Geneva, April 15, 2002. Unveiling of Nicolae Titulescu’s statue, the work of sculptor Nicolae Doru Drăgușin, on the mall in front of the UN Office for Europe, in the presence of Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Năstase, of Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoană, of other Romanian dignitaries and of Sergei Ordjonikidze, Director-General of the UN Office for Europe, of numerous UN specialist agencies and national diplomatic missions accredited in Geneva.

 

Combattant pour la paix (Address made in Geneva, 15 April 2002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genève, 15 avril 2002. Organisée dans le Hall des pas perdus du Palais des Nations, l’exposition photo-documentaire Un grand Roumain, un grand Européen, un véritable Contemporain. 120 ans depuis la naissance de Nicolae Titulescu est inaugurée en présence de hautes personnalités roumaines et étrangères, d’un vaste public. Adrian Năstase, premier ministre du Gouvernement de Roumanie, prononce l’alocution d’ouverture. Après, Adrian Năstase, Serguéi Ordjonikidze, directeur géneral de l’Office des Nations Unies pour l’Europe, accompagnés de George G. Potra, commissaire de l’exposition, visitent la plus importante manifestation de ce genre jamais consacrée à l’homme politique et diplomate roumain.

Parler de Titulescu, c’est comme si on tentait de décrire la lumière: il est une force immense qui nous englobe dès que nous voulons nous rapprocher de lui. Et comme dans la lumière, nous vivons en lui, dans l’univers de ses idées. Titulescu a vécu pendant une époque dominée par les douloureux souvenirs de la Grande Guerre et par les signes prémonitoires de la guerre qui allait venir. Ce n’est pas étonnant qu’il fut appelé “Le combattant pour la paix”, ce qui est un paradoxe si nous pensons que Titulescu a été le dernier qui ait pensé à lutter pour la paix à la manière des guerriers, des soldats; si l’on me permet un jeu de mots, je dirais que la para bellumne fut pas une arme à laquelle il aurait pensé dans ses efforts pour la paix. Mais pour l’esprit de l’époque cette appellation était la reconnaissance suprême; c’était un éloge nous rappelant les princes régnants – soldats des pays roumains, aux côtés desquels nous pouvons compter Titulescu. Surtout cette année lorsque nous célébrons 75 ans de la Grande Union, nous devons considérer Titulescu avec un plus d’attention et déchiffrer les sens de son action. Je l’ai déjà dit: en quelque sorte, nous refaisons un certain trajet historique que nos devanciers d’il y a 75 ans ont parcouru. “Transition”, “restructuration”, “nouvel ordre”, “sécurité européenne” ne sont que de nouveaux mots (parfois même pas si nouveaux!), qui ont été également prononcés depuis 1918 jusqu’à nos jours. Ne sommes-nous pas confrontés à un nouveau “processus des optants” lorsqu’il faut discuter sur la restitution des propriétés? Aujourd’hui ne parlet-on pas, de nouveau, de la “Petite entente”? Ce ne sont que des expériences qui nous poussent à la réflexion et auxquelles Titulescu a donné les réponses appropriées, des réponses qui pourraient nous faire longuement réfléchir. Je pense que la lecture attentive de l’histoire que Titulescu a vécue et faite nous conduit à la conclusion que ces expériences, ces problèmes, ces “noms” ne sont pas uniquement un refuge pour les idées vieillies, désuètes, erronées; acceptons, dans ce cas, que ce sont les “réalités” mêmes, une source de nouveaux problèmes à l’attente des réponses. Alors, la difficulté à laquelle nous nous confrontons, le dilemme qui est devant tous les États postcommunistes, semble être essentiel, presque ontologique: se dirigera-t-on vers un monde de la démocratie et de l’humain ou vers un monde qui reste le monde des grandes puissances, de la politique des puissances? C’était, d’une certaine façon, le même dilemme vécu par Titulescu. Je pense que nous devons y réfléchir et faire attention à la tragédie de ce grand homme politique qui, jusqu’à la fin de sa carrière, a essayé de réconcilier ces deux tendances. Aujourd’hui nous sommes soumis aux mêmes dilemmes bouleversants, entretenus de tant d’interprétations idéologiques, de l’injonction de tant d’intérêts qui nous sont étrangers, de la crise d’identité que nous ressentons tous jusqu’au dernier individu. Mais nous sommes encore minés par le scepticisme nourri des douleurs et des incertitudes du changement, de la faiblesse des institutions et de l’érosion des traditions, de l’angoisse générée par les attaques brutales, violentes, à l’adresse de ce qui paraissait stable – des attaques effrayantes car elles sont dirigées contre la société et naissent des intérêts étrangers aux aspirations humaines. Nous n’avons pas encore de repères et de valeurs claires et l’indifférence cynique nommée New Age ne peut pas nous servir d’aide.

