At the United Nations General Assembly today, the President of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti, highlighted the need to resolve issues stemming from the armed conflict which broke out in its Transnistrian region 20 years ago.
“It is a tragic period of our past, but also a serious challenge of the present,” President Timofti said in his statement to the 67th Assembly’s General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York.
“Since the end of the hostilities, Moldova has firmly embarked on the road of the peaceful settlement of this conflict, while twenty years of negotiations strengthened our belief that this is the only viable path to follow towards reaching a political settlement.”
He noted that the perpetuation of the conflict undermines Moldova’s national security and territorial integrity, hampers economic development and divides society, keeps the population of the Transnistrian region in isolation, incites human rights violations and generates economic stagnation on the left bank of Nistru River on which the region is located and which also has Russian forces present.
“The current political and economic trends show that preserving the status-quo is not a viable scenario anymore. All our international partners share the view that there is no alternative to a reunified Moldova,” he said. “Our message in this regard is firm – twenty years are enough to overcome the mistrust of the past and it is the time to start building a shared future.”
The Moldovan leader stated that his country’s ultimate goal is to reintegrate itself within its internationally recognized borders as “a functional state with a clear European perspective,” with the Transnistrian region granted self-governance and a special status.
He said that Moldova’s international partners have provided an essential contribution in bringing the situation with Transnistria to an end.
“Now the negotiation process needs a strong impulse and we believe that our international partners can demonstrate the necessary political will to this end,” he stated. “We call on the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe], Russian Federation, Ukraine, European Union and the United States to unite their efforts and work together towards the final resolution of the Transnistrian conflict and reintegration of the Republic of Moldova.”
“It is also important to reiterate that the Russian forces, that are still present on the territory of the Republic of Moldova without host-nation consent and in contradiction with constitutional framework and international commitments, should be finally withdrawn,” he added.
On the subject of UN reform, the Moldovan leader said that globalization and the global financial crisis suggested the need to reform the world body in order to ensure the strengthening of the UN.
“I am particularly referring to the Security Council reform to which a compromise solution should be found,” he stated. “We believe that any proposal of its reform should take into account the legitimate aspirations of all regional groups, including granting an additional non-permanent seat to the Eastern-European Group.”
In his statement, President Timofti also spoke about a range of other topics, including UN relations with regional organisations, the strengthening of the rule of law and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Moldovan President is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.