Thursday, October 30, 2014

Right of education in separatist eastern region of Moldova at UN

by H.E. Vlad Lupan, Ambassador,
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations
during the general discussions under the agenda item 68 (b) and (c),
Third Committee, 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly

M Chair,

The Republic of Moldova is fully committed to the protection of human rights and commends the intense work of the United Nations bodies involved in the promotion and respect of human rights all over the world.

My country remains fully supportive to the Secretary General’s Strategic Framework for 2014-2015, involving thematic priorities such as combat discrimination, promoting rule of law and accountability, fighting violence, inequality and continuing efforts to improve international human rights mechanisms, and widening the democratic space. We share these priorities and bring our national contributions, as well best regional practices, to these priorities.

Thus, being an active member of the Council of Europe (CoE) and in the European Union-Republic of Moldova human rights dialogue, we have steadily contributed to further enhancing the coordination and increasing synergies among international and regional mechanisms. We firmly believe that such an approach brings more efficiency and further consolidates results in fulfillment and promotion of human rights.

As an example of regional commitments taken at the CoE, EU and relevant for the United Nations, the Republic of Moldova took the decision to abolish the death penalty in 1995, four years after its independence. Since adopting this decision the Republic of Moldova has consistently supported and promoted the abolition of death penalty in all relevant international fora, including CoE, EU and the UN. Accordingly, the Republic of Moldova became a core group co-sponsor of the HRC resolution on the abolition of death penalty now, and uses this opportunity to call on all states to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition. This example of national, regional and international joint approach proves how this multi-layered approach can strengthen our coordination and synergies in respect of human rights.

Speaking about universal mechanisms, as a candidate to the Human Rights Council for the term 2020-2022, the Republic of Moldova stresses that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has proved to be an important tool to promote the implementation of the human rights nationally and internationally. We are glad that this mechanism reconfirmed its usefulness yet again this year. The Republic of Moldova is attaching great importance to this exercise and, for example, organized the 4th French-speaking seminar on the UPR together with IOF and the OHCHR on 11-12 April 2014, in Chisinau. This event offered a good experience sharing platform in implementation of the UPR recommendations and finding best ways to improve UPR durability. In this context, we share the view that greater priority should be given to implementation and follow-up to the recommendations made by the UPR, Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures for real impact of human rights on the ground. As a country that has streamlined the recommendations of the UPR, Treaty Bodies and regional organizations in the National Human Rights Action Plan, we can confirm that this is, indeed, an efficient tool for systematic implementation of human rights and can be a useful example for other UN member states.

M Chair,

Promotion and, particularly, protection of human rights is a justified and moral priority around the world today. Violations of human rights may be indeed a serious indicator not only of ongoing, but also of potential crises. We believe that the promotion of the Rights Up Front Initiative, with a growing number of Member States and intergovernmental bodies, as well as the determination within the United Nations to anchor human rights throughout the work of the Organization, should help strengthening the ability of the United Nations to respond in a timely and effective manner to human rights situations of concern and might help prevent crises as well.

As there is a shift in the security developments around the world, so does the pattern of attention to the human rights needs to include these developments. Human rights related problems are rising in conjunction to security developments inside the states. Some of these concerns are not new, however, and show the need to keep our attention to such problems as frozen conflicts. We continue to be concerned about the human rights situation in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova. Due to the unresolved conflict the region remains outside the monitoring process of the national and international human rights mechanisms. In terms of ensuring outreach, dissemination and compliance with the international standards on human rights, the region remains an unexploited territory. While the Republic of Moldova devotes extensive efforts to ensure respect of the rights of individuals in accordance with the national and international legal framework, the human rights represents one of the priorities on the agenda of negotiation process aimed at resolving this protracted conflict. One of the human rights topics which are constantly on the agenda of Moldovan Government is the situation around functioning of the Moldova-administered Latin Script Schools situated in the Transnistrian region. Throughout the years, the schools experienced various forms of pressure and intimidation from different Transnistrian structures. Currently these schools are operating in an environment of uncertainty and insecurity and confront with a number of challenges including discriminatory policies. The Government of the Republic of Moldova is committed to identify solutions through dialogue. In parallel central authorities are constantly appealing to the Transnistrian side to refrain from any unilateral actions that could lead to the deterioration of conditions in which schools are operating. Permanent attention by our international partners to this issue is still much needed.

