President at Globsec: respecting rules could save lives

President at Globsec: respecting rules could save lives

President Čaputová delivered a speech at the opening of the Globsec security conference in Bratislava on Tuesday 15 June 2021. 

According to the president, the post-pandemic world needs deep and structural changes. "The pandemic has shown our strengths and exposed our weaknesses. But it has also offered lessons to learn from.” She stated that the states which have successfully handled the pandemic introduced clear and understandable rules and promoted adherence to them. "Respecting the rules can literally save lives."

She also mentioned ongoing discussions on the future of NATO and the EU and the fact that while we will come to an agreement on new rules, we should respect the present ones.  In her opinion,  the violation of international rules could endanger everyone, not only those who are directly involved and she mentioned Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, Myanmar, as well as the case of Raman Pratasevich in Belarus and the forced landing of a plane full of EU citizens under a false pretext. "Expressing grave concern should be our first but not final step. To protect the rules-based order, we must use our political, diplomatic and economic tools more effectively. For the EU this also implies adjusting our own foreign policy rules. The unanimity principle in practice often means not having a common EU position, even on clear human rights violations.

According to the president, the growing wave of online disinformation is another pressing issue. "To prevent another infodemic, we need effective governance for the online world, one that strengthens transparency and accountability. We need to improve our education and help our citizens adapt to the information age in which we live.”   

In conclusion, she stated that if we are to change the world for the better, we need to have a common goal as well as rules and common steps in order to prevent crises in the future.

Text of the president’s speech in English.