Statement by Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák at the Event “Alliance for Multilateralism: Building the Network and Presenting Results”

26.09.2019 - Speech

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

2019 is the year, we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.

This is a reminder that – especially in European history – peace has not been a norm.

And for the past decades – multilateralism was an anomaly, rather than a norm.

We believed we learned our lesson – the Geneva Conventions adopted 70 years ago were a perfect example that together, we can create rules even for situations where all other imperatives of humanity lost validity.

And I welcome that as we mark their 70th anniversary, voices calling for respecting their basic tenants sound loud – also in this room today.

So I want to thank France and Germany for gathering us here and focusing attention on fight for multilateralism.

And I am using the word “fight” very consciously.

Usually when you feel the need to form a new Alliance – it is to preserve, to protect, to fight for.

And currently, multilateralism is fitting this definition.

70 years later, we are once again seeing nationalism and extreme thought gain traction.

We see the rules written after the war dismantled.

We see facts and scientific evidence loose arguments to emotions and manipulation.

And – compared to 70 years ago – our capabilities for self destruction have significantly increased.

But if we allow multilateralism to vacate place to national interests of those who lead in size and economic might – we will move from an order governed by the power of law, to the disorder governed by the law of power.

Instead of the “end of history”, we would see global responsibility fade.

This is not a scenario under which Slovakia and the European Union can sign up for.

Multilateralism is our DNA.

It´s how we made peace in Europe a norm.

It´s how we made a divided continent one of the most united and prosperous places on Earth.

We are happy to join the Alliance for multilateralism – to join the fight worth fighting.

Thank you