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Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu handed over the Presidency of the Community of Democracies, held by Romania for three years, starting with 2019, to his Canadian counterpart, Melanie Joly, in a ceremony that took place in New York, starting from September 2019.

The event took place on the sidelines of the high-level week of the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA 77), informs a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) sent to AGERPRES on Friday.

Aurescu carried out a review of the main milestones of the three-year term of the Romanian Presidency of the Community of Democracies, noting that during this period there were numerous challenges to democracies, human rights and international law, among which, in particular, the COVID- 19 and the unjustified, illegal and unprovoked military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

He voiced his appreciation for the "prompt" and "substantial" mobilization of the Community of Democracies to respond to the challenges that arose, supporting democratic values and principles, despite the difficulties.

Under Romania's Presidency and with its support, in the context of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, a group of member states of the Governing Council adopted, on February 24, a declaration expressing their support for Ukraine's democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, the minister recalled. According to him, the signatory states "firmly" condemned the continuous aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and expressed their unequivocal support for the Ukrainian people in their democratic aspirations.

He also highlighted Romania's priority to support young and vulnerable democracies and exemplified the efforts of our country both in support of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Minister Aurescu extended the invitation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Chisinau, Nicu Popescu, for the Republic of Moldova to join the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies.

Nicu Popescu participated in the event in New York as a special guest of Romania.

Romania held the Presidency of the Community of Democracies from September 2019 to September 2022. Romania's term at the helm of the CoD, initially assumed for the 2019 - 2021 period, was extended, on May 18, 2021, under exceptional conditions, in the context of the need to ensure the continuity and efficient management of CoD activities, including as a result of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the calendar and format of some of the organization's activities.AGERPRES(RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican)

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