M Chair,

In a year from now, the new development agenda with the SDGs at its core will come to complement the existing Millennium Development Goals. We need to stress the relevance of strengthening the linkages between the three dimensions of the sustainable development. We know there is an inseparable relationship between sustainable development and human rights, because the respect for human rights means empowerment, and empowerment is as a prerequisite for development. A human rights-based approach is essential to development progress.

Therefore, M Chair, in conclusion, I want to assure you of the Republic of Moldova’s commitment to further engage in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

I thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Withdrawal of Russian forces from Moldova is requested & concerns in and around Ukraine

by Ambassador Vlad Lupan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to UN, at the thematic debate of the UN General Assembly First Committee,
69th session, on Conventional Weapons
New York, 22 October 2014
Mr. Chairman,

Since this is my first opportunity to address the 1st Committee, it is my honor to congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the First Committee and other Bureau members on their election as well. We pledge to support your leadership and the work of this Committee.

I would also like to avail myself of the opportunity to express my appreciations to Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, Permanent Representative of Libya, for his efforts as the Chair of First Committee during the previous session.

Mr. Chair,

The Republic of Moldova aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union on Conventional Weapons, while I would like to add in my national capacity some remarks of importance to my country.

We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty in December 2014. The Republic of Moldova started the ratification process, and expects to be able to conclude this procedure as soon as possible. We are committed to go ahead with the implementation of the ATT’s provisions and call other state-parties for the global, wide, transparent and effective implementation of the Treaty upon the entry into force of the document. And of course, in anticipation, we also wish success to The First Conference of States Parties of the ATT to take place in 2015.

In particular let me reiterate an important element of the Treaty that we have underlined forcefully during its adoption – there is a strong and repeatedly expressed believe by the Republic of Moldova that this Treaty should not only ensure the transparency and accountability in transfers of conventional weapons per se, it should also help preventing illicit trafficking of such arms, particularly to separatist unrecognized entities. This is of vital importance to my country and in the current dangerous and complex regional security context.

In this context, we stress again that our aim is to develop and strengthen national capacities of weapons control and adjust them to international standards, in particular improve national legislation on trade, and also practices for arms and military equipment trade, with the support of our traditional partners. We call for new partners and donors to step in these important projects.

The Republic of Moldova also remains committed to the implementation the UN Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and expresses its satisfaction with the outcome of the 5th Biennial Meeting on SALW. We also welcome the UNSC resolution 2117 of 26 September 2013 on small arms and light weapons. At the same time, we recall again the security developments in the region and remind about the need for an effective SALW control mechanism in these circumstances.

Mr. Chair,

The Republic of Moldova stresses yet again that today more than ever we should focus on a combination of global and regional conventional arms control arrangements, as our particular situation in Europe shows. A genuine security, progress in arms controls and disarmament, could be achieved if a complex set of measures is taken at all levels – international, regional and national.

That is why we underline that we would welcome an early progress and result on conventional arms control agreement in Europe. My country highly values the contribution of both cornerstone documents – the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Vienna Document on CSBMs, in ensuring military balance, security and transparency on the continent. However, legally binding provisions of a Treaty, in this particular case of the CFE Treaty regime, cannot be replaced by any politically binding commitments. Any future control regime in this respect is to be based on a legally binding system of verifiable equipment limits, include information exchange and verification measures, as well as take full account of other relevant elements of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). Such a regional regime should be in conformity with, in our case, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act principles, leaving no place for misinterpretation. Moreover, such a conventional arms control arrangement shall only strengthen the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states-parties. We firmly believe that among other important elements, a new Euro-Atlantic arrangement should reinforce the principle of host-nation consent to the stationing of foreign military forces.