 

Nous revenons à Titulescu, à son idée à l’égard de la “diplomatie en mouvement”, au service d’un but suprême: la paix. Je voudrais citer quelques paroles de Titulescu: Quel meilleur champ de bataille pourrait-on imaginer pour satisfaire au penchant naturel de l’homme pour la lutte, sinon une campagne contre tous les préjugés, superstitions, hérésies qui troublent nos âmes, pour pouvoir découvrir ensuite, après chaque bataille, sur le terrain illimité du combat d’idées, non pas la mort, mais de nouvelles raisons de vivre. L’avenir doit être notre oeuvre! L’avenir doit porter notre sceau! Je pense qu’il n’y a pas de message plus profond, plus patriotique; nous ne nous inclinons pas devant un grand homme politique, devant un grand ministre des affaires étrangères, mais devant un visionnaire, notre savant maître.

 

L’avenir doit porter notre empreinte

 

Nous avons le plaisir d’inaugurer aujourd’hui la quatrième session d’été francophone de la Fondation Européenne Titulescu. Nous pouvons affirmer que pendant les quatre ans qui se sont écoulés depuis le début de ce séminaire, nous avons réussi à créer une tradition que nous désirons consolider avec votre soutien. Permettez-moi de remercier les organisateurs (la Fondation Européenne Titulescu, le Ministère Roumain des Affaires Étrangères, l’Association de Droit International et Relations Internationales de Roumanie, le Ministère Français des Affaires Étrangères, l’Académie Diplomatique Internationale, le Centre d’Études pour le Développement International et des Mouvements Économiques et Sociaux de l’Université Panthéon, l’Office Franco-Québécois pour la Jeunesse, section de Paris, l’Association Interuniversitaire MUMM–Martell Pays de l’Est, de France, l’Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales de Genève et le Foreign Office qui ont participé à notre initiative. Je nourris la conviction que la rencontre et la réunion des toutes ces forces représentent un hommage à l’esprit de celui qui a été l’un des fondateurs de la Société des Nations et l’un des précurseurs de la nouvelle vision sur les relations entre les États de notre monde. En tant que Président de la Fondation Européenne Titulescu, j’ai prêté beaucoup d’attention aux programmes des autres sessions et j’ai été heureux de constater l’intérêt permanent attaché aux problèmes majeurs de la vie internationale, ainsi que la manière exceptionnelle dont ils ont été traités par les personnalités invitées à y participer. Et je me fais un devoir de saluer et remercier ceux qui, par leur participation répétée, ont donné la garantie de la réussite de ces cours d’été. Il s’agit de MM. Jacques Barrat et Gérard Conac, ici présents, et aussi MM. Maurice Druon, Claude Collin Delavaud, Robert Richard, Paul Sabourin qui nous joigneront les jours suivants. Je voudrais également souhaiter la bienvenue à Madame Sophie Dufour du Canada et Messieurs Pierre Dubois de Suisse, Michael Q. Atkinson et George Schopflynn de Grande- Bretagne qui participent pour la première fois à ce séminaire. Je voudrais encore remercier tous les autres conférenciers venus pour partager leurs connaissances et expériences dans le domaine diplomatique, ainsi que les jeunes diplomates qui ont répondu à l’invitation adressée et sont arrivés un peu de partout pour prendre part à cette manifestation. Comme vous l’avez déjà remarqué, la particularité de ce séminaire, organisé d’ailleurs parmi tant d’autres dans le monde, est le segment auquel il est destiné, à savoir aux jeunes diplomates en formation. Ceci nous donne la merveilleuse opportunité de réunir au même endroit et à la même heure l’expérience des distingués conférenciers et l’enthousiasme de la jeune génération de la diplomatie de 15 pays de l’Europe et de la République Populaire de Chine. Je tiens à vous témoigner la joie et la fierté que j’éprouve pour le fait que ce séminaire se déroulera dans la ville qui abrite la dépouille de Titulescu et où son esprit avait trouvé des ressources et pris du souffle pour soutenir devant les autorités mondiales ses idées qui nous semblent aujourd’hui de la plus impérieuse actualité. La pérennité de certains thèmes abordés par le grand diplomate roumain et qui se trouvent, même de nos jours, au centre de notre attention, ainsi que l’actualité d’autres thèmes qui vont faire l’objet de ces travaux constituent la preuve que le séminaire d’été ne sera pas une manifestation purement scolastique, mais, tout au contraire, un vrai exercice de la diplomatie moderne, en mesure de démontrer, une fois de plus, la valeur prémonitoire des paroles de Nicolae Titulescu: Les idées ne meurent pas en même temps que ceux qui leur ont donné la vie. Par conséquent, je souhaite beaucoup de succès aux travaux du séminaire, dont la réussite, hors de doute, d’ailleurs, sera un argument de plus pour l’organisation des prochaines éditions. Je vous remercie de votre attention.

