Foreign Relations

President Rokke leaves this weekend for a conference in Bucharest, Romania, where he addresses the subject of building leadership and integrity in this emerging democratic country. His trip is sponsored by the non-profit Institute for Defense Analysis.

As with several former eastern European states, Romania has encountered many potholes on the road to democracy.

It would like to join NATO; but in order to do so, its government, economy, and security forces must meet standards set by the other members.

The upcoming conference (November 4-6) of high-level government officials and military commanders will address some of the obstacles that challenge the country in a time of transition.

President Rokke will deliver the keynote address and lead a series of seminars at the conference. “We’ll place particular emphasis on imperatives for leadership, character, and integrity that accompany Romania’s transition,” he says.

Romania overthrew its monstrous leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, on Christmas Day 1989, when a provisional government, the Popular Salvation Front, fueled by a populist uprising, executed the dictator and his equally hated wife. Since then, the country has struggled to reform its economy, government, and military forces.

President Rokke participated in a similar conference at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany this summer, whose participants included several countries that hope to become NATO members.

October 29, 2002

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