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Miroslav Lajčák

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Lajčák A Relevant UN Candidate with Little Chance

The Slovak Spectator, Peter Schutz

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs

Mr. Lajčák is a career diplomat and received a J.D. degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava Faculty of Law, a Master’s degree in international relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and a degree at the European Center for Security Studies in G. Marshall Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Mr. Lajčák has served as Deputy Prime Minster and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. With respect to UN affairs, Mr. Lajčák served as High Representative of the International Community and EU, helping to facilitate the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, Mr. Lajčák oversaw the 2006 referendum on Montenegro’s independence. Mr. Lajčák speaks English, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Bulgarian, French, German and Russian.

Vision Statement

BACKGROUND

Born March 20, 1963 (age 53) in Poprad, Slovakia, Mr. Lajčák joined the foreign ministry in 1988 and has held the following public positions:

Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs 1993
Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister 1993
Ambassador to Japan 1994-1998
Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister 1998-2001
Assistant to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans 1999-2001
Ambassador to Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro) Macedonia and Albania 2001-2005
Head of the Secretariat for the Organization of the Summit of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the USA in Bratislava 2005
Personal Representative and EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy 2005-2006
Director-General for Political Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2005-2007
High Representative of International Community and European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzogovina 2007-2008
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic 2009-2010
Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans in the European External Action Service 2010-2012
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign and European Affairs 2012-2016
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs 2016-Present

POLICY & PERFORMANCE

During his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lajčák has actively been engaged in the United Nations and the European Union, ensuring that Slovakia would be the next nation to host the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2016.  In addition, he has worked to resolve the European refugee crisis by negotiating a comprehensive, global approach that ensures humane treatment.  Also, he has been a strong advocate for the systemic changes needed to realize the SDGs and fulfill the “leave no one behind” promise by 2030.

ON THE ISSUES

CLIMATE CHANGE / DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Lajčák has emphasized the importance of coordinated action at local, national, regional, and international levels, in order to address climate change.  He has stated, “We do not need only green economy and green technologies, but also green globalization.”  At the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit, Mr. Lajčák stated strong support for the SDG framework called on world leaders to mobilize around preservation and restoration of natural resources.

UN General Assembly, Meeting with President of Slovakia (Apr. 21, 2016)

Miroslav Lajčák, Address to the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015 (Sept. 27, 2015)

MIGRATION/REFUGEES

Mr. Lajčák has described the current migration situation as one of the most complex challenges facing Europe. He has stated the challenge must be addressed collectively by Europe while respecting core EU principles such as freedom of movement and European-border protection.

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Minister Lajčák in Slovenia: Migrant crisis can be resolved only through joint efforts (Jan. 29, 2016)

The German Marshall Fund of the United States, A Discussion with Slovakia’s Dep. PM and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák (Dec. 17, 2015)

The Slovak Spectator, Foreign Minister: Strong and Effective UN Means Better World (Oct. 1, 2015)

GENDER EQUALITY/WOMEN’S RIGHTS

In a 2015 address to the UN General Assembly, Mr. Lajčák stated that gender equality is a natural precondition for sustainable development, stability, and peace. He has emphasized that the UN should be a leader in establishing gender equality. On September 27, 2015, Mr. Lajčák attended the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action to discuss progress in the area of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.

Miroslav Lajčák, Address to the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly (Oct. 1, 2015)

PEACEKEEPING

Mr. Lajčák states that peacekeeping has become the trademark of the UN, and the new Secretary general should continue the necessary work to strengthen peacekeeping operations both at Headquarters and in the field.

Miroslav Lajčák, Address to the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly (Sept. 29, 2009)

HUMAN RIGHTS

On February 29, 2016, Mr. Lajčák addressed the Human Rights Council in Geneva and met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights among others to discuss the importance of human rights for international peace and security. Also, in the past, Mr. Lajčák has served as the Chairman of the Slovak Government’s Council for Human Rights. As Chairman, he led the efforts to create and adopt the first national Strategy for Supporting Human Rights.

Miroslav Lajčák, Address to the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council (Feb. 29, 2016)

UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Council opens High-Level Segment (Mar. 2, 2015)

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