At UN, Central and Eastern European leaders warn against ‘new status quo’ of instability

Slovakia’s president Andrej Kiska has warned world leaders against “a new status quo” where instability, poverty, violence and hatred are “fertilisers and catalysts of terrorism.”

“A year ago, we, Europeans, could hardly imagine that after investing so much effort in reaching peace and stability a new armed conflict would arise in our neighbourhood,” Kiska said, addressing the UN General Assembly in its second day of debate on September 25, as he also denounced the violation of the territorial integrity of any state.

“What Ukraine needs today is to restore peace, stability, implement reforms and be reassured of guarantees of the inviolability of its territory,” he said, as quoted by the UN News Centre.

Only dialogue and diplomatic solution of the conflict, with the participation of Russia, will lead to a sustainable peace in Ukraine. Kiska underscored the need to stand united in Iraq to prevent ISIL from taking hold of any more territory and extremist ideologies from becoming successful.

Slovakia, with its history of transitioning from a totalitarian regime to a democracy, knows first-hand the importance of security sector reform and the establishment of stable security institutions, such as army and police.

Kiska also pledged his commitment to stabilising Afghanistan, where a Slovakian national led the UN Mission.

Disarmament is essential for eliminating potential sources of tension and conflicts, Kiska said, urging nations to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to help monitor and regulate the international trade of conventional weapons.

Also speaking on September 25, Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic called on world leaders to come up with a “zero tolerance policy” towards terrorism and agree on a joint global effort to prevent extremist organizations from flourishing and gaining ground.

Josipovic said he was deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine and said there was no other but a peaceful solution to the conflict. The violence must end and all sides must resort to political solutions that uphold the principles of international law including the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

He said that a world at peace meant a world without weapons of mass destruction, and he urged leaders to reinforce the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The UN has a special role in maintaining peace and particularly advancing the role of women in conflict resolution and the sustainable development of post-conflict societies.

On climate change, he said that Croatia is a vulnerable country that is currently devastated by unprecedented floods. Cutting down greenhouse gas emissions must remain one of the main pillars of a post-2015 development agenda.

“Having in mind the need for progress, we have committed ourselves to implement the Millennium Development Goals- this is our unfinished business,” he said, adding that Croatia has pledged itself to a truly transformative and people-centred framework of Sustainable Development Goals for post-2015.

Josipovic also pledged solidarity to Ebola-affected countries in West Africa and reiterated the need for Security Council reform. On a regional matter, he said that consolidating European space will be possible only with further stabilisation of South Eastern Europe. To that end, the region is finding ways of cooperating and laying foundation for joint development.

(Photo of the UN General Assembly: UN Photo/Mark Garten)



The Sofia Globe staff

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