The Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium

March 7-9, 2019

The international symposium is an annual public forum designed and enacted by EPIIC students. It features international practitioners, academics, public intellectuals, activists and journalists who come to Tufts each year for four days of discussion and debate in panels and small-group discussions determined by students in the EPIIC course. Students who conduct research projects also have the opportunity to present alongside the invited experts.

The Boston Globe made this assessment of the EPIIC Symposium:

“At a time when the national discourse seems forever reduced to its lowest common denominator…to sound bites and slogans…EPIIC is a refreshing antidote. Far from looking to simplify the world, the symposium aims to teach students to view life in a way that respects complex human systems.”


H. E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák of Slovakia is President of the United Nations General Assembly’s seventy-second session. In this capacity, he is one of leaders in forging the UN’s Global Compact on Migration.

He is also in his third term as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, a position he has held since April 2012.

Mr. Lajčák has dedicated his professional life to diplomatic service, representing both the Slovak Republic and the international community on posts in Brussels, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. He joined the foreign service of the then Czechoslovakia in 1988 and was posted in Moscow from 1991 to 1993 and from 1993, after Czechoslovakia peacefully split, in the same position at the newly formed Slovak Embassy there.

Mr. Lajčák played a vital role in the transformation of his young country. He actively helped to build and shape the Slovak national foreign service as Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister of the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. In 1994, Mr. Lajčák was appointed as the Slovak Ambassador to Japan. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Lajčák served as the Executive Assistant to the United Nations Secretary-General´s Special Envoy for the Balkans. A key figure in the mediation of the post-conflict crises in the Western Balkans, Mr. Lajčák negotiated, organized and supervised the referendum on the independence of Montenegro in 2006 on behalf of the European Union High Representative for Common and Security Policy. During his tenure,

Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the landmark Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.

From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lajčák helped shape the newly formed diplomatic service of the European Union, the European External Action Service.