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Speech of Moldovan prime minister held at 72nd session of UN general assembly

16:07 | 23.09.2017 Category: Political

Chisinau, 23 September /MOLDPRES/ – Prime Minister, Pavel Filip, gave a speech on behalf of the Republic of Moldova at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September 2017.

We present the full text of this speech.

"Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I would like to begin by addressing to His Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajcak the warmest congratulations on his election as President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, wishing him success in fulfilling his mandate.

We also express our thanks to your predecessor, His Excellency, Peter Thomson, for his dedication and professionalism in managing the proceedings of the previous session.

I also address words of encouragement and support to the new UN Secretary-General, His Excellency, Mr. António Guterres. I am sure that thanks to his competent leadership and the joint efforts of the Member States, we will be able to redefine the role of the UN by adjusting it to the requirements of the modern world.

Mister President,

It is obvious that we, reunited within this universal vocation, are deeply concerned about the challenges facing the international community.

The armed conflicts in the Middle East, long-standing conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism, poverty-induced problems are just some of the phenomena that undermine peace and sustainable development.

We are deeply concerned about the excessive accumulation of conventional weapons and the development of nuclear weapons programmes. An international climate marked by threats with the use of force, including nuclear weapons, emphasizes the feeling of insecurity and lack of trust.

The climate change and devastating natural cataclysms occurring with increasing frequency affect negatively hundreds of millions of people, especially those living in extreme poverty. I use this context to express our compassion and our condolences to the states and families that suffered from the devastating recent storms and earthquake in Mexico.

The speeches of my previous distinguished speakers illustrate that we all perceive almost the same those global issues which we face. Today, more than ever, there is a need for a joint commitment of the UN member states to respond effectively to new and old challenges.

From this perspective, I would like to reiterate our full support to Secretary General Gutteres for his reform agenda focused on increasing the focus on conflict prevention; repositioning development at the centre of the organization's work and reforming the UN's internal management.

Mister President,

Following the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union in June 2014, the Republic of Moldova has pledged itself in a process of structural reforms in order to build a modern society, following the European model of development.

Our main efforts are focused on strengthening the rule of law, developing a functioning market economy with a strong social dimension, ensuring human rights. The strategic sectoral development priorities focus in particular on infrastructure modernization, rational resource management, development of green economy and renewable energy, application of modern technologies in agriculture. In this context, I will also mention the reform of public administration and services for the population, provision of gender equality and youth promotion.

We have the political will to carry out these reforms and we continue to rely on the support of our external development partners, especially the EU and the UN.

Mister President,

The Republic of Moldova fully shares the view that the peaceful prevention and settlement of conflicts, particularly of long-standing conflicts, are indispensable prerequisites for the achievement of Development Agenda 2030.

The lack of progress in regulating long-lasting conflicts must trigger direct involvement from relevant UN bodies. We believe that no conflict must remain outside the UN's attention, whether or not it appears on agenda of the Security Council.

We welcome the fact that the General Assembly has included and maintains on its agenda a point entitled: The long – standing conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for peace, security and international development.

Discussing this issue within the General Assembly does not undermine in any way the existing negotiating format and the experience of previous sessions unjustifiably leaves some concerns expressed by some states on it.

And on the contrary, continued monitoring by the UN and proactive approaches to developments in the GUAM area can counteract attempts to modify the political frontiers of states in the region through methods that have nothing to do with democracy and international law.

I use this opportunity to express the profound concern of the Republic of Moldova about the perpetuation of the armed conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine, a conflict that threatens peace and security in our region. I reiterate, in this context, our full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Mister President,

The issue of the unregulated conflict in the eastern part of the Republic of Moldova, deepened by the illegal staying of foreign military forces on national territory, has been repeatedly addressed the UN tribunal since 1992.

We have pointed out that, unlike other conflict situations in the former Soviet space, the Transnistrian conflict, being less complex, could be regulated more easily if all parties would manifest the necessary political will. In our case, there are no antagonisms of an ethnic or religious nature, and the population on the two banks of the Dniester river can coexist in peace and good understanding in a reintegrated Moldovan state.

Despite the efforts of recent 25 years with involvement of international actors, we have not been able to regulate that political conflict. We will continue our efforts to find a solution in the existing "5+2" negotiation format. For us it is extremely important that the solution to be based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with granting of a special status to the Transnistrian region, as stipulated in the relevant OSCE documents.

We believe that the process of regulation could be facilitated by the transformation of the current "trilateral peacekeeping force" from the Transnistrian region, with a Russian Federation contingent on a multinational civilian mission with international mandate.

I would point out in this context that this trilateral withdrawal force, created on the basis of the Moldovan – Russian ceasefire agreement of 21 July 1992, achieved its objectives many years ago. This obsolete mechanism became a factor in preserving the Transnistrian conflict that failed to ensure full demilitarization of the security zone and remove obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods and services.

Mister President,

Contrary to expectations, the Russian Federation did not withdraw its military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova in accordance with its international commitments, stipulated in the Moldovan – Russian Ceasefire Agreement of July 1992, the Moldovan – Russian Agreement of October 1994 and, respectively, in the relevant OSCE documents, in particular, in the Political Declaration of the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in November 1999.

I note that these military forces are distinct and should not be confused with the Russian military contingent participating in the "trilateral peacekeeping force" operating under an ad hoc arrangement.

The military exercises carried out in the Transnistrian region by the Russian troops, with the increasing participation of the paramilitary forces of the secessionist regime in Tiraspol, constitute a real security challenge for the Republic of Moldova. Those actions are in flagrant contradiction with the obligations to strictly adhere to the principle of neutrality with respect to the conflict parties, expressly stipulated in the Moldovan – Russian ceasefire agreement of 1992.

Dear delegates,

According to OSCE reports, arms and ammunition depots of the Russian Operational Group contain more than 21,000 tons.

The Government of the Republic of Moldova does not control or monitor those ammunition and weapons. The lack of transparency and access to such deposits does not allow the technical status of ammunition, especially outdated, to be assessed. For the same reason, transfers of arms and ammunition in the Transnistrian region or outside it can not be monitored.

Similarly, the Republic of Moldova is not in a position to fulfill its international commitments as a state party to various international conventions in the field of weapon control and disarmament, given that the ammunition and arms concerned, although stored on national territory, are not under “its jurisdiction or control”.

Taking into account the commitments of the Russian Federation, the fundamental principles of international law, as well as the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova regarding the status of permanent neutrality of the country and the non – admission of the deployment of other troops of national states on the national territory, we strongly reiterate the demand to withdraw completely and unconditionally the so – called Operational Group of the Russian troops (successor of the former Soviet Army №14) staying illegally on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

In the same range of ideas, I would like to invoke the Declaration of the Parliament of the Republic Moldova on the withdrawal of the Russian military forces from Moldova on 21 July 2017 calling on the Russian Federation to resume and complete the process of withdrawal of its troops and ammunition from the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

Dear delegates,

In view of the United Nations Organisation's competencies in the field of international peace and security and in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of the UN Charter, the Republic of Moldova requests the inclusion in the agenda of the 72nd General Assembly of a point entitled: Withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory Republic of Moldova.

I appeal to all UN member states' delegations to support this legitimate request, which fully corresponds to the principles of the UN Charter and represents a fundamental interest of the Republic of Moldova.

We hope that the inclusion of this point in the agenda of the General Assembly and its examination by the UN member states in a constructive and unpolished manner will constitute an important and necessary exercise of preventive diplomacy in relation to a country and region where peace and security is undermined by a lack of dialogue based on mutual respect and without following fundamental principles of international law.

Thank you for your attention".