The Slovenia Times

Pahor talks about peace, climate change, multilateralism in UN address


New York - President Borut Pahor addressed the General Debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, talking about peace, climate change and multilateralism. He underlined that Slovenia was well-placed to be a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2024-2025.

Talking about peace, Pahor said that bar the war in the Balkans, "even the major geopolitical changes in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall have been peaceful", which had made an important contribution to building hope for a lasting peace.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine will not make people stop believing in the possibility of lasting peace because "we must not leave our children a world in perpetual fear of war", he said.

"For the sake of their secure future, we have a duty to do everything we can to ensure that the precious hope for a lasting peace returns to our hearts. After all, it was with this hope and our shared responsibility that the United Nations was founded."

Russia's military attack on Ukraine, as well as many other armed conflicts around the world, have shaken the UN's rules, which include commitment to peaceful settlement of disputes, cooperation and respect for fundamental human dignity.

The president said that the war in Ukraine was "threatening the already fragile stability of the Western Balkans" and has threatened international food and energy security. Pahor commended UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkey for their efforts to reach a grain export agreement.

He underlined that peace was not just the absence of war. "In peace, leaders should strengthen and nurture good relations with other countries. It is our obligation to resolve outstanding issues in a spirit of compromise and mutual understanding.

"Only in this way, we will reduce the chances of old grievances and historical traumas resurfacing," he said, adding that nurturing good relations and building trust was the most effective way to prevent armed conflict.

Good relations between countries are also key in addressing challenges such as climate change. To preserve the planet for future generations, more efficient measures are needed, as well as more solidarity, Pahor said.

"Slovenia pledges special support to Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific to assist them in their efforts against biodiversity loss, water stress and climate damage. We are contributing to the 'Least Developed Countries Fund' of the Global Environment Facility.

"Initiating the Green Group, Slovenia is working together with like-minded countries in the promotion of green policies," said Pahor.

He expressed gratitude to the General Assembly for "the historic universal recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment," adding that Slovenia was one of the original proponents, along with Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco and Switzerland.

He believes that the upcoming UN conferences on climate change, biodiversity and water are an excellent opportunity for countries to commit to do more and better.

Pahor underlined that all efforts should be led by a right-based approach, as there is no security and development without respect for human dignity.

The president concluded by saying Slovenia was well placed to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2024-2025. He said the country had proven itself "a reliable and trustworthy member of the UN family and an honest broker.

"We are engaged in a genuine dialogue and constant search for creative and collaborative solutions to our common challenges." Slovenia is "part of peacekeeping and stabilisation efforts that include humanitarian de-mining, rehabilitation and saving the lives of civilians all around the globe.

"We are actively participating in efforts to strengthen the legal framework and respect for international law, including ending impunity. We build trust to secure a better future. Slovenia has no enemies, but only friends all around the globe."


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