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Ekaterina Zaharieva: Bulgaria Has Supported all UN Initiatives during the Pandemic

26 June 2020 News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva called for more multilateral cooperation and agreement to achieve the reform of the UN. She was speaking at events at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marking the UN Charter Day, the 75th anniversary of setting up the international organization and the 65th anniversary of Bulgaria’s membership in it.

“I hope that in the context of the pandemic we do not merely repeat the fact that we need international cooperation, multilateralism, and organizations like the UN more than ever before as a mere motto, but that we truly learn our lessons and devote efforts to agreeing on the much needed reform of the international organization,” the Foreign Minister said at a video conference at which she delivered a public lecture on “Preventive Diplomacy and the Peacekeeping Role of the UN.”

The top diplomat asserted that Bulgaria and the EU joined all initiatives by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the Coronavirus pandemic. Bulgaria was one of the drivers behind the UN declaration calling for global cooperation and solidarity in the fight against COVID-19. Despite our moderate resources, we succeeded in overhauling our development and humanitarian assistance program in less than a month in order to support the most vulnerable groups. We helped our neighbors in the western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, and Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees,” Ekaterina Zaharieva said.

Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and former Bulgarian Foreign Minister, was the main speaker at the video conference organized by the Diplomatic Institute under the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Marking the anniversary, for the first time ever in Bulgaria, the anthem of the UN sounded in the compound of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. It was performed by the orchestra of the National Guard Unit. The blue flag of the international organization was raised as the anthem was played. The flag will remain there for a full year, together with the flags of Bulgaria, the EU and NATO.

“This was one of the most moving ceremonies I have attended. I hope that we have rekindled the spirit of the San Francisco summit, where the UN Charter was signed 75 years ago, and the desire of signatories to rid future generations of the devastation of war,” said Ekaterina Zaharieva, who hosted the ceremony.

She went on to recall the great causes uniting the 193 UN countries: avoiding conflict, ensuring peace, security and sustainable development around the world, combating climate change, pandemics, famine and inequality.

“In these 75 years the UN visited each place where there was a need to settle conflict, save human lives, and to provide education and healthcare for millions of children. It was with the UN Charter that the unconditional principle of equality of all nations, big and small, was adopted together with the respect for their territorial integrity, political independence and right to self-determination,” Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister said.

She pointed out the role of the Alliance for Multilateralism, which was established in 2019 and joined by Bulgaria. Our country’s commitment to the cause of multilateralism will continue to constitute the Bulgarian contribution to global efforts to provide an effective response to the challenges to stability and security around the world.

“This is a unique ceremony because Bulgaria has demonstrated its support for multilateralism and we are very grateful for this,” Dr Jane Muita, UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria, said in her address. She highlighted our country’s great contribution to the efforts of the UN to put into practice the principles enshrined in its Charter.

As part of the official event, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva, Rosen Zhelyazkov, Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, and Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prime Minister of Bulgaria between 2001 and 2005, validated an anniversary postal stamp dedicated to the two anniversaries. Today’s events at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked the start of a series of initiatives dedicated to the two anniversaries and organized by the Ministry.

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