Ankara, February 1, 2006. The effigy of the diplomat Nicolae Titulescu was unveiled in front of the Embassy of Romania in Turkey. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, and the Mayor of Ankara, Mr. Melih Gokceh.

La 1 februarie 2006, cu ocazia vizitei prim-ministrului României, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, în Turcia, a fost inaugurat un monument dedicat lui Nicolae Titulescu (1 „Hurriet Daily News“, 2 aprilie 2006; „Turkish Daily News“, 2 aprilie 2006; „Adevărul.ro“, 31 ianuarie 2006).

Monumentul, ridicat la Ankara de Municipalitatea Marii Ankare, în memoria fostului ministru de Externe român, a fost dezvelit pe Bulevardul Atatürk, în fața Ambasadei României din capitala Turciei. La ceremonie, ambasadorul României, Constantin Grigorie, a evocat personalitatea marelui dispărut, rolul său în construcția și dezvoltarea relațiilor româno-turce. „Relațiile dintre Turcia și România continuă să fie la fel de apropiate și să aibă aceeași consistență ca în epoca lui Titulescu, chiar dacă de la moartea sa au trecut 65 de ani”.

După cuvântul rostit de ambasadorul țării noastre, prim-ministrul României, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, și secretarul general al Municipalității Marii Ankare, Kadir Ramazan Coskun, au dezvelit monumentul.

După aceea, prim-ministrul României a mulțumit celor care au contribuit la ridicarea monumentului. În încheiere, Domnia Sa a spus: „Titulescu este unul dintre cei mai valoroși diplomați, atât ca ministru de Externe, cât și ca președinte al Ligii Națiunilor. Punctele sale de vedere își păstrează importanța și eficacitatea chiar și astăzi“.

 

Un bust Titulescu la Atena

 

La 17 octombrie 2012, la Atena a fost dezvelit un bust al marelui om de stat și diplomat român Nicolae Titulescu.

Bustul lui Nicolae Titulescu – realizat de artiștii plastici Darie Dup și Elena Dumitrescu, de la Universitatea de Arte Frumoase din București – este o donație a Fundației Europene Titulescu, pentru municipalitatea Atenei.

Ceremonia dezvelirii monumentului s-a desfășurat în prezența ambasadorului României la Atena, Excelența Sa George Ciamba, a Excelenței Sale Kostas Tsiaras, ministrul adjunct elen al Afacerilor Externe, a reprezentanților Primăriei din Atena și a profesorului George G. Potra, directorul Fundației Europene Titulescu, membru al Academiei Oamenilor de Știință din România – inițiatoarea proiectului. Au participat oficiali din partea Ministerului elen al Afacerilor Externe și a altor instituții elene, membri ai corpului diplomatic român la Atena, precum și reprezentanți ai comunității românești din Attika.

