A lasting political solution to the crisis in Syria should be found through the resumption of the Geneva negotiations process, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev said in a September 24 2013 address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Plevneliev said that Bulgaria already had joined with others in urging the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
He welcomed the framework agreement to control Syria’s chemical weapons, but emphasised that the issue should not divert attention from efforts to end the suffering by ending the crisis.
His country, not far from Syria, had adopted an emergency plan to assist Syrian refugees both in his country and neighbouring states, he said.
“Bulgaria is also affected by refugee flows from Syria, despite financial constraints, the country adopted a contingency plan and is providing additional resources to accommodate and support the refugees from Syria,” Plevneliev said. The President said that Bulgaria was relying on support from its partners and UN humanitarian organisations.
Speaking in the high-level debate at the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Plevneliev appealed for substantial progress in fighting poverty, ending conflicts and preserving the environment under the overall objective of safeguarding human dignity.
“I firmly believe that safeguarding human dignity is the ultimate goal of the United Nations as indeed of any genuine democracy,” Plevneliev said.
Welcoming stepped-up effort to forge consensus on a new paradigm for sustainable development – the theme for the Assembly session –Plevneliev compared the current model to a “carpet in which some colours, threads and stitches were missing making it look unfinished, patchy and ragged.”
He said that a billion people remained in extreme poverty while resource depletion remained irrational and climate change threatened the future.
“We, the countries of the world, must mobilise all available means and resources to finish what we have started in order to achieve truly sustainable results for humanity and our planet,” Plevneliev said.
Turning to international terrorism, he expressed gratitude for the assistance of other UN member states in investigating the deadly July 2012 terrorist attack at Sarafovo Airport in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Bourgas and he supported finalisation of a draft Comprehensive Convention on combating the scourge.
Emphasising Bulgaria’s commitment to UN goals in a variety of areas, Plevneliev said that the progress of Europe over the past century in creating peace, security and prosperity following ruinous wars – most recently the Balkans – should be taken as example of what can be achieved when neighbours work together.
He attached particular importance to the eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy as a way to ensuring peace and stability in the Black Sea and the wider region.
The full English-language text of Plevneliev’s address to the UN General Assembly can be found here.
(Photo: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)