Bucharest, Romania, 19 June 2018 – Today the President of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, in Bucharest, Romania.


Delivering a lecture, the President gave his assessment of the state of play in international affairs and diplomacy.

He told the audience that “multilateralism has been around for hundreds of years” and that “every time we nearly destroyed the world, we built it back up with multilateralism.” But only the creation of the United Nations  “established real multilateralism”.

He said, “Our history books are very clear; they show that the greatest achievements of humanity have come from working together. True power lies in dialogue – not military force.” At the same time, he added, “We need multilateralism now, more than ever before. But, paradoxically, it has never faced more threats”.

The President called attention to what he saw as “a genuine and an urgent crisis of leadership”. He warned that “pointing fingers everywhere but at ourselves” can stagnate progress, drive us farther apart, and fuel divisions and intolerance.

He also told the gathering of largely Romanian academics and students, “We are meeting only a few hundred miles from where some of the worst atrocities of this generation happened. And as we all remember, they did not happen overnight. They came from a gradual breakdown of principles and norms, which are there to protect us all”.

He concluded by calling on participants to stand up for a multilateral world.

While in Bucharest, President Lajčák also met with Romania’s President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

In his meeting with the President of Romania, H.E. Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, Mr. Lajčák commended Romania’s strong commitment to multilateralism. The two also talked about sustainable development, migration and Romania’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of Europe.

With the Prime Minister of Romania, H.E. Mrs. Viorica Dăncilă, President Lajčák talked about the universality of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Romania‘s participation in the High-level Political Forum taking place next month in New York, and the upcoming high-level meetings on tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases.

President Lajčák briefed H.E. Mr. Teodor Meleșcanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania, on upcoming items on the agenda of the General Assembly, as well as the status of the negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, orderly and Regular Migration. During the meeting, they also discussed climate change and regional developments.

Mr. Lajčák also met with the Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, H.E. Mr. Bogdan Aurescu, and the Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs, H.E. Mr. Dan Neculăescu, to talk about the work of the General Assembly and regional developments



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Katharina Kandt, Communications Adviser to the President of the General Assembly, +1 917 244 3890; kandt@un.org