Minister Hamáček draws on historic experience in UN address

In his address to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, acting Czech foreign minister, Jan Hamáček, spoke about the need for greater international cooperation in defending the universal ideals and values the UN was founded on.

History teaches us that respect for human rights is the best remedy for conflict and violence, Hamáček said,adding that the historical experience of his own country provided many examples of this.

Hamáček mentioned the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia saying the lessons of the past are still relevant today since clearly not all countries, including those situated in Eastern Europe, have the right to choose their foreign policy orientation without a threat to their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The acting Czech foreign minister pointed to the annexation of Crimea which he said represented a blatant violation of international law.

The founder and first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, once said that states are sustained only by those ideals from which they were born. The same must be true about the United Nations.

The UN was founded for the protection of peace, human rights, justice and social progress and all member states should embrace those ideals, Hamáček concluded.