With 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets set for the period 2016-2030, the 2030 Agenda could become a triumph for multilateralism, if it will be followed by concrete implementation. Great expectations reclaim great responsibilities. It is up to our political leaders to move towards that vision, through a spirit of global solidarity.
Sealing the Magna Carta was a major event in the journey of democracy. Justice and freedom are at the foundation of our society and it is our duty to act in their defense when the legal international order is challenged. By doing so, we pay tribute to all those who have developed the rule of law to protect us against injustice and abuse of power.
Romania has been a constant presence at the London Book Fair since 2007 and I pay my tribute of admiration to so many writers, publishers, translators and literary promoters who, along these eight years, have showcased the excellence of Romanian literature and established lasting relations between Romania and the UK.
I am a great supporter of this fundamental principle of democracy and I expect it is exercised in good faith and without deliberately distorting the obvious truth. An article published on 8 March by the Daily Mail, with the title "Romanian fury over Channel 4 documentary as their MPs ask: What if we made a programme saying all Brits were alcoholics and paedophiles?" doesn't make me question the principle, but the author's good faith and respect for the truth.
Romania and the UK sit at opposite ends of the continent but our perspectives are startlingly similar. We share a common vision of a more open Europe fit to compete in the global world of the future, and we work together to achieve security and countering terrorism. There is much we can do together to make our vision of Europe a reality and I believe this is the legacy of 135 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
For Romanians, December has a special significance. It is a time of triumph because on 1st December 1918 the modern Romanian State - at that time the Kingdom of Romania - has reached its natural borders, fulfilling the multi-secular dream of bringing together all historical provinces inhabited by Romanians...
70 years ago, on 25 October 1944, the Romanian Army liberated the town of Carei in North-West of the country. It was the complete liberation of North-West Transylvania from foreign ruling and administration, following the outrageous Vienna Diktat in 1940 arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
Initially neutral, in the spring of 1916 Romania was insistently requested by France and Great Britain to enter the war in order to relieve the huge German pressure on the West front. Queen Maria of Romania, who was British by birth and a grand daughter of Queen Victoria, strongly advocated entering the war on the Entente side.
The four freedoms of the European Union found inspiration in the British history of freedoms. In a way, it is an extension of the old Freedom of the City of London to the scale of a continent. This is one of the reasons Romanians have a great respect for the UK. They deserve to be treated with the same respect.