RUMIANA JELEVA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, began by asserting her country’s dedication to multilateralism, and thus its full support for bolstering the United Nations capacity to provide effective responses to global challenges. She said the economic crisis and climate change were the most pressing issues. Turning to other urgent matters, she added that ensuring energy and food security, tackling migration, pandemics and numerous conflicts was also crucial.
Global security required a bottom-up approach, with different sorts of regional, subregional and cross-border cooperation serving as building blocks for comprehensive security, she continued. While she welcomed better relations between the European Union and the United Nations on conflict matters, she said this could be deepened further to address prevention and reconstruction. On foreign policy, she said cooperation in South-East Europe and the Black Sea region was a priority, particularly in the transport and energy sectors and in environmental protection. Regional cooperation was integral to the integration of the Western Balkans into Europe, as it contributed to bolstering stability and security and affirmed European values.
She then called for full compliance in the Western Balkans with human rights and fundamental freedoms and noted that the building of a stable, peaceful, democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo was of primary importance for the security architecture of the Western Balkans and Europe as a whole. She expressed concern over the South Caucasus, urging various factions to work towards ensuring the region’s peaceful and prosperous growth. It was also crucial to embrace the Black Sea region’s opportunities, namely in the transportation, energy and environment sectors. In that regard, Bulgaria was one of the key supporters of a cooperation platform between the European Union and the Black Sea region, she said.
She urged stepping up efforts to improve international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation, underscoring her country’s support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and for implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons. She expressed concern on Iran’s nuclear activities and its deteriorating human rights record, urging it to abide by Security Council resolutions on nuclear matters. Since terrorism was one of the most serious global threats to peace and security, it had to remain high on the international community’s agenda, she cautioned.
In times of enormous and unprecedented challenges, reforming the United Nations Security Council was central. That would happen by enhancing the Organization’s ability to represent more States, to be transparent and effective. Also, Bulgaria firmly supported United Nations peacekeeping missions. It took great pride in participating in peacekeeping efforts in the Western Balkans and Afghanistan.
She said she was also aware that international diplomacy did help overcome conflicts and thus stood by the European Union’s position on the Arab-Israeli conflict, by stressing that a durable peace would only transpire if both sides coexisted in their own sovereign States. Given that sustainable peace could not exist without effective justice, Bulgaria supported the International Criminal Court, the Rome Statute and the United Nations Alliance of Civilization’s efforts towards peace and stability. It also expressed its commitment to human rights and gender equality.
Turning to ways to overcome the economic and financial crisis, she urged for developed and developing countries to intensify their cooperation. At the same time, she expressed concern that the United Nations regular budget for the period 2010-2011 had grown and called for cost-cutting measures.