Event: Pearl-MUN 2004
Student: Fahed Al-Rushaid
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2003-2004 Team page
The Romanian constitution provides for a President, a Parliament, a Constitutional Court, and a separate system of lower courts that includes a Supreme Court. The President is elected by popular vote for a maximum of two four-year terms. He is the Chief of State, Supreme Commander of the Army, and Chairman of the Supreme Defense Council.
The president appoints a prime minister to head the government; the prime minister is generally the leader of the party with the majority of seats in parliament. The prime minister is responsible for selecting a cabinet to help carry out the operations of government.
The principal resources of Romania are agricultural, but the country also has significant mineral deposits, particularly petroleum, natural gas, salt, hard coal, lignite (brown coal), iron ore, copper, bauxite, chromium, manganese, lead, and zinc. Timber is also an important natural resource.
About 43 percent of land in Romania is cultivated, and the soils in most parts of the country are fertile. In Banat, Walachia, and Moldavia, soils consist mainly of chernozem, or black earth, highly suited for growing grain. Soils in Transylvania are generally lower in nutrients.
Romanian culture is largely derived from the Roman, with strains of Slavic, Magyar (Hungarian), Greek, and Turkish influence. Poems, folktales, and folk music have always held a central place in Romanian culture. Romanian literature, art, and music attained maturity in the 19th century. Although Romania has been influenced by divergent Western trends, it also has a rich native culture.
Ethnic Romanians, who constitute about 89 percent of the population, are descendants of the inhabitants of Dacia, an ancient land roughly equivalent to modern Transylvania and Walachia. Dacia was conquered by the Romans and incorporated into the Roman Empire in the early 2nd century. The largest minority groups are Hungarians, who comprise about 8 percent of the population and are settled chiefly in Transylvania; Roma (or Gypsies), who constitute about 1.5 percent of the population; and Germans, who make about 0.5 percent of the population. Romania’s German population has declined since the 1980s as many Germans have emigrated to Germany. Romania also has communities of Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Russians, Serbs, Croats, Turks, Bulgarians, Tatars, and Slovaks.
Romania’s official language is Romanian, a Romance language derived mainly from Latin. Minority languages include Hungarian, German, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, and Romani (the language of the Roma). English and French are taught in many schools and are the most common second languages spoken in Romania.
The principal religion of Romania is Christianity. About 70 percent of the population belongs to the Romanian Orthodox Church, the largest religious organization in the country. Approximately 5 percent of inhabitants (including much of the Hungarian population) belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The country also contains Protestant churches of various denominations and significant numbers of Muslims and Jews.
Before World War II, the Romanian economy was primarily agricultural. In 1948 the Communist government came to power and took control of nearly all aspects of the economy. Through a series of five-year plans, the Communists transformed Romania into an industrial nation. The economy grew considerably during the first part of the Communist period, but by the 1980s it had slid into decline, and shortages of consumer goods and degradation of the environment had become widespread. After the Communist government was overthrown in 1989, the Romanian economy virtually collapsed. In the early 1990s the new non-Communist government began taking steps to reform the economy. These included devaluing the national currency, removing government subsidies on most consumer goods, and converting some state-owned companies to private ownership.
The Romanian economy declined considerably in the early 1990s. After several years of decline, the gross domestic product (GDP) increased by about 1 percent in 1993. In May 1994 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the Romanian government a $700 million loan, which helped to lower the country’s inflation rate by 1995. Although Romania’s private sector grew considerably, especially in the area of services, most of the country’s industrial production remained in state hands in 1995.
In June of that year the Romanian parliament passed a mass privatization program with the goal of transferring more than 2000 companies to private ownership. Due to the continued slow pace of economic reforms, however, the IMF did not resume disbursing loans to Romania in 1996, and foreign investment remained negligible. In 1997 the Romanian government instituted a rigorous program of reform, which among other measures included lifting most price controls and passing legislation to allow the privatization of state banks. Although the rapid pace of the reforms initially reduced incomes and raised prices, the program held widespread public support. The IMF responded by awarding a $430 million loan.
Romania is currently a member of the IMF, World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Romania became an associate member of the European Union (EU) in February 1993, and formally applied for full membership in June 1995. A free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association came into effect in May 1993.
In the mid-1990s the total strength of Romania’s armed forces was 203,100 members; of these, 161,000 were in the army, 23,100 were in the air force, and 19,000 were in the navy. Military service is compulsory for all men and lasts for a period of 12 months in the army and air force and 18 months in the navy. The Securitate (secret police force), loyal to Ceausescu, was disbanded in 1990 and replaced by the Romanian Intelligence Service.
Views on World Problems:
Along the changes that occurred with the fall of communism in Romania its policy towards world countries has changed significantly. Today Romania’s relations with most countries are good and especially relations with other members of the European Union and the United States. Since the beginning of the 1990’s Romania’s relation with the USA has grown rapidly in 1993 it became on the USA’s list of the most favored nations. Romania plays a big role in securing peace in the world today as it continues to play an important task in the United Nations and it is a leading country in sending troops for countries in need for them. Romania served as the President of the United Nations Security Council and is today a member of the Security Council. Romania stood with the Allied forces in 1991 during the Gulf War, and yet today Romania is an important part of the coalition forces in Iraq. Ever since, Romania’s policy has become pro-western and the U.S. has moved to deepen the relations.
