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Minister Lajčák in New York: Preventive diplomacy and mediation are the most effective instruments for conflict prevention

Minister Lajčák in New York: Preventive diplomacy and mediation are the most effective instruments for conflict prevention

23.9.2016 | Aktivity ministra | Slovensko a OSN

New York (22 September) – Slovakia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have completed their contractual basis for more intensive trade and investment. Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, and his UAE departmental counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, signed a bilateral agreement on mutual protection and promotion of investment in New York on Thursday.


“The relations between our countries have grown very dynamically in the recent period and signing this agreement creates prerequisites for their further enhancement,” stated Minister Lajčák upon the signing. “This signing has completed the two-year process of preparation of the fundamental economic agreements that will multiply the exchange of goods and investment flows between Slovakia and the United Arab Emirates,” added Minister Lajčák. In that regard he reminded of Slovakia’s lasting interest in cooperation in the area of defence and security, and investment in infrastructure.


Minister Lajčák, in his position as an official representing the country now holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, also appreciated the UAE’s interest in developing dialogue and cooperation also with the EU during his talks with Minister Al Nahyan.


Minister Lajčák, on the sideline of the UN General Assembly, held several bilateral meetings with the foreign affairs ministers of Russia, Sergei Lavrov; Norway, Borge Brende; Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo; New Zealand, Murray McCully, and Angola, Georges Chicoti. He also held talks with the Ecuadorean Foreign Minister, Guillaume Long, and Minister of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Cassinelli, as well as with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Espen Eide and the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman.


On Thursday, Minister Lajčák also attended the working meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation that Slovakia has joined as its newest member. The group consists of 44 Member States and 7 regional and international organizations.


In his remarks Minister Lajčák highlighted mediation as the key component of measures for peacemaking and peace strengthening. “Slovakia has for a long time pursued preventive diplomacy and mediation as its component because it is one of the most effective instruments to address and prevent conflicts,” stated Minister Lajčák at the event organized by the Group’s co-chairs, the foreign ministers of Finland and Turkey.


Minister Lajčák declared Slovakia’s preparedness to build UN’s capacities specifically in the area of mediation and conflict prevention and to promote for that end the use of the expertise of local mediators.


“We would like to achieve strengthening of the assessment and monitoring capacities of local UN offices in the field and to include in the agenda of the day also the possibility to create regional agencies for preventive diplomacy, along with setting up a comprehensive and coordinated early warning system,” Minister Lajčák stated in introducing the Slovak proposals. In that regard he underscored that prevention is always better and more beneficial than an ad hoc conflict solution and settlement; it helps prevent losses in human lives and suffering and also is less costly than humanitarian operations in conflict areas. The international community now keeps putting more effort and resources in addressing conflicts rather than in preventing them.