Highlights of Slovenia’s activities at the UN Security Council in May 2024

Slovenia concluded its fifth month on the Council under the Mozambican Presidency. On request of Slovenia and Algeria the Council discussed the situation in Rafah. Among others, the Security Council met also on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa, and debated the role of African states, and women and youth in maintaining international peace and security.

The Council also adopted a resolution on the protection of humanitarian and UN personnel. Slovenia, together with a group of partners, initiated the launch of the Shared Commitments on UNRWA.

Marko Štucin, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs participated in the debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina where he once again reiterated Bosnia’s place in the European Union. “EU accession is an opportunity to bridge divides and promote long-term stability, peace and development – not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but in the entire Western Balkans region,” said State Secretary Štucin, underlining the importance of regional cooperation in fostering reconciliation in BiH. Slovenia stressed the need to preserve the hard-earned progress towards reconciliation and sustainable peace in the region.

Following a request from Slovenia and Algeria the Security Council convened a briefing on the operation in Rafah. Ambassador Samuel Žbogar strongly condemned the start of the IDF operation in Rafah and reiterated Slovenia’s call for a ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages. “The Security Council must unite to stop the war,” the Ambassador said, expressing deep regret at the heavy loss of civilian lives and condemning the forced displacement of people. Slovenia called for accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity as the accountability is crucial to prevent atrocities and to guarantee peace.

Aware of the many operational, political and financial challenges facing UNRWA, Slovenia, together with 15 other partners, initiated the launch of the Shared Commitments on UNRWA. The initiative reaffirms support for UNRWA’s vital role in providing assistance to generations of Palestinian refugees. The 16 countries have sent a letter to all Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the UN, inviting them to join the initiative.

The Security Council held also a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Slovenia condemned the systematic attacks on civilian infrastructure, including energy infrastructure, and the use of cluster munitions in densely populated areas. “Ukrainian civilians have suffered for too long, they need a tangible prospect of peace. We call on Russia to stop with its subversive actions and give peace a chance,” stressed Ambassador Žbogar.

Slovenia welcomed the adoption of a resolution on the protection of humanitarian and UN personnel. The resolution stresses the important contribution of all humanitarian workers and strengthens the protection they need to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.

In an on open debate on the role of African states in addressing global security and development challenges, Slovenia underlined that African states are essential partners in building a more peaceful world. Deputy Permanent Representative Ondina Blokar Drobič underscored that strengthening resilience, regional frameworks and building partnerships will unlock the full potential of African states. “Empowering women and youth to participate fully, equally, meaningfully and safely in political and other decision-making processes is crucial,” she added.

Finally, at the open debate on the role of women and young persons in maintaining international peace and security, Slovenia emphasized that peace can only be achieved, if it is inclusive. “Ensuring the meaningful participation of women and youth should be a priority in all our peace and development efforts,” said Ambassador Blokar Drobič in the Council’s Chamber. She called for active and meaningful involvement of women and young people in conflict prevention that builds long-term resilience of the entire society.

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