The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Velvet Divorce - Czech Slovakia 20 years on



The amicable negotiated split between the former Soviet Bloc country Czechoslovakia in the Czech Republic and Slovakia has gone largely unnoticed by the world’s mass media whose focus on conflict and war has created a somewhat unbalanced perspective.

The peaceful coexistence between these nations for the past twenty years has been termed the Velvet Divorce when describing the dissolution of Czechoslovakia which came into effect on 1 January 1993.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 the countries began on a path of political and economic transformation and are today regarded as exemplary in peaceful conflict resolution.  They are fully integrated members of the European Union, NATO and OECD and enjoy very close and friendly relations.

This milestone coincides with 20 years of diplomatic relations with South Africa. In honour of this momentous occasion the Czech and Slovak Embassies in South Africa together with the University of Pretoria hosted a panel discussion to better understand the peaceful separation between the two countries. South Africa will also celebrate 20 years of its democracy next year (2014). Its own negotiated settlement allowed the panellists a cross-regional perspective drawing from their country’s experiences.

The panel included Yolanda Spies – University of Pretoria, Programme Director, Ambassador Blanka Fajkusova, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Ambassador Alexander Ilascik of Slovakia, Dr Jakub Landovsky from the institute of Political studies Charles University, Prague, Dr John Mare, Independent Consultant and Special Adviser and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Chief Executive of The South African Institute of International Affairs.

Dr. Landovsky made comparisons between South Africa and The Czech and Slovak Republics.  The obvious and most memorable are between Vaclav Havel for his resistance against the Soviet regime and Nelson Mandela for his resistance against the Apartheid regime. He also referred to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa and the security sector reforms which were critical if the negotiated settlement was to succeed.

Dr. Mare as a South African diplomat played a major role in establishing official relationships between the countries and gave a historic account of the dissolution and the establishment of Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the present day. 

 


 
 
 
 

_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Strenghtening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean 9 March 2017 President Jacob Zuma has returned to Pretoria after a successful State Visit to Indonesia, which... <|> Pygmy Intervention Project 13 March 2017 The Pygmy community of the Central African Republic became a focal point at a gala dinner recently held in Pretoria at Burgers Park hotel. The gala dinner... <|> France and South Africa cooperation Visit of French Secretary of State for Transport, Oceans and Fisheries: Minister Alain Vidalies 7 – 10 March 2017 During his visit in South Africa between 7... <|> 6th African Film Week in Athens 13 March 2017 The 6th African Film Week taking place in Greece, brings to the big screen charming images from the African Continent: Urban legends, exoticism from... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Early warning centre for South Africa and Nigeria 14 March 2017 South Africa and Nigeria have agreed to establish an early warning centre to help mitigate and monitor possible threats and violence... <|> Abron Band from Iran share peace with music at Tsarogaphoka Primary School by Kgomotso Kgoale 14 March 2017 Kgwebong Consulting, an Organisation Development company that is dedicated to the... <|> Arctic Council at 20: Making a Difference Regionally By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society  We all know the temperatures are rising in the Arctic twice as fast as the... <|> Marrying of two iconic World Heritage Sites: South Africa’s Robben Island and Mauritius’ Le Morne Cultural Landscape 20 March 2017 Robben Island World Heritage Site (RIWHS) and Le Morne... <|> Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden 21 March 2017 Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre,... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.