Miroslav Lajčák

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Miroslav Lajčák
Miroslav Lajcak 2014 (11981540724).jpg
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
12 September 2017 – 19 September 2018
Prime MinisterRobert Fico
Peter Pellegrini
Preceded byPeter Thomson
Succeeded byMaría Fernanda Espinosa
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
4 April 2012
Preceded byMikuláš Dzurinda
In office
26 January 2009 – 8 July 2010
Prime MinisterRobert Fico
Preceded byJán Kubiš
Succeeded byMikuláš Dzurinda
Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
In office
1 January 2019 – 1 January 2020
Preceded byEnzo Moavero Milanesi
Succeeded byEdi Rama
High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
30 June 2007 – 26 March 2009
Preceded byChristian Schwarz-Schilling
Succeeded byValentin Inzko
Personal details
Born (1963-03-20) 20 March 1963 (age 56)
Poprad, Czechoslovakia
(now Slovakia)
Political partyCommunist Party (1983-1990)
Direction - Social Democracy (Non-member)
Spouse(s)Jarmila Hargašová
Alma materComenius University
Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Miroslav Lajčák (born 20 March 1963) is a Slovak politician and diplomat who currently serves as the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs.[1] In addition, Lajčak also served as President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 72nd session from 2017 until 2018.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Miroslav Lajčák was born on 20 March 1963 in Poprad, CSSR (now Slovakia). He attended elementary school in Stará Ľubovňa. In 1977 his family moved to Bratislava, where he enrolled grammar school on Bilíková Street. He finished the final year of his secondary education at grammar school in Banská Štiavnica. Later he studied 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. As a student he was required to join the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He also studied at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In October 2018, he was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.[3]

Apart from his native Slovak, Lajčák is fluent in English, German, Russian, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian.[3]

Political career[edit]

Diplomatic career[edit]

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. Lajčák has come under criticism, both inside and outside Bosnia, for his authoritarian stance. Critics said that the deepest political crisis in the country since the end of the 1992-1995 war was instigated by his attempt to impose major changes on Bosnian state institutions, radically altering the framework of the Dayton peace agreement, without consulting either politicians or the public.[6]

Minister of Foreign Affairs[edit]

Lajčák (right) with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in February 2019

On 26 January 2009, Lajčák became the Foreign Minister of Slovakia in Robert Fico's First Cabinet,[7] until July 2010.

In December 2010 Lajčák was appointed as Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans in the EU's External Action Service,[8] where he served until April 2012.

In April 2012 Lajčák was named, as an independent, to the post of Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in Robert Fico's Second Cabinet.[9]

In November 2016, following revelations by a whistleblower, Transparency International Slovakia accused Lajčák of dubious procurement contracts during the Slovak EU Council Presidency.[10][11]

During his term, Lajčák also served as President of the UN General Assembly in 2018; he was the first president to make public his personal financial disclosure summary.[12]

During his term, Lajčák threatened in 2018 to freeze relations with Vietnam over the case of a Vietnamese businessman who was kidnapped by Vietnamese agents and smuggled back home through Slovakia.[13]

Candidate for United Nations Secretary-General[edit]

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.[14] He officially submitted his secretary general candidature on 27 May 2016 and became the official Slovak candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection.

Other activities[edit]

Since 2019, Lajčák has been serving on the Transatlantic Task Force of the German Marshall Fund and the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung (BKHS), co-chaired by Karen Donfried and Wolfgang Ischinger.[16]

Political positions[edit]

Among other isses, Lajčák in his candidacy for UN Secretary General addressed the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers,[17] arguing 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." [18] 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." [19] 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."[19]


On 16 December 2007 Lajčák received the Person of the Year award from one of the largest Bosnian dailies "Nezavisne novine".[20] Two weeks later, on 28 December, he was awarded the same title by another Bosnian daily "Dnevni Avaz".[21]

Personal life[edit]

Lajčák is married to Jarmila Lajčáková-Hargašová, a Slovak TV news presenter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (www.aglo.sk), AGLO solutions. "Members of the Government - Úrad vlády SR". www.vlada.gov.sk.
  2. ^ "President of the 72nd Session - General Assembly of the United Nations". www.un.org.
  3. ^ a b http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/infoBios/setimes/resource_centre/bio-archive/lajcak_miroslav
  4. ^ EU wins Montenegro's support for its referendum formula, published on 2006/02/27.
  5. ^ http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/de/Laenderinformationen/Slowakei/090310-AntrittsbesuchAM,navCtx=31296.html
  6. ^ Chandler, David (November 20, 2007). "Response: The high representative for Bosnia still runs it like a feudal fiefdom" – via www.theguardian.com.
  7. ^ http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showPage.aspx?id=1293&lang=en
  8. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - EU High Representative Catherine Ashton appoints two Managing Directors for the External Action Service". europa.eu.
  9. ^ Slovak Foreign Policy After the 2012 Elections: What To Expect, published on 2012/05/09.
  10. ^ "How I Left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs due to Dubious Procurement Contracts > Transparency International Slovensko". Transparency International Slovensko. November 30, 2016.
  11. ^ Gabrizova, Zuzana (November 22, 2016). "Transparency International looks into Slovak Presidency accounting".
  12. ^ Sewell Chan (May 11, 2018), Macau Tycoon Gets 4 Years in Prison for Bribing U.N. Diplomats New York Times.
  13. ^ Tatiana Jancarikova (October 20, 2018), Slovakia threatens to freeze relations with Vietnam over kidnapping case Reuters.
  14. ^ "Slovak Foreign Minister Eyes UN Sec Gen Post". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27.
  15. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
  16. ^ The German Marshall Fund and Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung Launch “Transatlantic Task Force” Setting Path Forward for U.S.-Europe Relations German Marshall Fund, press release of December 12, 2019.
  17. ^ Laville, Sandra (18 January 2016). "UN whistleblower who exposed sexual abuse by peacekeepers is exonerated". the Guardian.
  18. ^ https://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/Secretary-General-Election-Vision-Statement_Slovakia-2-June.pdf
  19. ^ a b "Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak Republic) - Informal dialogue for the position of the next UN Secretary-General". United Nations Web TV.
  20. ^ "Lajčák is person of the year in Bosnia" (in Slovak). SME. December 16, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-25. Article in Nezavisne novine: [1]
  21. ^ "Lajčák person of the year again" (in Slovak). SME. December 29, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-25.

External links[edit]

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Peter Thomson
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
María Fernanda Espinosa
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