current developments in Belarus, Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh. The virtual event was held under the Greek presidency of the Committee of Ministers it took over in May 2020, according to AGERPRES.
The session also marked the transfer of the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers from Greece to Germany, which will hold the office between November 2020 and May 2021, according to Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE).
In his speech, Aurescu also reiterated Romania’s position on streamlining multilateralism and strengthening resilience based on democratic values and international law, in order to meet the challenges facing the world.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy pointed out that Romania has joined the “Coronavirus Global Response” initiative and that this year several health emergency assistance projects have been redirected, especially in the eastern neighbourhood and in sub-Saharan Africa. Romania has redirected over 75% of its budget for international development co-operation so as to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aurescu highlighted the relevance of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe that proved their efficiency during the health crisis by sustaining the common standards and values of the organisation. In order to keep achieving this objective, he called for the correct and uniform application of the legislation in force in all CoE member states.
Aurescu also underlined that Romania remains a constant supporter of both the CoE’s Neighbourhood Policy and the democratic processes in the CoE’s neighbourhood. He reiterated that Romania is closely monitoring and deeply concerned about developments in Belarus, adding that the country has actively supported the adoption of the EU decision to impose sanctions on those responsible for violence, repression and electoral fraud there.
At the same time, the Romanian dignitary mentioned the de facto position of Romania on the member states meeting all the commitments pledged at the time of their accession to the Council of Europe, highlighting support for maintaining territorial integrity and independence of all the Council of Europe member states.
“The head of Romanian diplomacy voiced concern over continuing abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Crimea, which is illegally annexed, and in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by so-called separatists. At the same time, he mentioned the need to monitor the human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where we are witnessing a growing deterioration in regional security,” according to MAE.
Regarding the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the head of the Romanian diplomacy advocated for an immediate resumption of the political dialogue in order to identify peaceful solutions, in accordance with international law.
Amidst the 70th anniversary of the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights, Aurescu reiterated Romania’s confidence in the European Court of Human Rights and in its role in protecting fundamental rights and freedoms throughout Europe.
He also voiced conviction that the member states must emphasise and express their firm commitment to the system of the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, the head of the Romanian diplomacy pointed to Romania’s support for the fight against hate speech and xenophobic manifestations in all its forms, together with a message of condemnation of all courts of this phenomenon that he finds unjustifiable.
At the meeting, the foreign ministers passed a ministerial statement on effective management of a health crisis in full respect of human rights and the principles of democracy and the rule of law. At the same time, in view of the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Greek Presidency of the Committee of Ministers marked the moment at a small ceremony, with the participation of senior Council of Europe officials, in the presence of the President of Greece.
Also featuring on the agenda of the ministerial meeting were strengthening democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Europe, the release of the Secretary General’s report on multilateralism in 2020 and the release of a paper on the role of the Council of Europe in responding to conflicts and crises in Europe enhancing the long-term efficiency of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Neighbourhood Policy of the Council of Europe.