Deputy Premier of Slovakia opens
a photo exhibition
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Laj??k of the Slovak Republic opened two photo exhibitions on Slovakia during this visit to Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) on Nov. 25, 2013, where he gave a special lecture.
Opening the photo exhibitions, DPM Lajcak made the following remarks:
It is my great pleasure to inaugurate today at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies two photo exhibitions related to Slovakia
First exhibition, named: ‘1150th Anniversary of the arrival of Constantine and Methodius in the Slovak lands’ is related to our past and our great history as one of the oldest nations of Central Europe, which settled down in the very center of Europe, between the Carpathian Mountains and the Danube River more than one thousands years ago.
In the 9th century Christianity first emerged in the territory of Slovakia that was then part of Great Moravian Empire. This empire encompassed the lands of modern Slovakia and Moravia as well as parts of Hungary, Austria, Bohemia and the southern part of Poland. Hence, the history of Slovakia is, to a considerable extent, also the history of other countries and vice versa.
At that time the church was spreading the faith through Roman, German or Greek missionaries and that is how the Christian Missionary brothers Constantine and Methodius arrived in Great Moravia in 863.
Two brothers Constantine and Methodius translated some of the Scriptures and the Liturgy into Old Slavonic and invented the ‘glagolithic alphabets.’ For this reason they are regarded as the founders of Slavonic literature.
Because Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius brought Slavonic Christianity with the Slavonic Liturgy to the Slavs, both brothers are venerated as the Apostles of the Slavs.
In spite of the fact that their missionary activities were limited mostly to the realm of Great Moravia, Christianization mission of St. Cyril and St. Methodius was of paramount importance, as it laid the foundations of Christianity in our territory.
Now, more than 11 centuries later, the Slovak people still accept and live with the spiritual legacy of the Apostles Cyril and Methodius, what is reconfirmed also by the words of preamble to the Slovak Constitution.
The other exhibition named: ‘Slovaks helping the world’ I am inaugurating today, is related to our current and inseparable part and instrument of the Slovak foreign policy, which is a significant factor in shaping of important relations with beneficiaries, international organizations and other donors and this is our Official development assistance.
Our official development assistance is predominantly concentrated in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, as well as in some developing and the least developed countries as Kenya, South Sudan and Afghanistan.
The Slovak Republic participates in the multilateral assistance through financial contributions to international organizations, which consequently implement development projects. These organizations are particularly the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
National Programme of the Slovak Official Development Assistance for 2013 allocates 52.42 million EUR for multilateral development assistance, which represents 81.14 % of total ODA.
I am pleased to state that ODA policy as well as numerous activities of my country in the area of development assistance qualified the Slovak Republic for joining the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) this September as the 27th member of this leading international forum for coordinating official development assistance.
The exhibition ‘Slovaks helping the world’ is the best evidence of the success of Slovakia’s long-term endeavor in helping developing countries in their struggle with extreme poverty, hunger, diseases, access to education, gender inequality etc.