Session Summary: Official welcome – Keynote Remarks

Keynote remarks by H.E. Zuzana Čaputová

Video address by His Holiness Pope Francis

Keynote remarks by H.E. Andrzej Duda

Keynote remarks by H.E. Zoran Milanovic

During the official kick-off of the conference, we were welcomed by Maithreyi Seetharaman, the founder of Facultas Media and Terry Martin, TV News Anchor and Journalist. They discussed how the concept of GLOBSEC is built around security, but also how the whole concept of security has changed so much in the last couple of years. At the official welcome, there have been three special guests, the presidents of three countries – Slovakia, Poland and Croatia.  

The first opening keynote remarks were spoken by the president of the Slovak republic, H.E.Zuzana Čaputová who emphasized the need for talks about deep changes and strategic conversations. She stressed three crucial lessons. Firstly, to successfully deal with the crisis, we need to accept its existence.  Secondly, there is an importance for rules and the need to respect them. Respecting the rules can save many lives. Thirdly, we need to be thinking ahead. Preventive steps will make us more resilient. The following message was delivered all the way from Vatican city. His Holiness Pope Francis touched upon many points made by H.E. Čaputová. He welcomed the important debates on rebuilding the world better and stressed the urgency of dealing with economic, ecological and political issues. His message was mainly to reflect on the significance of the crisis, which has opened up new possibilities, challenging us, to consider our present situation, to turn a time of trial into a moment of decision. He reminded us to remain resistant and humble because every crisis forces us to choose, for better or worse. “ We come out of it either better or worse, but never the same”. His final words wished for the best to come out of this conference and finding ways to rebuild the world. 

The president of the Republic of Poland, H.E.Andrzej Duda appreciated the unique opportunity to speak after His Holiness Pope and reflected on the events of the previous year. He is hopeful that the pandemic will come to an end and that future generations will be able to prevent such a crisis from happening in the future. His final remarks were dedicated to the future economic growth of Poland and its member states. The official welcome and the last keynote remarks were presented by the president of the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Zoran Milanovic. He spoke about the event of 9/11 as he happened to be in Washington the very moment and happened to witness the attack. He said he never felt so scared before. He also compared the feeling from 20 years ago to the current pandemic fear that goes around. He spoke about the unfavourable relations of the EU countries with Russia and said that’s not the case with Croatia. He continued to talk about Croatia and its relationship with neighbouring countries, as well as the importance of Croatia being accepted into Schengen.