By H.E. Mr. Lucian Fătu, Ambassador of the Republic of Romania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
This March 27, one of the economic headlines in Romania, The Netherlands and Australia referred to the Nuyina icebreaker starting a trial voyage in the North Sea before being delivered to serve in the Antarctics. The 160 meters long state-of-the-art research vessel was commissioned by the Australian Government and built by Damen Naval Romania in the Galați shipyard over a period of three years. This is only the most recent token of the Romanian-Dutch investment and economic cooperation, and it highlights The Netherlands’ position as the strongest foreign investor in the Romanian economy by capital residence, with almost 10 billions Euro.
However, it is not by chronological order of events that I open my comments with the economic pillar of the Romanian-Dutch relations. Their strength articulates and, in turn, is made possible by a profound convergence of values and aspirations that the two countries share at bilateral, European and international levels. As European Union members, NATO allies and partners in regional and multilateral organizations, Romania and The Netherlands build their cooperation on a diplomatic dialogue that celebrated its 140th anniversary one year ago.
We cooperate closely on a number of important issues such as global politics, security (including cyber), trans-border crime, trade and agriculture. We coordinate our positions on the European agenda items such as the future of our continent. We are exploring better options on issues such as the EU neighborhood, climate changes or migration. The current corona crisis and the struggle to ensure a fair and far-reaching vaccine distribution at national, EU and global levels pose one of the greatest challenges, and opportunities as well, to our authorities and to the global multilateral system. We are working together towards the most appropriate EU response to this test.
Working in The Hague, every diplomat has the unique opportunity to experience the vibrant multilateral organizations and NGO activity and to showcase their countries’ positions and goals. Romanians have ample opportunities to do so, based on a set of values and principles we strongly believe in and have shaped our history.
My country remains committed to all efforts aimedat reinforcing the rule of law and supporting the delivery of justice. As such, we closey follow the development of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisprudence. Acquiring constructive international relations requires adherence to the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes. We thus express our hope that more countries will follow in the practice of accepting the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction. Romania did so in 2015. Additionally, the ever-changing landscape of international relations calls for more practitioners of international law. In this spririt, we are happy to have been one of the main supporters of the establishment of a Trust Fund for the Judicial Fellowship of the ICJ, a mechanism for sponsoring young candidates from developing countries to access the ICJ Traineeship.
As we know, the International Criminal Court (ICC) lies at the heart of international efforts aimed at fighting impunity. We acknowledge the important role of the ICC in this regard, and firmly support it in achieving its mandate. The adoption last December of the Resolution on the review of the ICC and the Rome Statute system is of great international significance. As current members of the Bureau, we are honoured to be directly involved in all aspects concerning not only such review, but the overall activity of the Assembly of States Parties.
Another multilateral level where Romania is active in The Hague is the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), whose aim is the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Convention came into force on April 29th, 1997, and Romania was one of the 65 original signatories. All of Romania’s actions at this level reconfirm our commitment to actively contributing to multilateral diplomacy in the service of world peace. Currently, Romania holds one of the vice-president seats at the 25th session of the OPCW Conference of the States Parties to take place between 20 and 22 April this year.
In the end of the day, it is all about people. Romanians living in The Netherlands are a well adjusted and well respected community. As a symbol of integrated culture and identity, a tulip named after Romanian Princess Maria Brâncoveanu was created in 2018 in Groningen, and can be admired in the garden of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Schiedam.
Ambassador H.E. Mr. Lucian Fătu photography by Kim Vermaat.