The work of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy (RADR) on the international trends set by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences was completed yesterday.
The first part of yesterday’s work was also attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who in his remarks referred to the effects of the current crisis on the Ukrainian foreign and security policy.
Among other things, he stressed that the security of Ukraine is closely linked to that of Romania, underlining that the militarization of Crimea has implications for the security of Romania as well as that of the EU and NATO as a whole. He thanked Romania for its pivotal role in the North Atlantic Council’s decision to recognize Ukraine as an expanded NATO partner, emitting a strong signal for strengthening bilateral trade co-operation, energy security and increasing infrastructure interconnection.
Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha then took the floor to raise the issue of the multiple challenges posed by the pandemic and the adaptation of diplomatic tools to meet those challenges, starting with the lessons learned and the successes her country had achieved.
On the first day, NATO Assistant Secretary General (and former Foreign Minister) Mircea Geoană emphasized in his message that, today, we are witnessing an over-acceleration of history, trends and processes as well as the transmission of opposite narratives. The values of the Western world are being tested and efforts must be made to strengthen democracy in Europe and within NATO, so that alternative narratives that promote authoritarianism can be effectively combated. Romania, he said, is one of the most reliable transmitters of this key message.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who was an honorary guest, stressed in his message that the EU must emerge stronger from the crisis caused by the coronavirus. “This is the main lesson and a test of history. We need a stronger Europe compared to the rest of the world,” he said.
The working session behind closed doors under Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu revolved around the lessons learned from the crisis management and its consequences at the consular level, the role of the Foreign Minister and diplomatic missions in defending national interests and those of Romanian citizens throughout the world. The need for an innovative and secure digitization of the diplomatic service was emphasized, in order to increase the ability to manage possible future crises more effectively.
The second part of the Working Dialogue headed by Aurescu focused on identifying international, transatlantic, European and regional trends, that influence Romanian foreign policy priorities, as well as on analyzing the need to adapt or change them.
Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu opened the RADR proceedings in the presence of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who in his address stressed the importance of predictability in foreign policy and common core values, such as democracy and the rule of law, which Romania shares with its key partners. He also stressed the importance of the relationship of the diplomatic and consular missions with the Romanians of the Diaspora, and asked the heads of the missions to maintain active and permanent relations, through differentiated projects, with all Romanians abroad.
The special guest on the first day was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, Ayman Safadi, who briefed on the latest developments and prospects regarding peace in the Middle East. /ibna