Romania is a member of the United Nations (UN), and in October 1993 it was admitted to the Council of Europe (CE). The Romanian government signed an association agreement with the EU in February 1993. In January 1994 Romania joined the Partnership for Peace program as a precursor to eventual membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
When World War I broke out in 1914, Romania declared a policy of armed neutrality. However, in August 1916, Romania joined the Allies in their fight against the Central Powers, chiefly Austria-Hungary and Germany.. Romania hoped to gain several provinces of Austria-Hungary that had large Romanian populations. The Allies won the war in 1918, and as part of the peace settlement,
As an ally of Germany, Romania declared war on the USSR in 1941. The Romanian army reclaimed Bessarabiya and Bukovina and advanced as far as southern Ukraine, but suffered heavy losses in the 1943 Battle of Stalingrad. When Soviet troops entered Romania in 1944, King Michael dismissed Antonescu, surrendered to the USSR, and declared war on Germany. Soviet pressure led to the creation of a left-wing government under Petru Groza in March 1945.
By the terms of the armistice agreement, Romania lost northern Bukovina and Bessarabiya to the USSR and recovered northern Transylvania from Hungary. The agreement also limited the strength of the Romanian armed forces and stipulated that the Romanian people should enjoy all personal liberties. On December 30, 1947, the monarchy was abolished, and King Michael was forced to abdicate. The People’s Republic of Romania was then proclaimed, with a constitution similar to that of the USSR, and power passed to the Communist Party.
After the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1953, Romania gradually drew away from close dependence on the USSR. Gheorghiu-Dej asserted the country’s right to develop its own variety of socialism. Throughout the 1950s the government emphasized the nationalization and development of industry. This effort proved highly successful, and in the 1960s official estimates of the national industrial growth rate averaged about 12 percent annually, ranking among the highest in Eastern Europe. Agricultural collectivization began in July 1949, and in 1962 the government announced that all arable land had been absorbed into the socialized sector.
At home, the Communist government held sole power, censored the press, and restricted personal liberties. Ceausescu promoted a personality cult around himself and his family. Improved relations with China and Western Europe brought aid and new technology, and the economy grew substantially in the 1960s and 1970s.
Romania continued to pursue an independent foreign policy, despite the disapproval of the Soviet bloc. In addition, the Romanian government actively increased its contacts with the West. After a visit from United States President Richard Nixon in 1969, Ceausescu paid several visits to the United States. In 1975 the United States granted Romania most-favored-nation status, and in 1976 a ten-year economic pact was signed by the two countries. Romania joined the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) in 1972 and in 1976 signed the first formal pact (on textiles) between the European Economic Community and an Eastern European nation.
In 1989 Ceausescu’s brutal suppression of antigovernment demonstrations in Timisoara turned the army against him. He fled Bucharest with his wife Elena on December 22, 1989, but the two were soon captured. Ceausescu and his wife were charged with murder and embezzlement of government funds, and a secret trial took place. Both were found guilty and were executed on December 25. An interim body made up chiefly of former Communist officials took control of the government, and Ion Iliescu became the country’s acting president. The new government revoked many of Ceausescu’s repressive policies and imprisoned some of the leaders of his regime.
In May 1990 multiparty elections for the legislature and the presidency were held. Iliescu was elected president, and his party, the National Salvation Front (NSF), won control of the legislature. Peter Roman became Romania’s prime minister. The elections did not put a stop to the antigovernment demonstrations, which continued throughout the year, often in protest of economic conditions. Riots by miners led to the resignation of Roman’s government in September. In October former finance minister Theodor Stolojan succeeded Roman as prime minister and formed a new cabinet. An economic austerity program was introduced that month.
Issue # 1: The question of UN involvement in the situation in Iraq:
This issue deeply concerns Romania because of the big role it is given in the reconstruction of Iraq in addition to the fact that Romania has troops fighting with the coalition forces. Romania appreciates the current role of the UN in Iraq however it does not believe the UN should widely broaden its involvement in Iraq especially when it comes to the military leadership. Romania also agrees with the USA that more troops are needed in order to secure the resolution.
Issue # 2: The question of guaranteeing peace and security in Haiti:
Although this issue is of minor importance to Romania, it tries hardly to solve the crisis in Haiti. Romania strongly condemns the abuses to human rights in Haiti and supports the UN peacekeepers that have been sent to Haiti. Romania also urges countries of the United Nations to support the peacekeepers with equipment needed. Romania also believes asks the Haitian parties to cooperate fully with international force that has been sent.
Issue # 3: The question of establishing an effective, binding and internationally observed protocol on preemptive warfare:
A preemptive attack (or preemtive war) is waged in an attempt to repel or defeat an imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (usually unavoidable) war. Romania does not believe that a country should perform a preemptive warfare. As a member of the European Union and being a country not with very sophisticated military capabilities Romania strongly opposes preemptive warfares and believes a protocol should be set in order to eliminate preemptive warfare. Even if considered to be self defense Romania believes no country should attack another except if that same country attacked it. As an important and effective member of the Security Council Romania believes in a big role to be played by the United Nations. It always believes that conflicts or threats between countries should be solved under the umbrella of the UN.
Issue # 1: Iraq
1. Condemns the assassination of the head of Iraqi Governing Council and continues to support the council.
2. Urges all countries capable of sending troops to Iraq to do so as soon as possible in order to secure the current situation in Iraq.
Issue # 2: Haiti
1. Calls upon the international community, to work with the people of Haiti in a long-term effort to promote the rebuilding of institutions and to assist in the development of a strategy to promote social and economic development and to fight poverty;
2. Requests the leadership of the Multinational Interim Force in Haiti to report periodically to the Council, through the Secretary-General;
3. Further calls on all parties in Haiti and on Member States to cooperate fully with the Multinational Interim Force in Haiti;
4. Urges member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other necessary financial resources on an urgent basis to the Multinational Interim Force;
Issue # 3: Pre-Emptive Warfare