Slovak Republic's Commitment for World Peace & Stability
Schuster, Rudolf, Presidents & Prime Ministers
What three measures must the Palestinians and the Israelis undertake to bring about peace in the Middle East?
The first thing to be recognized is that bringing about peace in the Middle East requires, like in any other conflict, mainly the will and the desire for peace, as well as genuine determination of the peoples concerned to put an end to the decades of bloodshed and reach the consensus through making essential compromises. These compromises should make it possible to fulfill such objectives as self-determination, independence and security of the state structures.
I do, however, believe that the first and foremost prerequisite at the current stage of the conflict is the physical cessation of hostilities on both sides.
In the second step, the parties of the conflict should return to the negotiating table and should honor the agreements that had already been reached.
The third and perhaps the most important step should be, in my opinion, a clear and unequivocal statement that both sides will respect their partner's right to self-determination and existence. Both sides should act accordingly, expecting their partner to do the same.
Peaceful coexistence between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Jews is realistic because it had been a reality already in the past. If the peace process in the Middle East is to be successfully concluded, all parties to the conflict-i.e., not only the Israelis and the Palestinians, but also the Syrians, the Lebanese and other Arabic nations--must fully recognize the right of the other side for existence, must honor their agreements and respect the recommendations and demands of the international community embodied in the UN resolutions.
What do you consider to be the next step in diplomacy between North and South Korea to ensure long-term peace in that region?
The international community will no doubt closely watch the preparations for the next inter-Korean summit during the upcoming reciprocal visit to Seoul that could constitute another important diplomatic step on the road towards deepening the dialogue and cooperation on the Korean peninsula. But rather than one major diplomatic step, I would prefer to speak of a series of small diplomatic steps that are needed to bring about peace in this part of the world.
I believe that for now it is important to preserve the momentum of the process of rapprochement that was launched with the inter-Korean summit last June, and to fulfill the joint declaration adopted at the meeting by the two Korean states. Equally important will be the diplomatic support for this process from the international community.
What specific measures must the World Trade Organization undertake to serve its membership effectively?
The World Trade Organization, with its 140 member states and another 29 in the accession process, is a relatively "young" organization created as late as 1995. It is, therefore, natural that it experiences problems of institutional and substantive character. They originate mainly in the addition to its agenda of such new issues as trade in services or commercial aspects of intellectual property, and in the enlargement of WTO membership represented by countries with widely differing levels of economic development.
The process of globalization generates a pressure on the discussion of new issues and their possible inclusion into the WTO system. In my view, the Slovak Republic's WTO membership is certainly not ineffective. I am convinced that, under the circumstances and compared with other international organizations, the WTO is an effective organization, although improvements should be introduced in such areas as the dialogue between the member states and the internal and external transparency of the organization. In this respect, the Slovak Republic supports five main priorities of WTO Secretary General Mike Moore aimed at strengthening the multilateral trade system. …