Slovakia: International Peace Day 2019

By Barbara Grabner, UPF Slovakia

On September 23, 2019, to highlight the International Peace Day, UPF Slovakia organized a presentation with the journalist and international security expert, and former Slovak Information Service director Igor Cibula, PhD. who has been an adviser to the Slovak Government on issues regarding Russia and the Ukraine. Thanks to the prominence of our guest speaker there was huge interest and the lecture hall was filled to capacity.

At the start, UPF Secretary General Miloš Klas spoke about the International Peace Day and introduced the peace activist Paul K. Chappell, who graduated from West Point, was deployed to Baghdad and left the US army in 2009 as Captain. Chappell has been a guest speaker of UPF in Vienna and is the author of the Road to Peace book series. He campaigns for the abolishment of war in the 21st century. Since many guests are interested in military strategy, Chappell´s views seemed appropriate to mention. “Is it possible to fight for peace? It depends on how we define the word ´fight´. If we define it not as violence but as struggle, then we must fight for peace,” is one of his notable remarks –

Afterwards our guest speaker Igor Cibula took the podium and explained in detail the cause of the conflicts in the Crimean and the Donbas region, including the historical and ethnical background.

Regarding the International Peace Day, he said that the recent exchange of prisoners of war is a hopeful sign of de- escalation. His brilliant presentation cast a spell on the predominantly male audience of 43 persons which included people from the political left to the political right. Miloš Klas managed to keep the ensuing discussion to be fair to every view. As a last point Igor Cibula who knows us since decades and appreciates UPF work very much, was awarded the diploma of Ambassador for Peace.

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