Law and governance

Kaniok: Pavel's speech at the UN confirms a return to the traditions of Havel's politics

"I would highlight three points or features of President Pavel's speech. First, it clearly confirms a return to the traditions of Havel's foreign policy, which was determined by clear values and an emphasis on human rights. What I would describe as economic realism, which Lubomír Zaorálek and especially Miloš Zeman tried to develop, has disappeared. 

Secondly, the speech is fully in line with the government's foreign policy, so the Czech Republic speaks with one voice and gives a consistent impression. This is certainly a good thing, because a small country the size of the Czech Republic cannot, if it wants to be taken even slightly seriously, sound cacaphonic. In the past, this was also not the case, especially with former President Zeman, who had his own policies and was also difficult to predict.

The third point (although the speech touches on a number of other topics such as the Sahel, the Pacific and the Middle East situation) is the clear emphasis on the conflict in the Ukraine, the clear naming of the situation and the confirmation of the unambiguous position of the Czech Republic.

This may be boring and routine to the domestic listener or reader, but it is important because the conflict in the Ukraine is not as important to the wider international community as it is to Europe - which is what we sometimes tend to think. To non-European states that are either sympathetic to Russia or do not have a clear position, the state of affairs needs to be clearly and bluntly described."

The author of the commentary on President Petr Pavel's address to the UN today is Petr Kaniok

Photo:, Zuzana Bönisch


Doc. PhDr. Petr Kaniok Ph.D.

Position: Senior researcher
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