Bratislava, 20. September 2013. This year, for the fourth time, prestigious Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Awards, organized by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC) and Jagello 2000, are presented. During the NATO Days in Ostrava 2013 the Awards recognized two significant personalities who have greatly contributed to freedom and democracy in Central Europe and to strengthening of transatlantic relations Gen. (Ret.) David Petraeus and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia Eduard Kukan.
General Petraeus received the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Awards
“Today, Slovaks and Czechs are active members of the Euro-Atlantic family – family of countries with common values, such as democracy, freedom and rule of law. However, many take our peace and security as well as membership in Euro-Atlantic structures for granted and often forget about the determination, leadership and also hard work of those who contributed towards these historic changes and challenges,” says Robert Vass, Secretary General of SAC. “Both ambassador Eduard Kukan and general David Petraeus, represent much needed mentorship, vision and have substantially contributed to freedom and democracy-building in Central Europe,” adds Vass.
The Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award, taking place already for the fourth time, is unique joined initiative designed to award Czech, Slovak and international personalities who have significantly contributed to freedom and democracy in Central Europe, to strengthening of transatlantic ties and to integration of Central European countries into Euro-Atlantic structures. The Awards are presented twice a year – during the GLOBSEC Bratislava Global Security Forum and the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. The laureates of the awards are selected by the Honorary Committee composed by eleven publicly renowned individuals from the Czech and Slovak political, defence and diplomatic communities.
We are very grateful for contribution of both selected awardees for the security and stability of our countries and for their kind acceptance of the Award nominiations,” says Zbyněk Pavlačík, Chairman of the Jagello 2000 Association.
Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus was recognized for his leadership and extraordinary contribution to the preservation of global peace and security through international crises solution in his various military and civilian positions, most notably as commander of the International Security Assistance Force; commander of the U.S. Forces Afghanistan; commander of the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The recognition also carries a highly symbolic value as we are commemorating the 10th anniversary of the ISAF mission this year.
The second award will be presented tonight to Eduard Kukan, recognizing his contribution to the integration of Slovakia into the European Union and NATO. As a Czechoslovak and later Slovak diplomat and ambassador, he extensively influenced Slovak foreign policy and as a minister of foreign affairs played a crucial role in the process of democratisation, economic development and Euro-Atlantic integration of Slovakia and other Central European countries. Through his work in the European Parliament, Kukan has significantly influenced Slovak positions and policies towards the European Union.