Mr. Co-Chair, The Republic of Moldova has only 21 years of independence, is a developing country, and at the same time already has the unfortunate experience of a “frozen” separatist conflict on its territory. The matter of country’s development is linked, but not limited, to the conflict resolution, on which I will focus more closely. Hence I will particularly focus on inter-linkages between the Rule of Law (RoL), Good Governance and Conflict resolution, since it seems that the matter of protracted conflicts also needs attention from these perspectives.
- From our perspective, there is indeed a link between Rule of Law, Good governance and development – and ultimately conflict resolution.
- The respect for the RoL on the international and national levels remains as important as ever.
- From international point of view, the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of a state, remain valid and pertinent – both our experience and, for example, more recent international crises confirm it. A country would have difficulties in development if one of these principles is undermined – hence it is important to maintain them, including for development purposes.
- From national perspective the Rule of Law and Good Governance has several implications:
- One is that the RoL and Good Governance are preconditions for a better development. Thus, the Republic of Moldova is striving for EU integration – the EU Copenhagen Criteria quote inter alia democratic governance &RoL, functioning market economy, which correspond to a large extent to the general UN development principles. The legislation is aligned to the EU’s AcquisCommunautaire, while most of the programs and policies implemented by the Republic of Moldova in this respect are done with the support of the project implemented by the EU via UN (UNDP), in accordance with UN principles and country priorities.
- In the RoL state people need to have the judicial system as a guarantor of their security, property and business activities/development.
- International evidence showed that the state based on the RoL attracts more Foreign Direct Investment in longer term development sectors.
- A RoL and Well Governed state creates more confidence for the population in separatist areas, as well as in the negotiations process.
- Without forgetting a more grass root level, one should mention that confidence building measures (CBMs), many of which in the Republic of Moldova are implemented in the area of development (infrastructure and services), are critical in the conflict resolution and will be important for post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction.
- Another more concrete matter - free, independent and pluralistic media development could be a window for dialogue, peace and reconciliation, as well as a conduit for a correct or balanced understanding of the development and conflict resolution matters. Media freedom in the Eastern separatist regions of the Republic of Moldova is lacking, needs to be addressed and points to the importance of free media in conflict resolution.
- One more element linked to the RoL and conflict resolution is the Security sector reform (SSR), along with a potential post-conflict disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of para-military– theirsuccessful reintegration may, in some cases, be closely linked to the sustainability of the development conditions. These topics can and should be in the focus of both the Government and UN or/and UN mandate organizations.
- While RoL also presumes the respect for human rights and freedoms – and sometimes implicitly for some actors the liberty to act – for the purposes of conflict resolution it is also important to understand that the involvement of various state and non-state actors in the mediation, conflict resolution and development has to take into account the fact that a conflict in itself is an extremely sensitive situation. Hence – the need for a coordinated approach.
- Rule of Law, as mentioned above, presumes a full respect for human rights – again important from the perspective of national development and conflict resolution. A free individual has more development potential and inputs more into the development of the society, while for conflict resolution the respect for human rights is essential for safety and security of the individuals, as well as for the stability of the future conflict resolution results. During the recent Rights up Front launch at the UN, the violations of human rights have been marked as indictors of a potential conflict or unfortunate ongoing violations of human rights in conflict areas have been highlighted as conflict aggravators – respectively the need for the UN to watch the human rights situation have been stressed, along the idea that promoting the respect for human rights may reduce existing problems in conflicts. I have brought in this context the example of my own country, where the UN expert, Thomas Hammamberg (former Human Rights Commissioner for Council of Europe)conducted last year a human rights survey in the conflict area, where unfortunately, the human rights situation has aggravated. The need to respect human rights, from this experience (e.g. in the separatist area in the East of the Republic of Moldova – that being valid elsewhere), is therefore essential from both humanitarian perspective and for the conflict resolution as a whole.
- We can probably approach the issues of accountabilityin these circumstances, though from a different angle than discussed in the RoL context – it may be important for the conflict resolution, as it might become a necessary supporting (or even refraining factor)in this process.
To conclude, Mr. Co-Chair, I hope this national evidence based approach would help the careful SDG formulation process – we are a directly interested developing country and hence are looking forward to a concrete set of goals, targets and indicators for our attention soon, and for a fruitful discussion during and after September 2014.
I wish you good luck and thank you.