În cuvântul său, ambasadorul României s-a referit la profilul vizionar al lui Nicolae Titulescu pe scena regională și europeană în perioada interbelică, la puternicele afinități pe care marele om de stat român le-a nutrit întotdeauna față de Grecia, unde, cu 78 de ani în urmă, a avut loc semnarea Pactului Înțelegerii Balcanice, al cărui principal artizan a fost Nicolae Titulescu.

Ministrul adjunct elen al Afacerilor Externe, Excelența Sa Kostas Tsiaras, a subliniat în intervenția sa semnificația simbolică deosebită a evenimentului prin prisma relațiilor tradiționale de prietenie dintre România și Grecia.

Directorul Fundației Europene Titulescu a vorbit pe larg despre dimensiunea europeană a operei politico-diplomatice a marelui om de stat român, precursor și promotor al ideilor Europei Unite.

Inaugurarea s-a produs la împlinirea a 130 de ani de la nașterea lui Nicolae Titulescu.

În Parcul Rizari din centrul capitalei elene, bustul în bronz al lui Nicolae Titulescu se află alături de acelea ale lui Chateaubriand și Nansen.

Pe soclul de marmură albă al bustului titulescian este fixată inscripția cu următorul text (în traducere greacă): „Nicolae Titulescu (1882–1941). Președinte al Adunării Societății Națiunilor. Ministru al Afacerilor Externe al României. Inspirator al Pactului Înțelegerii Balcanice (Atena, 9 februarie 1934)”.

În timp, din inițiativa Fundației Europene Titulescu, în varii locuri din România, dar și din alte țări ale continentului nostru (Elveția, Franța, Slovacia, Olanda, Turcia), au fost așezate simboluri titulesciene (grupuri statuare, busturi, plăci memoriale, efigii ș.a.).

Din capitala Greciei, Nicolae Titulescu transmite posterității un mesaj al unui mare român, al unui mare european, al unui mare contemporan, al unui tribun al păcii, securității și cooperării, al unui campion al democrației, al unui precursor și promotor al ideilor Europei Unite.

 

George C. Potra

Athènes, Parc Rizari, 17 Octobre 2012. Des images prises à la céremonie de dévollement du buste de Nicolae Titulescu, en présence des oficialités grecques et roumaines.

 

The Speech Held by Mr. George Potra, Director of the Titulescu European Foundation, at the Ceremony of Unveiling Nicolae Titulescu’s Bust, Athens, Rizari Park, October 17, 2012

 

Your Excellencies,

Dear Madams and Misters,

 Dear Friends,

I am experiencing a special emotion.

I dare assert that we are witnesses to a memorable event.

Within a few minutes, we shall unveil the bust of the great Romanian diplomat and statesman Nicolae Titulescu, a man who made history in the first half of the past century. I summon as witness one of the sacred monsters of journalism ever, Frenchman Raymond Cartier, chief editor of “L’Epoque” newspaper and subsequently director of the “Paris Match” magazine, who, in 1939, wrote:

„Ti-tu-les-cu! The four syllables of his resounding name filled post-war diplomatic history out. He was one of Romania’s great men, one of the great men of the Little Entente, one of the great men of Geneva and, to leave nothing unsaid, one of the great men of Europe. […] He was the most brilliant and the most dynamic of all people who wanted to build up a new Europe, founded on equality of powers and respect for treaties. When clouds loomed over the horizon, he was one of the first to understand and the first who wanted to raise a dam against the threatening floods.“

His countenance of thinker and man of action used to mark the democratic and European (seal) of ideas, his courage and responsibility of involvement during his entire active public presence would be evoked and invoked on more and more meridians, during and after the black years of totalitarianism and belligerence, of intolerance and confrontation, of the hot and cold wars, which shed blood over the 20th century’s humankind.

