On February 12, GLOBSEC will host a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Micahel R. Pompeo entitled The Legacy of 1989: Courage to be Free. Secretary Pompeo will engage with an audience of young Slovak leaders and students to consider the impressive economic growth and democratic progress the country has achieved over the past three decades as a member of the transatlantic community, and discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future.
During his visit to Slovakia, the Secretary of State will also meet with President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák to discuss the U.S.-Slovak security relationship, Slovakia’s role as Chair-in-Office of the OSCE, and regional and global issues. He will also visit the Gate of Freedom memorial near Devin Castle, which commemorates the hundreds who died attempting to escape from communist Czechoslovakia to freedom in the West between 1948 and 1989.
This will be the second time in several months that GLOBSEC has hosted a leading international policymaker for a public event. In October 2018, the Bratislava-based think tank organised the public part of Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Slovakia, with a discussion focussed on the future of Europe. This was only the second visit by a French president since the establishment of the Slovak Republic.
“Secretary Pompeo’s visit is another unique opportunity for young people to engage in dialogue with high-level policymakers,’’ says GLOBSEC President Róbert Vass. “Just like President Macron’s visit in October 2018, this event also signals that the opinion of local youth matters even to the world’s leaders and superpowers. Naturally, it is also a unique opportunity for us at GLOBSEC as it goes to show that our work is truly global, reaching far beyond the borders of Slovakia or Europe. We are already looking forward to holding many other discussions like this.”
This event promises to be a lively 30-minute discussion and will be broadcast live by Slovak TV channel RTVS and livestreamed on the GLOBSEC website and Facebook page. GLOBSEC will also provide a photo report and media coverage roundup in the days after the event.
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Image: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore