In Prague speech, Czech president sounds alarm on fragmenting world order

Czech President Petr Pavel made his remarks during an address to the Diplomacy and Security conference in Prague on Thursday.


Written by ČTK Published on 09.11.2023 12:18:00 (updated on 09.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

International order has become unstable and this instability is affecting the majority of the world, with frozen conflicts awakening in the Caucasus region and a wave of military coups sweeping across African nations, Czech President Petr Pavel said Thursday in a speech at the Diplomacy and Security conference in Prague.

Russia is not the only threat

"The fracturing of the world order is evident almost everywhere," Pavel said. "The explosive potential of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, sparked by Hamas' barbaric attacks on Israel, is also clear," he added.

Pavel said continuing to support Ukraine in all areas is crucial for Europe, and peace and stability around the world. "Russia is far from defeated in Ukraine, and Russia's possible success there would be a failure for us all," he noted.

It is necessary to prevent Russia's imperialist policies from inspiring potential successors, he added.

World conflicts are all connected

"Existing conflicts continue deepening and new ones are being added," Pavel said. He cited the increasing assertiveness of revisionist powers and terrorist groups, societal polarization, rapid technological change, disinformation campaigns, fragility in international and economic systems, and climate crisis fears as major concerns.

Diplomacy must remain one of the tools to ensure security and always precede military action, he said. Strengthening ties to reduce dependence on unreliable partners is also important, according to Pavel.

Czech diplomacy must also actively engage countries in the global South, which are vulnerable in many ways, according to Pavel. "Their instability or tilt toward global authoritarian actors pose a real security threat," Pavel remarked.

Has Czechia neglected Africa?

Pavel has repeatedly stressed that: "We have unnecessarily left several countries, particularly in Africa, at the mercy of Russian and Chinese influence and have not offered them an attractive alternative."

Pavel said that he welcome the Czech Republic's efforts to regain lost influence and offer fair partnerships.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is currently on a week-long visit to sub-Saharan Africa accompanied by a Czech company.

Lipavský: Czechia must build relations

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský also addressed the conference, echoing concerns about Russia seeking to subjugate Ukraine while threatening regions beyond. He warned of terrorism risks in the Middle East and China's assertive rise alongside emerging technologies' promises and perils.

He stressed the importance of clarifying stances to strengthen ties in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries against foreign meddling. The minister also called for boosting energy security by lessening dependence on single suppliers of critical minerals important for green transitions.

Lipavský defined security comprehensively, saying a state's protection relies not just on military might.

"An indispensable prerequisite for ensuring the security of the state is not only military strength, but also the resilience and readiness of the entire country and its citizens, because only in this way will we gain the respect of our adversaries and the trust of our allies," Lipavský told the conference.

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