Embassy News

Head of Mission speech at the National Day of Romania and the Centennial of The Great Union

"Dear Minister of National Defence Sajjan,

Distinguished Members of the House of Commons Mr Simms and Mr Albrecht,

Excellencies, heads of mission and colleagues from the Diplomatic corps to Canada,

Distinguished members of the Defence Attachés corps to Canada,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

 

 

Il me fait un grand plaisir de vous accueillir dans cette très élégante salle du non moins prestigieux Rideau Club, une des emblèmes de fierté de la capitale nationale, qui nous offre son hospitalité chaleureuse dans ce jour qui a une importance toute particulière pour la Roumanie et le peuple roumain. Je suis ravi de pouvoir célébrer avec vous la Fête nationale de la Roumanie, qui est marquée chaque année au 1er décembre, et je vous remercie expressément de tout cœur pour l’honneur que vous nous faites en prenant part au centième anniversaire de la Grande Union de 1918. L’unification politique des roumains dans le cadre du même Etat national, le Royaume de Roumanie à l’époque, demeure l’acte historique le plus rayonnant issu d’une volonté collective qui s’est bâtie constamment à travers plusieurs siècles.

Au 1er décembre et notamment cette année, la Roumanie et les roumains honorent la mémoire de ceux et celles qui ont œuvré, même au prix de leur propre vie, pour la réalisation de cet idéal identitaire et politique majeur, en tant qu’expression claire du désir ardent de tous les roumains de vivre en liberté, unité et dignité nationale.        

As a tribute to our forefathers, politicians, men and women of culture, industrialists and workers, teachers and doctors, and especially the military, officers and soldiers alike, the Romanian press agency, Agerpres, commissioned a documentary entitled The Great Union: Romania after 100 years. This documentary complements the exhibition entitled Romania: Evolution put up by the same Agerpres, of which you may see two large banners along the walls of this hall. The documentary will be shown on a TV screen already installed to this purpose, alternatively with a computer application, entitled The Digital Encyclopedia Romania 1918, developed by a prominent Bucharest-based IT company with the support of the Ministry of National Defence. Since we are in Canada and I am aware of the strong political emphasis placed on gender equality, I took the liberty to include in the series of documentaries the film Women in war and peace: the decade of the Great Union.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The union achieved one hundred years ago, when the historical provinces of Transylvania, Banat, Bessarabia and Bukovina joined the Kingdom of Romania, is of paramount importance as a symbol of unity in will and determination and stands as a reference reminding us constantly that the impossible becomes possible when the objective is legitimate. The Great Union and the process leading to it set a standard of political determination and values which inspired Romania in its endeavours both domestically and on the international scene. Since then, during the past century, mankind has been confronted with events of small or large-scale magnitude which prompted the international community to take action in the tireless quest to serve well its peoples through better organization, coordination and cooperation.

Romania always tried to be part of those actions and takes pride in its achievements as a responsible contributor to the international cooperation aimed at achieving lasting peace and security, as well as economic and social development, based on the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is exactly the quest for democracy which united once again the Romanian people in December 1989 in the struggle to overthrow the oppressive political regime which had confiscated the destiny of my country for more than 40 years. Once again, what seemed impossible at that time, namely the abolition of communism in Romania, became possible because the return to democracy is the legitimate end by excellence. We felt the sympathy and support of many countries in those difficult days, including the support expressed by then Canada’s Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. We are grateful to Canada for its sympathy in the context of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and praise Canada’s continuous cooperation since then in a multitude of joint endeavours with significant impact inside Romania or on the global arena.

Romania and Canada may be proud of their political ties and economic cooperation and should act with more determination to develop bilateral relations by taking advantage of their largely convergent views on global affairs and the important potential created by their economies. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, following the completion of the ratification process across the European Union, and the current visa-free regime for the Romanian citizens will certainly bring added-value to the existent framework of bilateral cooperation. Fully aware of the uncertainties which surround the first phases of the visa-free regime, I would like to take this opportunity to assure the Canadian authorities that Romania will stay fully engaged in the cooperation aimed at preventing the eTA system is used contrary to its purposes, in order to make the visa-free regime permanent and, in general, to prove the initial decision taken by Canada is correct and serves the genuine desire to foster tourism and a better mutual knowledge of each country’s culture and traditions. Fostering tourism will certainly benefit from the resumption next year of the direct flights of Air Canada Rouge between Bucharest, on one hand, and Montreal and Toronto, on the other, based on the positive experience of this year’s operations.

Sharing the sense of responsibility towards ensuring peace in areas confronted with conflicts and united by their common commitment to the preservation of a rules-based multilateral system, Canada and Romania will soon embark in a new act of cooperation under the auspices of the UN, in the framework of MINUSMA in Mali. Dear Minister Sajjan, I would like to assure you that your recent visit to Romania was highly valued and outlines the very good prospects of future developing our bilateral cooperation on the military dimension.

 

Mesdames et Messieurs,

En guise de conclusion, je tiens à vous souhaiter une bonne soirée et vous inviter à passer en revue les photos que nous avons retenues de l’exposition Roumanie: Evolution, ainsi que les films qui roulent en boucle sur l’écran TV.

Vive la Roumanie !  Vive le Canada !  Vive la coopération roumano-canadienne !

I thank you very much for your kind attention. Next, it gives me the distinct pleasure to invite for a few remarks The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence."

 

 

 

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