Ion Iliescu (born 3 March 1930) is a Romanian politician and engineer who served as President of Romania from 1989 until 1996 and from 2000 until 2004. Between 1996 and 2000 and also from 2004 to 2008, the year in which he retired, Iliescu was a senator for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), of which he is the founder and honorary president to this day. Formerly a member of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR), he had a leading role in the Romanian Revolution, becoming the country's president in December 1989. In May 1990, he became Romania's first freely elected head of state.
- The structure of the international system, at the end of this century, is experiencing radical changes, particularly the end of the post-war bipolarity, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the cold war. Many new peoples have gained their right to self-determination and democratic development, long repressed by totalitarian regimes.
- The dynamics of the world have changed. This creates many questions for the international community, governments, politicians and political forces. So far the answers have been few and inadequate. But life does not wait. States and people have concrete needs as well as hopes and ideals. Their natural tendency is to act in order to fulfil them, whether or not there exists an organized international framework for harmonizing divergent interests.
- But freeing international relations from ideology does not and must not necessarily lead to confrontation between civilizations. By definition, confrontation is alien to civilization.
- Civilization is characterized, rather, by tolerance and open-mindedness. Of course, this does not exclude competition between civilizations, between the values they promote, between their capacities to guarantee the free enjoyment of basic human rights and the development of initiative and the human personality.
- The extremely complex situations in various parts of the world and the contradictory currents that exist, with all their attendant risks and uncertainties for overall peace and security, demand a democratic vision of the new international order, which must be built, and abandonment of prejudices in relations between States inherited from the cold-war period. But that is not all. I believe that today we need a vision of the management of international relations in which realism and pragmatism predominate.
- The prosperity of peoples achieved through cooperation was not merely the formula of someday dreamers, but the rationale behind an international body meant to constitute an orderly space for moral and legal values to govern the manifestation of the freedom of creation of human civilization in all its diversity.
- International order based on legal norms, even if administered under the authority of the privileged club of the permanent members of the Security Council, represented the embodiment of reason and of the hope that the world would never again fall prey to the demons of hatred and destruction.
- The knowledge gap is compounded by the ubiquitous phenomenon of brain drain from the developing to the developed world. The problem is almost as old as the United Nations itself.
- Experience shows that enhanced regional cooperation can be both the engine and the result of globalization.
- Regional cooperation makes it possible to capitalize on the advantages of globalization while reducing its risks.
- A set of policies can be successful only if it relies consistently on the fundamental aspiration of ordinary people to a peaceful and decent life. The current unprecedented level of knowledge will, I am confident, enable us to find the requisite resources, both in ourselves and in society, for greater tolerance, mutual respect and constructive dialogue, as opposed to the primitive inclination to hatred and intolerance.
- The consolidation of democratic values, building an efficient and competitive market economy, strengthening the country's capacity to play its role as a security and stability provider in the region, are all aims closely interrelated with our national interest.
- Fraud involving the public purse is all the more reprehensible, and must be severely punished, in that it cannot take place other than with the involvement of politicians and public officials, i.e. those who are entrusted essentially with defending and promoting the public interest. Their dishonesty undermines trust in the State, in the country's institutions and in democracy.
- It is our duty, the duty of all of us, to help the people understand that, alongside rights and freedoms, they have legal and constitutional obligations, that it is in their interests and in the interests of society that fraudulent acts should be severely punished, and that they should not become accomplices, including as a result of passivity or non-involvement, in such anti-social behaviour.
- Transparency is nowadays an efficient weapon in stamping out corruption and fraud of any kind involving public funds.
- The global vocation and aspirations of my country are closely related to its European destiny. The focus of Romanian diplomacy is therefore oriented towards the democratic stabilization of our neighbouring region and its effective connection to a united Europe.
- Granting the Western Balkan states a clear perspective of integration into the Euro-Atlantic and European community is the most effective way to consolidate stability and security in the region and in Europe.
- Having emerged from the darkness of totalitarianism, Romania has embarked on a long and not so easy road to the recovery of memory and assumption of responsibility, in keeping with the moral and political values grounding its new status as a democratic country, a dignified member of the Euro-Atlantic community.
- A critical evaluation of the past is always necessary, so as not to forget it, but also to set with clarity the landmarks of our effort to build ourselves, as part of constructing the future of our nation.
- The recent past obligates us to create mechanisms and institutions designed to serve as the society’s antibodies against these illnesses of the spirit that are racism, antisemitism, xenophobia.