Lajčák on the UN’s role in conflicts: "Prevention is a better and cheaper solution than taking action later on”

Lajčák on the UN’s role in conflicts: "Prevention is a better and cheaper solution than taking action later on”

5.9.2017 | Aktivity ministra | Slovensko a Európska únia | Slovensko a V4 |

The Slovak Republic remains a full member of the Visegrad Four. This is our first choice and primary interest. We do not choose between the V4 and the European Union; we want to be a member of the recognized and well-established V4 – an integral part of the EU. The V4 is a reputable brand and the best-functioning regional cooperation platform in Central Europe.  Naturally, it does not mean that we must have the same opinion on all issues but it is valuable that we can speak openly to each other.  This was stated today (5 September) by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák at Poland´s Ambassadors Conference in Warsaw, to which he was invited by his Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski.


Lajčák devoted a large part of his address to the role of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council in armed conflict prevention and resolving international issues. 


“We spend too much time on resolving conflicts instead of investing into their prevention.  Last year we invested $8 billion into UN peacekeeping operations to establish and maintain peace in conflict-torn countries and much less, a fraction of this sum, in preventing new conflicts. I stick to the opinion that prevention is a better and ultimately cheaper solution than taking action later on,” said Lajčák.

The Minister also delved into illegal migration, which he deemed to be a global phenomenon, and recalled the steps taken by the international community to be wrapped up by adopting a broad-spectrum compact on migration at the UN General Assembly as early as next year. According to Lajčák, resolving the illegal immigration issue under the EU’s conditions must be based not only on mandatory refugee quotas but the need to protect external borders, and addressing the causes of migration directly in the countries where the migrants are coming from. Lajčák concluded the meeting with the Ambassadors of Poland with the call to give priority to strategic thinking rather than instinctive reactions: “We are confronted with a steeply increasing number of issues for which we have no solutions. It’s not easy to become depersonalized and adopt a more comprehensive view of the facts. However, this is what we must strive for in order to adapt to the reality of the 21st century, and to explain to citizens why quick and populist solutions usually don´t work," he said.

In Warsaw Lajčák also held bilateral talks with Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Wasczykowsky, with whom he spoke about bilateral, European, as well as international issues. The ministers agreed that there is no other alternative for Slovakia and Poland than EU membership, and that it is in their bilateral interest to maintain the V4’s position as a constructive and relevant player in the discussions of key importance for the future of the European Union. 

They also spoke about several current European issues – especially the future of the EU, the Posting of Workers EU Directive, cooperation in defense and the fight against illegal migration, as well as the upcoming November summit of the Eastern Partnership in Brussels. "I´m naturally pleased that the bilateral relations between the Slovak Republic and Poland are historically at their best ever. Poland is a highly important neighbor for us, not only geographically but also emotionally. I confirm the words of my colleague Witold that we don´t have principally different views of the developments in the EU. Slovakia is a member of the euro zone but we see the processes in the EU with the emphasis on inclusivity. As far as the Directive on posting workers is concerned, I would like to say that we have identified the areas we consider to be problematic and those where we can see scope for compromise. I want to believe that we can find a position acceptable for all sides,“ said Lajčák at the press conference following the ministers´ meeting.