NEWS BRIEFS

OSCE gets a new Secretary General: Ján Kubiš of Slovakia

In another coup for Slovak diplomacy, Slovak diplomat Jan Kubiš was appointed Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) June 2.

Kubiš, one of the most experienced Slovak diplomats, is about to conclude his mission of a special envoy of the UN Secretary General for Tajikistan. He is the third Secretary General in the history of the OSCE and is scheduled to take up the post on June 15.

Kubiš said he perceives his appointment as a positive appraisal of Slovakia and its diplomatic activities, as well as a sign of esteem of his work thus far, including his activities in Tajikistan.

"OSCE member countries obviously took into consideration my performance in this post, certain progress that has been made in the peacekeeping process in Tajikistan, and put it to the framework of current changes in Slovakia. Anyway, it is a big honour since I will be the first OSCE Secretary General from Central or Eastern Europe," he said.

The OSCE plays a role in the field of preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation on the European continent. Kubiš's appointment follows another boon for Slovak diplomacy in late April, when Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan was named one of two special envoys to the UN responsible for finding a diplomatic resolution to the Kosovo crisis.

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