In the ideational and moral reconstruction after the World War II, they resorted, unsurprisingly, to the Titulescian spirit laid on the foundation of the United Europe.

An impressive figure of the international inter-war life – twice the President of The League of Nations Assembly, President of the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris, honored by numerous scientific associations – Titulescu received the deference of the political, diplomatic, cultural-scientific and press environments of all the European democracies of his time.

Nicolae Titulescu kept relations of fruitful cooperation with the Greek leaders in promoting some generous ideas and projects on bilateral and multilateral level.

I am not sure I am going to enumerate them all, but we must not forget Alexandros T. Zaimis – former President of Greece; Eleutherios Venizelos, Alexandros Papanastasiou, Panaghiotis Tsaldaris – former Prime-Ministers; Andreas Michalakopoulos, Nikolaos Sokrates Politis, Demetrios Maximos – former Ministers of Foreign Affairs; A.F. Frangulis – former President of the International Diplomatic Academy.

During his official visit to Greece, in October 1933, the head of the Romanian diplomacy received the token of the highest consideration and thankfulness for his work in the European peace and cooperation.

At the festive lunch given in honor of Titulescu, Panaghiotis Tsaldaris, Prime-Minister of Greece, stated:

“I am sure at this moment I am expressing the feelings of the entire Greek people, by welcoming you with great joy. The country you represent has so many ties of sincere and proven friendship with our country, that it is our great pleasure to show it our full consideration, taking advantage or your presence amongst us. […] // Still, whereas the presence of any representative of your country would have been assured of the warmest welcoming in Greece, your visit, dear Minister, is raising, as you have seen, an entirely special consideration and attention. Your Excellency, we greet in your person not only the reputed European statesman, the creator of an immense work of order and peacemaking, whose fertile activity was observed in all the fields of the international politics. We greet in you, above all, the herald of trust and peace, who […] dedicated himself, in full commitment, to the noble mission of appeasing this part of Europe”.

Soon after Greece conferred him the Order of the Savior, Great Cross, in 1928, the University of Athens awarded him the title of doctor honoris causa, on the 21st of October 1933, thus honoring and consecrating a great work.

Titulescu solemnly declared, on the occasion of receiving this title:

“Still, there is a field where emotions can be the precious allies of reason: this field is that of mutual understanding between peoples, the sole source of a stable and fruitful peace. Misfortunes come from the fact that nations do not realize that, in spite of all their differences, they make up, after all, an undividable unity. Man cannot be a stranger to his kind only through the fact that there are borders between them. And peace is nothing but the awareness of the universality of humankind”.

Let us admit that such thoughts could be placed at the entrance of any temple of peace.

Over the years, on the initiative of the Titulescu European Foundation, Titulescian symbols (statuary groups, busts, memorial plates, effigies etc.) were sited in various places around Romania, as well as in other countries of our continent (Switzerland, France, Slovakia, Netherlands, Turkey).

I myself understood them not only as recognitions and tributes brought to the man and his work, of the heritage and message – and that would not have been insignificant at all – but also as symbols of courage, resistance and selflessness, of the fight for the Truth and Moral, for Justice, Progress and Welfare, for a world set free from the law of force in order to be conquered by the force of law, promoting the “Spiritualization of frontiers”.

Victim of intolerance, of occult forces, of inside intrigues and outside conspiracies, of the dark forces of revisionism and revanchism, of fascism, Nazism and Bolshevism, Nicolae Titulescu fell down, facing the enemy. First – politically, in August 1936. In the end – physically, in March 1941.

The Titulescu European Foundation launched the project of erecting a Titulescu bust in Athens about a decade ago.

It did not manage to do it then, in 2004, on the 70th anniversary of the Balkan Entente Pact signing in Athens, but it persevered and has managed to do it today, 130 years after Nicolae Titulescu’s birth.

We have taken into consideration the European dimension of Titulescu’s political-diplomatic work, his essential contribution to the promotion and defense of the international law principles, to the construction and reinforcement of security and regional cooperation structures, his important role in developing the Romanian-Greek relations and his critical contribution in initiating, finalizing and signing the Balkan Entente Pact, on the 9th of February 1934, in Athens.