As an example of positive results that we would have expected from such regional arms controls regime would be the reality in which the revitalization and full operationalization of the CFE regime would have provided as a result the fulfillment of all related commitments undertaken at the OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999 particularly, the withdrawal of foreign military presence from Moldova, which does not enjoy the consent of the host country. And this would mean the remaining stockpiles of conventional ammunitions from Colbasna and the so-called Operative Group of Russian Forces, which guards these stockpiles. Regional arms control regimes, thus, do matter.

Moreover, the existing developments, particularly, the crisis in and around Ukraine poses a serious test for the arms control instruments and toolboxes of the UN and regional organizations under Chapter VIII of the UN. Our efforts, therefore, should focus on the implementation and strengthening of the existing commitments adopted at the UN and regional organizations. Thus, for example, a functional CFE regime would have been a valuable asset, if appropriate political will would have been displayed, to dispel concerns and defuse tensions, contributing to stabilization of the situation in and around Ukraine. Hence, UN could consider sending a political message of encouragement of the development of appropriate regional arms control tools, as a part of the global arms control effort.

Mr. Chair,

In conclusion, I am reaffirming the commitment of the Republic of Moldova to continue its engagement in the issues associated with the conventional weapons control.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Statement - Resolution on Ukraine UNGA

Statement by H.E. Mr. Vlad Lupan,

Ambassador, Permanent Representative
of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations
at UN General Assembly
Plenary meeting on agenda item 33 (b) Prevention of armed conflicts: Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution
New York, 27 March 2014
(explanation after the vote)
Mr. President,

The Republic of Moldova followed with great concern the unfolding of the situation in Ukraine and remains deeply worried about the developments in this neighboring and friendly country. In this context we have already stressed our position that we support the principles of the international law applying to all member states, in this particular case to Ukraine as well – on the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Article 2. We also believe that the bilateral And multilateral agreements make a body of the international law and need to be observed, including in the case of Ukraine.

While welcoming the commitment of the Ukrainian authorities to respect and protect the rights of all persons in Ukraine, including minorities, we acknowledge that the future of Ukraine can be considered and decided only upon the free will and aspirations of all Ukrainians themselves, without any outside influence.

We regret the conduct of the so-called “referendum” in Crimea. The Government of the Republic of Moldova expressed its position on March 16 and reiterates that the so-called “referendum” on the status of the Crimean peninsula cannot be legal due to the fact that it contravenes to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law. The conditions in which this so-called “referendum” took place could not be considered a free expression of people’s will and does not correspond to relevant international standards and law.

Mr. President,

The Republic of Moldova stands with the people of Ukraine and will provide all the support to the efforts to overcome the current crisis in a peaceful manner and in conformity with principles of international law.

We also commend the ongoing UN efforts with regard to this crisis and are looking forward to the continued constructive role of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and UN system as a whole in that regard. We additionally welcome the March 21stOSCE Permanent Council Decision to deploy an OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine, taken this time by consensus, a good example for the UN as well.

Mr. President,

This crisis brought difficult times to the existing system of inter-state relations and to the UN. The implementation of the international principles on sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, rule of law, including in the framework of multilateral and bilateral relations, the respect for human rights and free and fair expression of people’s will are tantamount for the well-functioning of this institution in particular and to the system of international security and international relations as a whole. As a country that has an unresolved, protracted separatist conflict on its territory for over 20 years, we look forward to the resolution of conflicts through peaceful means and dialogue. This is the reason why my delegation voted in favor of this resolution, supporting the respect for the UN Charter and its principles.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Consiliul de Securitate ONU: sunt mentionate "transnistria", necesitatea de avea o noua operatiunie de mentinere a pacii, situatia scolilor din "transnistria" si experienta negativa de interefenta in afacerile interne ale statului

by Ambassador Vlad LUPAN, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova
to the United Nations at the UN Security Council Open Debate on
“Promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of
international peace and security”,
New York, 19 February 2014

Madame President,
As this is my first opportunity to speak this year in the Security Council, I would like to congratulate Lithuania for being elected and serving to this body and express our appreciations for organizing this important debate today, in a manner to which we all can contribute.

