TOGETHER OR ALONE?
The Crisis of Multilateralism and the Chances for Global Governance
Globalisation and its many accompanying challenges in the fields of economy, security and the climate crisis would seem to call for strong multilateral institutions. However, we are faced with the rise of nationalism in the global order, cloaked in slogans like America First or the lies of the Brexiteers. In a reverse logic, the ideologues of the do-it-alone approach to international diplomacy call themselves “realists”. In contrast, Miroslav Lajčák argued consistently for the mutual benefits of international cooperation in his long and successful career in national and international diplomacy. Currently at the helm of the OSCE, Minister Lajčák is confronted on a daily basis with the conundrum of how to overcome the member states’ divisions.
Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE
Followed by a discussion with
Helfried Carl, Senior Director at The Innovation in Politics Institute, Vienna, former Austrian Ambassador to the Slovak Republik
Miroslav Lajčák has dedicated his professional life to diplomacy, representing both the Slovak Republic and the international community. He joined the Foreign Service in 1988 and since then has held various positions, including as Slovak Ambassador to Japan, Executive Assistant to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans and Slovak Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to Albania. In 2016, Mr. Lajčák was Slovakia’s candidate for the position of UN Secretary-General. When Slovakia assumed for the first time ever the Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2016, Mr. Lajčák chaired the General Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council. From 2017 to 2018, Mr. Lajčák served as President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, where he advocated for dialogue, strengthening multilateralism and serving the needs of all people. With Slovakia at the helm of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) during 2019, Mr. Lajčák currently exercises the function of Chairperson-in-Office of the world’s largest regional security organization.
Mr. Lajčák is currently in his fourth mandate as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, a position he first held from 2009 to 2010. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. He was reappointed as Foreign Minister in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
A key figure in the mediation of the post-conflict crises in the Western Balkans, Mr. Lajčák negotiated, organized and supervised the referendum on the independence of Montenegro in 2006 on behalf of the European Union. From 2007 to 2009, he served as High Representative of the International Community and Special Representative of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lajčák helped shape the newly formed diplomatic service of the European Union, the European External Action Service, as its Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia.
Mr. Lajčák is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and has a law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava.