The Slovenia Times

PM Tells UN Slovenia Committed to Strengthening Human Rights, Rule of Law


"We are determined to work with all partners to make the UN deliver tangible, meaningful results that will advance peace, security and human rights for all. Slovenia will take its share in responsibility to act," he said.

Cerar stressed that respect for human rights was a pivotal founding principle when Slovenia gained independence. Its commitment to promoting human rights, especially the protection of the most vulnerable groups, "has further strengthened and represents one of the core elements of our foreign policy."

Slovenia will continue to advocate a progressive approach to human rights issues and strive to enhance international norms and standards. "We are confident that we can successfully contribute to this goal also by serving as a Human Rights Council member for the term 2016-2018," he said.

Turning to the rule of law, Cerar said it was "an essential condition for development and peaceful coexistence of nations." In this respect, Slovenia strongly supports international treaties as means to enhance universality, ensure reliability and provide accountability.

Slovenia also strongly supports the International Criminal Court, as well as universality of the Rome Statute and the Kampala amendments. "We call upon States to offer full and prompt cooperation with the ICC."

As for current affairs, the prime minister said it was necessary to overcome divisions in the UN Security Council and find the way to deal more effectively with the worsening situation in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Libya. "This must be stopped."

The worsening refugee crisis likewise needs "a determined and immediate response from the whole international community, based on common principles of solidarity, humanity and shared responsibility."

Cerar said it was necessary to help the people in need but also to increase assistance to countries hosting large numbers of refugees and act more decisively in the countries of origin.

He also used the opportunity to promote the Slovenian idea of a World Bee Day, for which it is seeking endorsement from the UN, an effort to raise the awareness of the critical importance of bees for sustainable food production and biodiversity.

Cerar is expected to wrap up his visit to New York on Thursday by meeting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He is also due to take part in a debate on maintaining global peace and security.

Also finishing his visit to the UN as part of events accompanying the General Assembly will be Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who took part on Wednesday in a ceremony at which the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN to confirm its observer status in the organisation.

On the final day, Erjavec is due to take part in a meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation and a ministerial on OSCE peace-keeping missions. He is also scheduled to meet his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri.

The foreign minister took part on Wednesday in a meeting of the ministerial network for the International Criminal Court and in a debate on a Franco-Mexican proposal for preventing the use of veto powers by UN Security Council members in issues related to preventing genocide. Erjavec said Slovenia supported the proposal.


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