UN Romania remains “deeply committed” to supporting the UN, and the campaign for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council “has strengthened the country’s international profile,” reads a news release issued by the Romanian Foreign Ministry. The statement comes after on Friday Romania, supported by only 58 countries, failed to win a seat in the 2020-2021 Security Council, being outrun by Estonia, which got 132 votes. President Klaus Iohannis blamed the failure on “irresponsible statements by some top officials, which generated reluctance with respect to Romania’s candidacy.” On the other hand, voices in the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats say the President, as coordinator of Romanian diplomacy, has most of the responsibility. The Security Council includes 5 permanent members with veto rights: the USA, Russia, China, France and the UK. Another 10 members have 2-year terms, after which they are replaced by countries from the same region. Next year 5 seats will be vacant, 2 for Africa, one for Asia-Pacific, one for Latin America and the Caribbean and one for Eastern Europe. To be elected in the UN Security Council, a country needs the support of two-thirds of the General Assembly members, which means at least 129 votes out of the 193 voting member states.
G20 The Romanian finance minister Eugen Teodorovici is heading the EU Council delegation at the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting held this weekend in Fukuoka, Japan. According to a news release issued by the Finance Ministry, the agenda of talks includes topics like financing for development, global economy, international taxation, global imbalances, population ageing, investments in infrastructure and financial sector issues. The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will adopt an official declaration comprising the outcomes of the meeting, the news release also says.
TENSIONS The Government suggests that the National Defence Ministry should take over the administration of the Heroes Cemetery in Valea Uzului and make it an international cemetery. A decision will be made after consultations with all stakeholders, PM Viorica Dăncilă says in a news release. She also calls for respect for Romania’s state symbols and for public order, and urges responsibility in all political statements and actions concerning the situation in Valea Uzului, Harghita County. Soldiers of various nationalities, killed in the 2 world wars, are buried here. The Romanian Police opened a criminal investigation concerning the destruction of the access gate to the Valea Uzului graveyard, after on Thursday members of several Romanian organisations forced their way in, to attend a Heroes Day commemoration. According to the gendarmes, tensions were reported, but there were no violent clashes between the Romanian and the Hungarian ethnics in the area or with the police forces, as some Hungarian politicians had claimed.
WHITSUNDAY Roman-Catholic Christians celebrate the Pentecost, which in mostly Orthodox Romania is marked, among other things, through a pilgrimage to Şumuleu Ciuc, attended every year by tens of thousands of Hungarian ethnics. The Marian shrine in Şumuleu Ciuc has become the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in the region. A week ago, it was also visited by Pope Francis, who was on a pastoral visit to Romania.
MOLDOVA The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova Saturday ruled that the appointment of the pro-Russian Socialist Zinaida Greceanyi as Parliament Speaker is unconstitutional. The ruling is final and cannot be appealed. The Socialists and the pro-European right wing voted to appoint Greceanyi after the Court decided that the mandate of the current Parliament ended. The country’s pro-Russian president Igor Dodon postponed signing a decree to dissolve Parliament, and said the republic is on the verge of being destabilised. These developments come after 3-and-a-half months of failed attempts at forming a parliamentary majority. In the February 24 legislative elections, Dodon’s Socialists won 35 of the 101 seats in Parliament. The ruling Democratic Party, headed by the controversial oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, has 30 MPs, while ACUM bloc, a pro-European right-wing cartel, has another 26. Seven seats were won by the populist party headed by the Mayor of Orhei town, Ilan Shor, a politician sentenced by a court of first instance to 7 and a half years in prison for his involvement in Moldova’s billion dollar banking fraud. 3 other MPs are non-affiliated.
FOOTBALL Romania’s football team is in Malta, scheduled to play against the host national team on Monday in the Group F qualifiers for the 2020 European Championships. On Friday Romania drew against Norway, 2-all away from home. In the first 2 matches in the group, played in March, the Romanians were defeated by Sweden in Stockholm, and won at home against Faroe Islands. Spain tops the Group F standings with 9 points, followed by Sweden with 7, with Romania coming in 3rd with 4 points. The top 2 teams in each group qualify into the final tournament. The drawing for Euro 2020 takes place in Bucharest on November 30. The Romanian capital city will also host 4 final tournament matches, 3 in the group stage and one in the 8th-finals. In related news, Romania’s team will play this month in the European Under-21 Football Championships in Italy and San Marino, in Group C, alongside England, France and Croatia.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)