Miroslav Lajčák (born 20 March 1963) is a Slovak diplomat and the Minister of Foreign Affairs[1]. He is currently the President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 72nd session[2] (since September 2017).

Early life and education

Lajčák read law at the Comenius University in Bratislava for a year before he obtained a Master's degree in international relations from the State Institute of International Relations in Moscow. He also studied at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.[3]

Political career

Diplomatic career

Until the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia he was a member of the Communist Party. He joined the Czechoslovak foreign ministry in 1988. Between 1991 and 1993 Lajčák was posted to the Czechoslovak and subsequently the Slovak embassy in Moscow. He was Slovakia's ambassador to Japan between 1994 and 1998. Between 1993 and 1994 he served as the chef de cabinet of Slovakia’s then Foreign Minister and later Prime Minister, Jozef Moravčík. Between 2001 and 2005, Lajčák was based in Belgrade as Slovakia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro), Albania and the Republic of Macedonia. He was the EU's supervisor to the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum.[4]

On 30 June 2007 Lajčák became the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina succeeding Christian Schwarz-Schilling to the post.[5] He kept this post until March 2009.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

On 26 January 2009, Lajčák became the Foreign Minister of Slovakia in Robert Fico's First Cabinet,[6] until July 2010.

In December 2010 he was appointed as Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans in the EU's External Action Service,[7] where he served until April 2012.

In April 2012 he was named, as an independent, to the post of Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in Robert Fico's Second Cabinet.[8] Lajčák was mentioned as a possible candidate for the post of new United Nations secretary-general after the term of Ban Ki-moon, from South Korea, expired.[9]

United Nations Secretary-General selection

Miroslav Lajčák officially submitted his secretary general candidature on 27 May 2016 and became the official Slovak candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection.

An issue that the United Nations has been widely criticized on is the sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. This gross problem was brought to light after Anders Kompass exposed the sexual assault of children by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.[10] In his vision statement, Lajčák has expressed that a "zero tolerance policy on sexual violence and abuse by peacekeepers against civilian populations is a must. Such violations must be fully investigated and perpetrators brought to justice." [11] When asked in his informal dialogues how peacekeeping operations could be strengthened, he said that there have been "three independent reviews that produced a number of recommendations that were turned into concrete resolutions of the Security Council, of the General Assembly, and now we have to implement." [12] He has also consistently stressed the importance of a zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and assault by peacekeepers, with every question asked in the informal dialogues. Lajčák believes that "It is only with zero-tolerance that the people can trust the United Nations."[12]

Personal life

Apart from his native Slovak, Lajčák is fluent in English, German, Russian, Bulgarian and Serbian-Croatian.[3] He is married to Jarmila Lajčáková-Hargašová, a Slovak TV news presenter.

On 16 December 2007 he received the Person of the Year award from one of the largest Bosnian dailies "Nezavisne novine".[13] Two weeks later, on 28 December, he was awarded the same title by another Bosnian daily "Dnevni Avaz".[14]

See also


External links

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Peter Thomson
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Christian Schwarz-Schilling
High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Succeeded by
Valentin Inzko
Political offices
Preceded by
Ján Kubiš
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mikuláš Dzurinda
Preceded by
Mikuláš Dzurinda
Minister of Foreign Affairs