Security and sub-regional cooperation formula designed and built by Titulescu, the Balkan Entente completed the Little Entente within a system metaphorically defined by the Romanian diplomat through the syntagma “the barbed wire of peace”.

Just as the signing of the Little Entente Pact in Geneva was not accidental, the signing of the Balkan Entente in Athens was not accidental, either. “Thus, a treaty signed on Greek land – Titulescu said – borrows from the surroundings the condition of soundness and duration which any serious work must follow”.

For Nicolae Titulescu, the Balkan Entente represented a desideratum of the states in the area and a necessity emphasized by the direction of the general-European evolutions, by the security and continental cooperation exigencies.

“The idea which has guided us, the creators of the Balkan Entente – Titulescu stated in Athens, on February 9th 1934 – is simple. We are eager for peace. But we know that real peace has its source in trust and trust has its source in stability. The first stability which a state looks for, not to its selfish interest, but to the general interest, is the stability of its borders”.

In the solemn peace of the Rizari Park we bow today to the shadow of a hero.

Romanian sculptors Darie Dup and Elena Dumitrescu, from the Fine Arts University of Bucharest, have given a face to his message, facilitating us the meeting with a herald of peace, security and cooperation, with a champion of democracy, with a forefather and promoter of the ideas of the United Europe.

The materialization of our project would not have been possible without the generosity of Nikolaos Kaliopoulos, in Bucharest, and of Iannis Costopoulos, in Athenes.

I could not end this speech without my personal thanks and the gratitude of the Titulescu European Foundation Board, addressed to the Romanian and Greek authorities, for their efforts made in Athens for building this bust and organizing this outstanding ceremony today. I do not mention their names for fear of forgetting somebody.

At the ceremony of unveiling Nicolae Titulescu’s bust, we are honored by the presence of remarkable personalities of the political, social, diplomatic and business life, who give a distinguished identity to the landscape of Athens today.

On behalf of the Titulescu European Foundation, I am addressing my thanks to all of you present here, in a gesture of reverence for a Great Romanian, a Great European, a Great Contemporary.

We are entrusting Athens with this precious bust of Titulescu, to eternal care and honor.

Titulescu loved Greece, and the Greek people esteemed him while he was alive, as well as after his passing into eternity.

At 130 years from the birth of the great Romanian statesman and diplomat, this happy event adds a piece of reference to the Titulescu memorial, as well as a new page of mutual respect in the Romanian-Greek relations.

Our compatriot happily finds his place on this blessed land of the eternal Greece.

I dare think that in the years to come this place of pilgrimage will give us the opportunity of meeting other heroes who dared and defied the future.

A man of the Present and of the Future, Titulescu left us as heritage a Work which – through its intellectual depth and moral content, through courage and vision – offers a subject of special meditation and a basis of trust in Man and Reason. As, over time and space – beyond races, religious beliefs and political choices – Humankind was for him a sole body, the  becoming of which is forcing us to a steady and sound effort for Survival, a need in which our Mind and Soul are called, beyond frontiers, to harmoniously shake hands.

Titulescu’s work is not a simple page of history.

Titulescu’s work has the value of a message of remarkable topicality.

At 25 years after Titulescu’s passing away, in 1966, the prominent Greek diplomat A.F. Frangulis, President of the International Diplomatic Academy, declared: “I often think even today at the diplomatic genius of Titulescu. He was a very great lawyer and had also the vision of future, like Talleyrand. If Europe had taken into consideration the politics he envisaged, her fate would have been different, for sure. […] He was, perhaps, the greatest diplomat of his time”.

Titulescu remains a great conscience.

He lived and died for peace, and he deserves being written down for eternity in the Pantheon of the creators of great Ideals, who left us a touching and vibrating heritage:

„Those who give their life for an idea are heroes whose last will and testament is written in two short vocables: go on !“

 

Annals of the Academy of Romanian Scientists Series on History and Archaeology Volume 4, Number 3 / 2012 – Online Edition ISSN 2067-5682