From the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly, President Maia Sandu highlighted four global challenges that affect the Republic of Moldova as well: COVID-19, climate change, international security and the state of democracy, IPN reports, quoting the President’s address at the 76th Session.
Maia Sandu noted that most of today’s global challenges spill over national borders as our world is more interconnected than ever before. “These problems cannot be solved alone. We require genuine, concerted international efforts to provide truly sustainable solutions for our future.”
“There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge of our generation so far. Like most other states, the Republic of Moldova has been hit hard. But our own experience of dealing with the crisis has been filled with hope and gratitude. Gratitude for the tremendous global endeavor of solidarity that supported my country’s work to contain the virus […] Our greatest task ahead is to promote immunization, relaunch our economies and reopen our societies. This can only be achieved through collective effort.”
President Sandu said climate change is another major challenge. “We live through its consequences as we speak - extreme weather, record-high temperatures, floods affecting every country. For the Republic of Moldova, climate change means severe droughts every few years, floods, ruined crops and livelihoods of people.”
Noting that the footprint of the Republic of Moldova for climate change has been low, Maia Sandu said the country is committed to keeping it this way. “As we seek to modernize our economy, we pledge to do so in a sustainable way. Expanding our forests, transitioning to a green and circular economy, promoting clean energy, preserving water and land resources, promoting responsible and sustainable production and consumption is our way forward.”
The official underlined that international security is the third challenge. “When referring to our region, we are seriously concerned with the deteriorating security situation in the Black Sea area. Here I would like to stress once again that the Republic of Moldova is a state committed to peace. We remain firmly committed to identifying a peaceful, political solution to the conflict in the Transnistrian region of our country, based on Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We will also continue promoting confidence-building measures with a strong emphasis on protecting fundamental rights and freedoms in the Transnistrian region – a pressing issue for my country.
“In the spirit of Moldova’s Constitutional neutrality and international law, I would also like to reiterate that our position on the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces remains unchanged. This includes the removal or destruction of ammunitions from the Cobasna stockpiles which pose a security and environmental threat to the region as a whole. We count on the support of the international community in this endeavor.”
President Maia Sandu said erosion of democracy and the declining trust in the state that it produces is another important global challenge. “Rebuilding citizens’ trust in public institutions, cleaning up the state from vested interests and delivering decent public services is the cornerstone of Moldova’s further democratic progress and modernization.”
In particular, the official referred to disinformation. “We need a global conversation and to jointly look for concrete solutions to the dangers that disinformation poses to the rules-based international order.”
According to President Sandu, another factor that erodes democracy is corruption. “In the recent past, corruption transformed Moldova into a captured state. Corruption became a threat to democracy and to our national security. Crooks used us as a transit country to launder money through our institutions before depositing them abroad. We have managed to overthrow these corrupt regimes, and now, our main task is to strengthen our justice and law enforcement systems.”
“A system, in which criminals extract wealth and assets from countries with weak institutions, store this capital in offshores, and then find safe haven in other countries, is both unsustainable and unfair. Designing international rules for asset recovery could bring more fairness to the global stage and do justice to weaker states. As an international community, we need to design, apply, and rigorously monitor systems to promote international transparency and accountability. We need to join efforts to combat money-laundering and investigate illicit financial flows. We need to make better use of asset seizure tools and to work together to suppress organized crime. The magnitude of the challenge is so extensive that we need the serious involvement of all international and national actors. We need an effective collective response to safeguard democracy,” noted the President of the Republic of Moldova.