I also wish to thank the UN Secretary General for the today’s report and his strong commitment to strengthening and mainstreaming the United Nations support to the Rule of Law (RoL) in all areas of UN activities, and in this particular instance on the maintenance of international peace and security, including in the peacekeeping operations. I would also like to commend the amplified UN attention to the Rule of Law and Justice through High Level Meetings on this topic, and during the discussions in the General Assembly and Security Council, or consultations on the connection between RoL and Conflict Prevention, and Post-conflict Building in the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as various other activities in the United Nations system. Latest changes in many parts of the world, the new threats and challenges to international peace and security strengthen even more the idea that all the aspects of the rule of law, ranging from citizen's security, to the respect for rights and freedoms of the people, should be ever present on the UN agenda.

Madame President,
The Republic of Moldova aligns itself with the Statement of the European Union delivered earlier today.

During the open debates on the SDGs on the RoL and conflict prevention and post-conflict building, we already brought the attention to the fact that one aspect of this process is often overlooked - the need to promoting and strengthening the RoL in the areas affected by protracted conflicts that have not been addressed adequately during previous debates. Nevertheless they too require our full attention and we will refer to them further in my statement.

Madame President,
The security environment in our world is in a permanent change and the proliferation and diversification of the risks and threats are a constant cause of concern. Issues such as international terrorism, good governance, internal conflicts, and cyber security are being discussed by the international community more than before. Hence, the respect for the RoL on the international and national levels remains as important as ever.

From the international point of view, the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of a state, remain valid and pertinent – and my country's experience is a clear proof of that.
(addendum: As we already aligned ourselves to the statement of the European Union where current main hotspots on the international level were mentioned, the PM/Government of the Republic of Moldova also issued a press statement mentioning that it watches and continues to follow with deep concern the situation in Ukraine, as neighbours and from the perspective of the regional security as well. The PM/Government is extremely saddened by the loss of life. Sincere sympathies go to the relatives of the deceased along the wishes of speedy recovery to those injured. The PM/Government further urges the parties to refrain from violent action, to defuse the situation and to establish an open dialogue that would lead to reconciliation and identify ways to overcome the political crisis. All divergences in this neighboring and friendly country are crucial to the stability in the region as a whole, so we are watching for these differences to find a solution exclusively by peaceful means, in compliance with democratic norms, as violence is never a solution[1].)

From our perspective the Rule of Law has several implications. One is that the RoL is a precondition for a better development. We believe that the security of the State starts from the security of the citizen - and in a RoL state people need to have the judicial system as a guarantor of their security. A state that genuinely strives for RoL creates more confidence for the population, even in conflict areas, as well as in the conflict resolution process.

Moreover, we can do more to uphold international law through our national systems by an effective implementation of international conventions.

We should also acknowledge a framework of institutions aiming at supporting the international law, peace and security - thus, peacekeeping remains an important mechanism to assist countries passing through a difficult transition from conflict to peace, and is a collective effort supported by all of us. In this regard Moldova is contributing to the UN and NATO peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo with a military contingent.

Let me refer also to the situation in my country, the Republic of Moldova, which continues to be affected by the unresolved Transnistrian conflict. A peacekeeping mechanism to deal inter alia with incidents in the conflict zone was created after the cessation of the military hostilities back in 1992. But today, the incidents we are dealing with in the former conflict zone are not related to the military security anymore – these are usually breaches of public order. In this context, we believe a civilian peacekeeping mission corresponding to the UN principles and standards, in line with the RoL concept for the purposes of durable and just peace and security would be much more relevant.

