The Slovenia Times

Diplomats meet in preparation for UN Security Council stint

Slovenian diplomats pose for family photo with the country's senior officials during their annual consultations at Brdo pri Kranju. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Slovenian diplomats gathered for their annual consultations before the country takes up one of the non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two years on 1 January. They were told the key will be for the country to continue to abide by and advocate core values and principles with active support from its diplomatic service.

Addressing the three-day meeting at Brdo estate on 18 December, Prime Minister Robert Golob expressed confidence in Slovenia's performance, arguing it was just the kind of country the Security Council needed at this time.

As a small country Slovenia has always been in favour of balanced relations. Consistency in foreign policy speaks in its favour as well, he said.

The Middle East conflict will be an even more prominent issue on the Security Council in the next few months, whereby Slovenia will work towards a solution, Golob said. He is confident it will be successful in that.

Warning against "damaging" attitude to the UN

President Nataša Pirc Musar, who addressed the event the day before, said she was not concerned how Slovenian diplomats will perform, even as she asked them to put aside any differences as soon as possible. "Subordinating the state to one's own interests and capriciousness weakens and disrespects the state," she said.

She is however worried that consensus on the role and necessity of the UN is "crumbling at the global level," and with it the belief in the ability of this system to appropriately respond to events in the world.

While many think that the UN is ineffective, obsolete and even unnecessary, Slovenia "cannot and must not agree with that" given that the UN is based on the rule of international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

She drew parallels with the present day and the attitude to the League of Nations in the 1930s. "Those who know what happened after the collapse of the League of Nations must admit that such attitude to the UN is damaging," she said.

Pirc Musar pledged to promote a candid and inclusive deliberation about much needed reforms of the UN, whereby the experiences that Slovenia will gained as a member of the Security Council will be invaluable.

Strengthening trust in intl. institutions

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon spoke of the need for a professional, active and highly motivated diplomatic service adept at communicating the country's positions and advocating the country's interests in the broader international community.

"In the EU, NATO and the broader international community, Slovenia will be successful in the promotion of its values and interests inasmuch as it is capable of presenting its positions, ideas and proposals in an understandable and clear way," she said.

The world is changing as rule of law is being squeezed out by the rule of power, as evident in both Ukraine and the Middle East, Fajon said. She thinks this requires that trust in the international legal system and functioning international institutions be strengthened.

Membership of the UN Security Council "gives us legitimacy, but also great responsibility," she said, noting that of the 153 UN members that voted in favour of Slovenia many were from the global south.

Position on Middle East, Ukraine

The officials spoke at length about the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Fajon said Slovenia's views of the Russian aggression and the Middle East conflict were "clear and consistent": it is advocating respect for international and humanitarian law, inviolability of borders, protection of civilians and the most vulnerable groups, and respect of human rights.

"The Palestinians deserve their own state, the Israelis deserve security. Both must cohabit with each other," said the minister.

Pirc Musar described Palestine as a symbol of "spectacular failure of the international community". "As I've said before, what is happening in Gaza is a crime. And as a lawyer I will add: the future and the courts will confirm what kind of crime it is."

She said it was important for Slovenia to side with humanity, international law and human dignity, and that is was right to support the UN Security Council resolution on a humanitarian truce and the General Assembly resolution on Gaza.

Golob said the camp of countries which feels that a humanitarian disaster is underway in Gaza, that the measures are disproportionate and that civilians need to be protected is gaining strength.

"We are united in condemning attacks by Hamas, we condemn the taking of hostages, and we recognize Israel's right to self-defence in compliance with international law," he said.


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