Bulgaria and the UN
The participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the activity of the United Nations (UN) is an important means for attaining the basic goals, tasks and priorities of Bulgaria’s foreign policy. By its activities in the global organization Bulgaria protects and fulfils national interests of paramount importance of a specific political, economic, social, scientific, cultural and other nature. In addition Bulgaria contributed to strengthening confidence, security and mutually advantageous cooperation in international relations and for their development in conformity with the UN Charter.
It would be of key importance for the future of the UN to come to, at the Summit meeting of September 2005, and agreement on the package of proposals for reforms of the UN, including commitments, which must be undertaken in the areas of development, security, protection of human rights, prevention and resolution of conflicts, UN administrative reform, which were incorporated in the report of the Secretary General of 21 March of this year, entitled “In conditions of greater freedom”. The final outcome should be strengthening and increasing the efficiency of the UN, which would be capable of coping in a more successful manner with modern-day threats and challenges for international peace, security and development.
Through the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mr. Solomon Passy this country expressed before the Secretary General Koffi Annan its support for the reform plan, developed by him, fully sharing his call for turning the "food words" into "good deeds" while attending the Millenium Goals and the UN restructuring.
Bulgaria was accepted as full member of the UN on 14-th December 1955, together with Albania, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Jordan, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cambodia, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Finland and Ceylon.
In 1960 Bulgaria became a member of the Committee on Disarmament and in 1962 was elected to the Committee on application of the Declaration on Providing Independence to the Colonial States and Peoples.
On 8 October 2001 the UN General Assembly elected Bulgaria as non-permanent member of the Security Council for the period 2002 – 2003. This was the third participation of Bulgaria as a non-permanent member of the SC, since Bulgaria was accepted to the UN. Unlike the two previous terms /1966-1967 and 1986-1987/, this time Bulgaria had to compete with another candidate - Belarus for the single slot at the SC, allocated for a country from the Eastern Europe group. As a result of its targeted, active and convincing election campaign, Bulgaria succeeded by winning a majority of 120 votes already at the first round of voting at the UN. The election of Bulgaria to this extremely responsible post was a measure of recognition by the international community for Bulgaria’s active and balanced foreign policy, for the specific contribution of Bulgaria to the efforts for international peace and security, particularly in South-Eastern Europe. The other significant difference was that twice during its membership in the SC Bulgaria presided over this very important body of the world organization.
Bulgaria fully supports and actively participates in the reform of the peace-keeping missions. Until present Bulgaria took part (or continues its involvement) in the following international peace-keeping missions: UNTAG, Cambodia – 1992-93; UNOMA, Angola – 1995-99; UNMOT, Tajikistan – 1995–2000; UNMEE, Ethiopia/Eritrea – 2000-2004; UNMIBH (UN), SFOR (NATO) and ЕUFOR (EC) /the latter from December 2004/, Bosnia and Herzegovina – from 1997; UNMIK (UN) and KFOR (NATO), Kosovo – as of 2000; EU mission for humanitarian de-mining, Croatia - 1999–2000; ISAF (UN/NATO), Afghanistan – as of 2002; Multinational coalition forces, Irak – as of 2003; UNMIL, Liberia – as of 2004.
The Republic of Bulgaria suffered considerable losses as a result of the strict compliance with sanctions, imposed by the Security Council against FR Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, which, combined with the losses inflicted by the war in Yugoslavia, were comparable to our foreign debt. Our country attaches great importance to the issue of the application of Article 50 of the UN Charter in regard to compensation of the negative effect of SC sanctions on third parties affected. Bulgaria received the understanding and support of a number of CEE countries on this issue.
Bulgaria actively participates in the work and activities of the different UN programs and funds and of the specialized agencies of the UN.
Jointly with these organizations a number of important projects were implemented to the benefit of Bulgaria in the field of environment protection, public and economic management, development of information technologies, etc. Cooperation with UNDP, which has its office in Sofia, has been particularly fruitful. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the new building of the UNDP office was officially inaugurated in October 2004 in Sofia, which was structured as an UN HOUSE IN BULGARIA. Cooperation of Bulgaria with the UN Development Program (UNDP), the UN Fund for Population Activities and UNICEF proved their usefulness in the environment of transition to a market economy in this country. Bulgaria is in favor of increasing the financial resources and technical assistance along these lines.
The Republic of Bulgaria has always upheld the principles of sustainable development and environment protection. In this context, our country actively participated in the preparation for and tin the staging of the Global Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2002 in Johannesburg, which was intended to make a comprehensive review of the “Rio+10” process and to consolidate the volume of resources available for successful resolution of the problems in this area.
Bulgaria continues its long-time efforts for prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and for restricting the use of particularly inhuman conventional weapons. Our country actively participates in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in the UN Conference on Disarmament and other international for a under the auspices of the UN, which are dealing with issues of disarmament and arms control.
In terms of methodology and expert support, the diplomatic activity for Bulgaria’s participation in the UN and the organizations of its structure is assigned to several Directorates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the leading one among them being the UN and Security Council Directorate, as well as by the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Bulgaria to the UN in New York, Geneva and Vienna. Bulgarian diplomats are accredited to specialized international organizations in Paris, Rome, London and other world centers.
Of great importance to the participation and the reputation of this country at the UN is the active involvement of the Bulgarian public in these issues – noteworthy are the activities of the UN Society in Bulgaria and other civic and students’ associations in this country, which are related to the noble principles and aims of the world organization.