The Slovenia Times

Cerar and Erjavec Attend UN General Assembly Session


The debate, which is expected to focus on development as well as the refugee crisis, will be opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft.

The Slovenian prime minister will address the General Assembly on Wednesday, when he is also due to meet the UN secretary general. A bilateral meeting with Lykketoft is planned for Tuesday.

Cerar has announced he will be discussing topics that are vital for Slovenia such as the refugee crisis and human rights as well as touch on the Ukraine crisis.

The fate of migrants in the Mediterranean and especially asylum seekers from Syria is a highly topical item on the agenda of debates at the UN headquarters this year.

Cerar has underscored the need for an international effort to tackle the roots of the crisis, welcoming the meeting between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for Monday.

The prime minister has been discussing the refugee crisis also in bilateral meetings, aside from topics relevant to Slovenia's cooperation with other countries as well as Slovenia-Croatia border arbitration.

Today, Cerar will attend a welcome reception and a lunch hosted by Ban for heads of delegations, as well as a reception given by US President Barack Obama.

Cerar has been in New York since Friday, taking part in a UN development summit discussing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and a meeting of global leaders on gender equality and women's empowerment.

He believes the Development Agenda will be successful and deems its 17 goals feasible because they include a commitment for the respect of human rights equal for all, without discrimination.

He pledged for Slovenia to aspire to increase development aid and improve its quality, but would not discuss concrete figures. Slovenia has so far left its "development trail" in more than 80 countries.

"That was in accordance with out capabilities because we aren't a big or very rich country. It's right we show solidarity with the world as we too benefit from it in the event of natural and other accidents.

"But I'd like to emphasize that at the time Slovenia is breaking out of crisis with difficulty, when many people are below the poverty line, and we are also facing the refugee crisis, Slovenia needs to take care of its citizens first.

"Once we improve our life, raise the standard and are on track of sustainable development, we'll do the most for the surroundings. Slovenia needs to pull out of this crisis," Cerar told Slovenian reporters.

The general debate of the 70th anniversary session of the General Assembly is held on the theme "the road ahead for peace, security and human rights".

These are also Slovenia's priorities in the UN with concrete discussions on the topic to be held by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who is visiting New York until 1 October.

Meanwhile, there is also a lively debate in New York on who should become the UN's next secretary general with some favouring a woman and some a candidate from the East European group for the post.

A bid has been announced by Slovenia's former President Danilo Türk, who is also in New York this week for the annual conference of an initiative launched by former US President Bill Clinton.

He is also expected to meet Cerar, who has lauded his diplomatic career and promised further government support for his bid.

"He can make an excellent candidate for the post, if he decides to bid officially as well. The government stands by him, drawing attention to his candidacy in all bilateral meetings and supporting it.

"If he takes a final decision [to bid], he will get intensive support from the government," Cerar told Slovenian reporters in New York.


More from Nekategorizirano