Conference “Twenty Years of Independent Czech and Slovak Diplomacies”
21.02.2013 / 18:15
The conference “Twenty Years of Independent Czech and Slovak Diplomacies” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic commemorated the 20th anniversary of the division of Czechoslovakia. It took place on February 21, 2013 in Prague at the Czernin Palace, former seat of Czechoslovak and now Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The discussions was not only focused on the division of the Czechoslovak foreign service, but also on the cooperation between the two independent services aiming at very similar targets in the following twenty years. In this regard, a particular attention was paid to the entry of both countries into the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. Naturally, future prospects for the cooperation was not omitted in the discussions.
Personal memories of direct participants in the historic events, including former Czechoslovak diplomats who through midnight from December 31, 1992 to January 1, 1993 became Czech and Slovak diplomats, were featured. Distinguished guests who have observed the past and present of Czech and Slovak relations in the foreign policy realm as representatives and citizens of other countries added an important outside perspective.
Along with current foreign ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia Karel Schwarzenberg and Miroslav Lajčák the conference featured also the following speakers: former foreign ministers Pavol Demeš (Slovakia), Roland Dumas (France), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (Germany), Douglas Hurd (United Kingdom), Milan Kňažko (Slovakia), Ján Kubiš (Slovakia), Eduard Kukan (Slovakia), Jozef Moravčík (Czechoslovakia), Jaroslav Šedivý (Czech Republic) a Alexandr Vondra (Czech Republic), former Ambassadors Adrian Basora (U.S.A.), Martin Bútora (Slovakia), Rastislav Káčer (Slovakia), Pavel Telička (Czech Republic) a Michael Žantovský (Czech Republic), member of Slovak Parliament Ján Figeľ, High Representative of the European Union for Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko and other distinguished guests.
Two new exhibitions was introduced at the occasion of the conference, one documenting the development in the last twenty years in the Czech Republic, the other in Slovakia. These exhibitions produced by Foreign Ministries present abroad by respective embassies and consulates. The exhibition “Twenty years in the Czech Republic” came into being with support of the Czech National Museum. Both Ministries contributed also to the creation of a joint exhibition “Twenty years on Czech and Slovak Squares”, which was inaugurated on January 8, 2013, symbolically at the former seat of the Czechoslovak Federal Parliament, now the New Building of the Czech National Museum. Here, the last twenty years in both countries are illustrated by photographs from the main squares of their biggest cities on important occasions in the contemporary history.