Minister Lajčák at Munich Security Conference: “Minsk agreements are not dead, they just need new energy”
The challenges of today’s world cannot be resolved separately by any country; only multilateral, international cooperation will bring us stronger and more effective functioning under the EU, NATO and UN platforms. The European Union is in a difficult situation now; Brexit has reduced the 28 to 27, but those 27 countries now more than before have to ask how we can be stronger and more effective. This was said today (18 February) by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her introductory address of day two of the Munich Security Conference. According to her, now the most necessary thing to do is to focus on issues that really matter such as development of the society, economy, creating jobs and internal and external security. The words by the German Chancellor echoed also in the address by US Vice President Mike Pence who in a way put a period after the week-long diplomatic effort by Washington to reiterate the foreign policy priorities of the new US administration towards its European allies.
Úvodnými prejavmi ministrov obrany Nemecka a USA sa v Mníchove v piatok (17. februára) oficiálne začala v poradí 53. Mníchovská bezpečnostná konferencia, od ktorej sa očakáva zásadná diskusia najmä o postojoch novej americkej vlády v otázke zahraničnej politiky a bezpečnosti, ale aj o budúcnosti EÚ a úlohách a postavení NATO. Isté odpovede už priniesli slová amerického ministra obrany Jamesa Mattisa, ktorý ocenil líderskú úlohu Nemecka v Európe a potvrdil, že transatlantické puto je rovnako pevné ako kedykoľvek v minulosti, a je tou najsilnejšou zbraňou proti nestabilite, pričom článok 5 zmluvy o NATO je „záväzkom pevným ako kameň“.
Minister Lajčák at Munich Security Conference: “Western Balkans have always played one of the key roles in the European security concept”
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, travelled to Munich today (16 February) to attend the prestigious Munich Security Conference where he presented his remarks on the first day of the event at discussion panel Future of Euro-Atlantic Security – A New Role of the Balkans? alongside Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, President of Croatia, and Srđan Darmanović, Foreign Affairs Minister of Montenegro. Minister Lajčák pointed out in his discussion remarks that the Western Balkans have for a long time been, so to say, in the European Union’s spotlight and have always played one of the key roles in the European security concept. Despite that the region even today is still just searching for stability in the international setting.
Lajčák on mediation conference in Brussels: “Mediation success depends on the engagement of all key stakeholders on the spot”
Preventive diplomacy as an instrument for conflict prevention and mediation as a tool for conflict settlement dominated the High-Level Conference on Mediation in Brussels today (14 February), wherein Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák also gave an address. In the address, he highlighted ten fundamental attributes of mediation according to his own experience during his extensive practice (especially in the Balkans): “Knowledge and understanding of the environment, distinctive features in history, mentality and traditions, adaptability to constantly changing conditions, meticulous attention to impartiality and own non-obtrusive perception of actualities, promoting principles and the process – involving not only individual stakeholders. These are the fundamental prerequisites for successful mediation. Mediation success depends on the engagement of all key stakeholders on the spot and, naturally, on the support from international community,” said the Minister.
Lajčák in Belgium: “Only a strong, balanced, secure and assertive EU can be attractive for its citizens”
The two-day visit of Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák to Brussels, where he will give an address at the high-level conference on mediation and conflict prevention, started with a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Didier Reynders today (13 February). This topic also featured in the more than hour-long meeting of the ministers. As Lajčák recalled, Slovakia considers preventive diplomacy to be the best instrument in preventing bloodshed and conflict escalation in the world. “The current practice – wherein countries devote enormous efforts and resources in solving already burning conflicts – requires a change. Preventive diplomacy and mediation are far more effective instruments saving lives and money and have the potential to bring stability in conflict areas,” said the Minister. They also touched on issues surrounding the need to reform the EU’s functioning, which should feature in talks at the upcoming summit of the European Council in Rome, and stated that nowadays – 60 years after signing the Rome treaties – the unity of the EU faces unprecedented challenges. “Only an economically strong, socially balanced, internally secure and externally assertive EU can be attractive for its citizens and be respected by global players,” stated Lajčák.