Kiska: The arrogance of politicians prevails over democratic values

The president stressed the role of independent media and journalism in a democratic society at the security conference GLOBSEC.

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: SITA)

The problem of central Europe, as well as other countries in the region, is bad politics. As a result, the aggressive enforcement of selfish interests and the violation of international law prevail over the values of freedom and democracy.

Moreover, Europe is currently facing several challenges and the only way to overcome challenges like spreading hoaxes, propaganda and cyber-attacks is to join forces, said President Andrej Kiska in his speech at the GLOBSEC 2018 security forum in Bratislava.

“Slovakia is part of NATO and the EU and these groupings are important and necessary to us for the future,” Kiska said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “There is no alternative to Slovakia’s membership in these groupings.”

The president also talked about the presence of Russian agents in our countries, adding that many politicians, also in Slovakia, seem to turn a blind eye to this problem, as reported by the Denník N daily.

Media important

The president also mentioned the problems in the rest of the world, including Syria.

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“It’s misleading to claim that peace and stability in Syria can be achieved thanks to those who ordered the torture of their own people or attacked them with chemical weapons,” Kiska said, as quoted by SITA, adding that by following one’s own interests we are distracted from the right actions.

There are several principles necessary for a functioning democracy in every country. This includes independent media, an active civil society and strong state institutions, the president continued, as reported by SITA.

The president also talked about the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. In his words, tens of thousands of people took to the streets as they want to live in a decent and safe country, SITA wrote.

The role of free media and journalism is especially important as we are currently facing various disinformation campaigns. The politicians close their eyes before them though.

“Free journalists are the guardians of a democratic political system,” Kiska said, as quoted by SITA. “The murder of the journalist has impacted us all and we’ve paid a very high price.”

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In his opinion, politicians need self-reflection and institutions that protect citizens, he added.

We are living in really uncertain times

The current world is full of paradoxes. We have never lived in such uncertain times, said Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák.

He highlighted three trends society needs to tackle at the moment. One of them is uncertainty.

“We don’t know whether we will wake up in the morning and there will be a nuclear attack,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. We also do not know how the situation in Syria or Brexit will develop, and whether we will face a terrorist attack.

Read also:Globsec 2018 will cover security topics, artificial Intelligence and cyberspace Read more 

Another challenge is unlimited possibilities. Technology and the digital era enable society to do things that were not possible before.

“However, technology is full of risks,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “We know how a cyber attack can threaten us.”

The third trend is a world full of paradoxes. Although we have great access to information, there is chaos surrounding various topics, Lajčák continued. This is why conferences like GLOBSEC are important as “opinions on similar challenges can be formed here” and we can prepare for them, he added, as reported by TASR.

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