H.E. Alexandru Cujba, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations joined GFDD at their offices for the first “Global Roundtable”

February 1, 2011

H.E. Alexandru Cujba, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations and former Vice President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council joined Global Foundation for Democracy and Development at their offices on Tuesday for the first “Global Roundtable,” the beginning of a series arranged by GFDD arranged
to highlight development issues with South-South News.
Dominican Ambassador Francis Lorenzo introduced Ambassador Cujba and congratulated Moldova’s success in meeting the MDG’S, particularly in light of the fact that this young country only celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence this year.

Ambassador Lorenzo then turned the proceedings to GFDD Executive Director, Natasha Despotovic, who cordially welcomed
Ambassador to give a little background on his country.

Ambassador Cujba pointed out that Moldova’s commitment to modernize its economy has resulted in its successful transition from an authoritarian government with a closed state-controlled market in 1991 to a democracy with a free-market economy. However its political and social sectors have yielded mixed results.

Asked by Ms Despotovic what has been the biggest challenge, Ambassador Cujba responded that it had been the struggle to change the authoritarian mentality, along with the transition in the economy, which involved the privatization of all industries while trying to find new markets with tough competition. Nonetheless, he said, 90% of the Moldovan people were working hard on transforming political standards to meet with European levels. Moldova is a neighbor of the EU and its
goal of integration would be a beneficial process for all parties.

Pointing out the problems, the Ambassador Cujba explained that Moldova did not have an abundance of mineral resources, and 60% of its farmland could not be used properly due to lack of modern technologies and proper management,  but it had used its education system for competitive advantage. The country boasts 100% literacy – a legacy from the former Soviet Union. He confidently
articulated that Moldova would achieve the MDG on universal education by 2015.

He added that Moldova plays an important role bridging East and West, having been influenced by different empires and countries at different historical periods.  However, he conveyed its shared culture with other southeastern European nations, as well as with Russia.

GFDD will hold this monthly series of meetings with UN Ambassadors to promote awareness, best practices and knowledge sharing about each others’ countries. The Program seeks to develop partnerships with like-minded

Also joining the roundtable were the Honorable Dr. Noah Wekesa, Minister from the Kenyan Ministry of Forestry & Wildlife, the Kenyan Ambassador, Dr. Josephine Ojiambo and the Benin Ambassador, Jean-Francis R. Zinsou.

GFDD’s internet community also had the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions in advance of the meeting.

The series is filmed by South-South News, which specializes
in producing newscasts about development issues and best practices impacted the Global South.