The discrepancy between words and deeds. Op-Ed byVictor Pelin

„… it is necessary to distinguish between rejection of discrimination against people by any criteria, especially people with disabilities, but it is necessary to show complete disagreement with people with moral defects who are unable to make their words correspond to the facts…”

About how it should be

President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon presented a speech at a high-level meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), dedicated to the 75th anniversary of this institution. President Dodon's speech did not contain anything special, following and being in the spirit of the speech of the UN Secretary General António Guterres. The head of state's references to the need for constructive cooperation in the future, based on the principle of multilateralism, were supplemented by calls for good deeds, against all evils, pleading to make more efforts to:

  • fight the causes and consequences of climate change;
  • eliminate of inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic;
  • respect of international treaties and obligations;
  • respect for human rights;
  • assure non-discrimination based on gender, origin, race, religion or disability.

Despite the fact that President Dodon's speech was not distinguished by originality, still no one would say that his speech would not be at the level of world leaders. Moreover, the problem of climate change, for example, is a potential opportunity to turn any politician into a Nobel Prize winner. So President Dodon aimed far, but let's see where he went.

About how it really is

It is well known that it is one thing to stand for something abstract, and quite another when it comes to your own actions, obligations and responsibilities. From that view point it is very good that President Dodon is drawing attention to the need for international elimination of inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic. But it is completely inexplicable why the head of state ignores the implementation of the principle of equality in the state that he represents on the international arena. In this context, it would be useful for the international community to know that in a state headed by President Dodon, high-ranking officials can afford to do what ordinary citizens are prohibited from doing during a pandemic. Local public opinion is shocked that the prime-minister organized his son's wedding ignoring anti-epidemic restrictions, using state security, which is paid for with state money, so that citizens do not know that he is ignoring the rules imposed by himself.

Why does the prime minister allow himself to do this? Because he draws inspiration from the examples of the head of state, who was seen dozens of times, violating anti-epidemic restrictions. The peak was reached when the head of state threatened to resign the Minister of Education, Igor Sharov, who had the courage to remind high-ranking officials about the inadmissibility of violating legal restrictions, especially when visiting schools with political campaigns. Curiously, this happened at a time when President Dodon was preparing a speech for the UN General Assembly, in which he tells the international community about the need to address the existing inequalities, exacerbated by the pandemic.

And the head of state's reference to the need to comply with international treaties seems extremely strange. None other than himself publicly justified the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which violated a number of international and bilateral agreements with the neighboring friendly country - Ukraine. Moreover, a year ago, from the UN tribune, President Dodon justified the presence of Russian troops on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, despite the decision of the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit. Even more curious is the fact that the head of state denied the request of the former Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip, made from the same UN tribune, which in 2018 demanded the withdrawal of the Russian military presence from the territory of the country, and who managed to achieve in this regard the adoption of the resolution of the highest international forum. But the curious things don't end there.

Currently, the two former antagonists are in a harmonious relationship, being part of the power. Of course, this is less important, but why talking about the need to comply with international treaties from the UN tribune, when president Dodon is traveling to Moscow several times a month and can ask about the violation of international treaties by President Vladimir Putin himself? For example, having in mind the recent Navalny case, it would be interesting to ask president Putin about how Russia is respecting the international treaties related to the ban on chemical weapons. For the Republic of Moldova it would be of high interest to better understand the relationship between international treaties and demands of President Putin the return of gifts that Russia allegedly made to the former Soviet republics.

It was extremely inappropriate for President Dodon to speak from the UN rostrum about the need to respect human rights globally. In this regard, at an eventual meeting with President Putin, his Moldovan counterpart could ask him whether non-President Lushenko really respects human rights and whether he deserved to be congratulated on the so-called re-election on 9 August. In general, President Dodon's reference to human rights stuck like a nut on the backdrop having in mind the ongoing scandal over the "conviction" of the presumed sole culprit for the seizure and trading of the 7 Turkish professors in exchange for a grant from President Erdogan to repair the presidency. Certainly, at frequent meetings with President Putin, it is appropriate to talk about human rights, including the Navalny case. It's just very interesting to find out why Russia opposes the investigation into the case of poisoning the Russian opposition leader by international institutions.

About the need to condemn moral disabilities

Certainly, any kind of discrimination against people is inadmissible. But President Dodon should not have spoken on this topic from the UN rostrum. Referring to the inadmissibility of discrimination based on gender, origin, race, religion or disability, the head of state failed to speak about the non-admission of discrimination against sexual minorities. It is known that both Mr. Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), whose informal leaders he is, show consistency in their homophobic attitudes. We remember how four years ago they insisted on the repeal of the law on equal opportunities, which also applies to sexual minorities. Currently, however, when they have full power in the state, they avoid putting on the public agenda the issue of revising the law in question. They prefers to ignore it tacitly, activating it only in the electoral campaign for possible electoral benefits.

In the above mentioned circumstances, it is necessary to distinguish between rejection of discrimination against people by any criteria, especially people with disabilities, but it is necessary to show complete disagreement with people with moral defects who are unable to make their words correspond to the facts.

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