The first mission, that the leaders must see as their historical vocation is to rebuild trust in multilateralism and to uphold the rules based international order
Today we live in a world of increasing risks and uncertainty. The resurrected ghost of self-destruction, as a result of the full-scale war in Europe, is a nightmare that my generation wrongly believed to be bygone phase in human history. This is what President Rumen Radev said today in his address to the UN General Assembly in NYC.
The head of state pointed to war, conflicts and terror challenging the future of our civilization, as well as higher level of socioeconomic distress, the growing food insecurity, the disruption of chains of supply and the rise of the inflation rates started during the Covid-19 disaster. The war in Ukraine exacerbated all these crises and destroyed not only thousands of human lives, but also the optimism that we are able to build back better, Rumen Radev stressed.
The consensus that the humanity may live according to the rules of internationally adopted world order, is blatantly violated, Rumen Radev said and reminded that these rules had been forged in the UN hall. At the same time, the systematic erosion of democracy and human rights and the rise of authoritarianism, are completing the picture.
All these negative developments, in his words, are about to distract our attention from the challenges that may turn to be equally deadly for the humanity. The triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution threatens the life on our planet. All these risks and challenges must be addressed in full consciousness that the future of our civilization is at stake.
Consequently, the first mission, that the leaders must see as their historical vocation at this crossroad for the humanity, is to rebuild trust in multilateralism and to uphold the rules based international order, Rumen Radev stressed. The head of state added that this order must serve the firm will of the peoples to live in peace. This is the fundamental precondition to survive and to embark on the path of building prosperity. "Restoring peace and security is our most pressing priority," the President stressed.
In his speech at the forum, the head of state pointed out that It has been 19 months since a permanent member of the Security Council unleashed a war of aggression against its neighbouring country, violating the principles of the UN Charter and international law. "From the first day, Bulgaria strongly condemns the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Every day of this war threatens the global peace and security. Moreover, it has turned into a war of attrition, challenging the economic and social development worldwide," Rumen Radev stressed.
That is why an important priority of the 78th UNGA Session should be to find modalities that may pave a way towards restoring the peace in Ukraine, the head of state emphasised. In the President's words, the developments show a dangerous trend and a risk of the conflict spreading across the Black Sea and affecting Ukraine's neighbours. The President called for stronger political will, diplomacy and active talks about comprehensive, just and sustainable peace, based on the internationally recognised UN principles.
Radev also expressed this country's concern over Russia's withdrawal from the agreement on the transportation of grain through the Black Sea, the bombing of the Ukrainian harbour infrastructure and the restriction of navigation in the Black Sea, which leads to further escalation of global food insecurity, especially in the Global South where the price of the war is particularly high.
Regarding the growing challenges to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, including in the area of international law, President Radev expressed Bulgaria's support for the efforts towards increasing transparency and accountability of the Security Council. He stressed that the real reform of the Security Council remains a difficult and sensitive issue. Bulgaria would like to see the Council being more effective in the performance of its primary responsibility for resolving international conflicts. Rumen Radev also called for allocating at least one additional non-permanent seat for the Group of Eastern European States in the future reformed Security Council.
He underlined this country's support of the European path of the Western Balkan countries as the most effective way for stabilising the region. Good neighbourly relations, comprehensive reforms and fulfilment of accession criteria are the core of integration process.
In his speech at the forum, Radev also expressed this country's position on a number of topics on the UN agenda - support for the fight against global climate change, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, strengthening the capacities of national healthcare systems and building modern and accessible education.
In the year in which the UN marks 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the President underlined that the document is a strong instrument in support of equality, justice and respect for human rights. The head of state also highlighted Bulgaria's actions in the fight against discrimination and hate speech, gender equality, and respect for the rights of people with special needs.
This year Bulgaria also marks the 80th anniversary of the rescue of the entire Jewish community of 50,000 people in this country during World War II. "This remarkable episode of our modern history inspires us to continue efforts to affirm tolerance and understanding as core values of modern democracy," Rumen Radev said. In his speech at the forum, the Bulgarian head of state also stressed that Bulgaria had presented its candidature to the Human Rights Council for the period 2024-2026.