Without forgetting a more grass root level, one should mention that Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) are also very important, in particular in conflict prevention and often in peacekeeping efforts. (addend.: As an example) A number of CBMs are implemented in the Republic of Moldova as part of the Transnistrian conflict resolution process. CBM programs in case of Moldova cover matters related to rebuilding and reconnecting infrastructure, freedom of movement, education, ecology, social-economic activities. Such CBMs will also be essential for the post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction.

One more element linked to the RoL more and more is the Security sector reform (SSR), along with a potential post-conflict disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of military and para-military – whose successful reintegration may, in some cases, be closely linked to the sustainability of peace. These topics can and should be in the focus of both the Governments and UN or/and UN mandated organizations (addend.: thus regional cooperation is important for the purposes of our discussion).

We shall also refer to the important role of both national contributions to RoL efforts and to the Justice institutions we support. Thus, the Republic of Moldova has been present with our lawyers and judges at the highest level in Timor-Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo. At the same time we have indicated our clear support to the International Court of Justice in peaceful settlements of disputes, and, in our capacity of the state party to the Rome statute, the importance and increased role of the International Criminal Court, complementary to national jurisdictions in fighting impunity for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in conflict and post-conflict situations.

As such examples show, we remain deeply committed to our general aim to uphold and develop an international order based on the RoL, where international law, including human rights is fully respected and implemented, and where accountability is important to maintain a sense of responsibility for all. Hence, either through national participation or international support, every state has the chances and possibilities to contribute to the RoL and international peace and security.

Speaking about the human rights, which we have mentioned earlier in the context of the conflict resolution efforts, we shall refer that among many factors, it is also important to have a free, independent, pluralistic and responsible media. In a globalized world, such a media could be a window for dialogue, peace and reconciliation, as well as a conduit for a correct or balanced understanding of the development and conflict resolution matters. Referring to the freedom of the media situation in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, we have to acknowledge that media outlets in this region fully controlled or experience significant pressure from the administration – and this is not a positive factor in the overall context of the conflict resolution.

We will probably sound similar to our EU colleagues, who spoke in October 2013, during the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee on Agenda item 85, when we say that Rule of Law presumes a full respect for human rights – and we will add from our own experience - that this is particularly important for the societies in conflict areas.

During the recent Rights up Front launch at the UN, the violations of human rights have been marked as indicators of a potential conflict, while unfortunate ongoing violations of human rights in conflict areas have been highlighted as conflict aggravators – respectively the need for the UN to watch the human rights situation have been stressed, along with the idea that promoting the respect for human rights may reduce existing problems in conflicts.

We have brought in this context the example of my own country, where the UN expert, Thomas Hammamberg (former Human Rights Commissioner for Council of Europe) at the request of the Moldovan government conducted in 2012 a human rights survey in the conflict area, where unfortunately, the human rights situation, in particular the one related to children's rights to education, has aggravated. The need to respect human rights, from such a concrete experience in  the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, shows a valid point elsewhere - that the respect for human rights is essential from both humanitarian perspective and for the conflict resolution as a whole. This goes along with the idea already voiced in this Council that the promotion of the RoL and universal human rights constitute fundamental requirements for achieving sustainable peace, and, in this context, we commend the SC for its increasing attention to the promotion of justice and the RoL in the context of sustainability of peace and security.

While RoL presumes the respect for human rights and freedoms, for the purposes of conflict resolution it is also important to understand that the involvement of various state and non-state actors in the mediation, conflict resolution and development has to take into account the fact that a conflict in itself is an extremely sensitive situation – and hence needs a coordinated approach.

Madame President,
In conclusion I am referring once again to the High Level Dialogue on the Rule of Law and its Declaration, unanimously adopted by all Member States, strengthening the links between the RoL and the three pillars of the United Nations:  peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.  Republic of Moldova remains directly interested and committed to continue to actively participate in all efforts aimed at promoting and strengthening the RoL at the international and state levels for the purposes of ensuring peace and security.

Thank you.