Simona-Mirela Miculescu, Representative Of The UN Secretary-General And Head Of The UN Office In Belgrade:

Keep Eyes Open To Possibilities

When the UN Secretary-General appointed me to lead the UN Office in Belgrade – which is empowered by him to politically support the countries of the region in their efforts towards improving regional cooperation and enhancing peace and stability – I didn’t know what to expect.

It was my first job at the United Nations, after dozens of years serving Romanian diplomacy. It was a major change of direction in my career. Now I can say that it was a great change! I am covering the political dynamics of a very interesting region; I live in a beautiful city with a cool cultural vibe, and I represent the world’s biggest and greatest organisation! So, I am counting my blessings, which I encourage everybody to do more often!

Every day, around the planet, the United Nations plays a critical role in the service of our common humanity. We are saving lives, helping to lift people out of poverty, providing food, education and shelter to the most vulnerable people, empowering girls and women, and fighting climate change.

We all live in a global village and the United Nations is the global Town Hall – a safe space to seek solutions and reach a better understanding of each other because we are better together than we are separately.

I was always asked about my recipe for success and I never had anything magic to reveal! I think I succeeded because I was in permanent competition with myself

As the Pope said, one of the greatest challenges we face is the globalisation of indifference. So, what I tell my children, or all those youngsters who follow me on social media, or the people of this region, is that if we open our eyes to possibilities, we can see there are many ways to make a difference: from giving our time and energy to causes that matter to us, to advocating and standing up for what we know to be right. Too often our interactions drive people apart, back into their safe zones, rather than bringing them together.

Finding solutions to the national, regional and global challenges that we face requires us to find common ground. That means looking for similarities, not differences; it means looking for solutions, not problems; it means building bridges, not walls; it means strengthening peace, not generating wars. That’s because, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says, “Peace is not only an opportunity but an obligation”.

SIMONA-MIRELA MICULESCU has held her current position as Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office Belgrade since 2015. Prior to that, during a diplomatic career lasting 24 years, she served twice as Spokesperson for the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senior Media Advisor to the Minister, Director of the Press Department, Press Secretary of the Romanian Embassy in Washington D.C., Senior Public Information Officer at the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Romania, Senior Advisor for Public Outreach to the Government of Iraq, as well as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN. She is the first woman in Romanian history to earn the diplomatic rank of ambassador.