Highlights of the Slovenian activities in the UN Security Council in February 2024

The second month of our membership in the UN Security Council has come to an end. This month, under the Presidency of Guyana, was marked by the second anniversary of war in Ukraine and the dire situation in Gaza.

On the second anniversary of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Slovenia called for a briefing of the UN Security Council on the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine. Speaking before the Council, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon emphasized that Slovenia does not and will not accept this senseless war. “We are not tired of calling this aggression out and of demanding it to stop,” until a just and lasting peace is achieved. “Such peace is worth believing in and acting on,” Foreign Minister said.

During the plenary session of the UN General Assembly, Minister Fajon highlighted that due to the war in Ukraine, “we are witnessing the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.” She stressed that “international humanitarian law should and must be respected. With all the ruined homes, hospitals and schools and with civilian casualties on the rise for consecutive months, this is obviously not the case.”

Slovenia strives for peace in the Middle East, and believes in the indispensable role of the Security Council in this regard. The war in Gaza must end immediately, and the Security Council must hear the pleas for peace coming from around the globe. Slovenia strongly supported the resolution, tabled by Algeria, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. In the explanation of vote, Ambassador Samuel Žbogar called for an end of Palestinian suffering and return of hostages. “The suffering that Palestinians are enduring is beyond anything a human being should be subjected to. It is our responsibility to continue working towards a consensus in this body for peace in the Middle East,” he said.

In February, Slovenia requested two briefings on Gaza: together with Guyana it called for a meeting on the safety and security of UN personnel, and together with Algeria, Guyana, and Switzerland it called for a meeting on food security risks.

The people of Gaza face a catastrophic level of hunger. At least 576,000 people in Gaza, representing a quarter of the total population, are on the brink of starvation, with children suffering from acute malnutrition and wasting. Slovenia believes only an immediate ceasefire can alleviate civilian suffering and offer a pathway to the political solution.

State Secretary Sanja Štiglic attended the UN Security Council high-level open debate on the impact of climate change and food insecurity on the maintenance of international peace and security. “Climate change is a defining challenge of our time. It poses direct existential threat to many UN Member States and it can act as a driver of conflicts,” the State Secretary underlined. She highlighted the role of armed conflicts in the devastation of food systems, especially in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan, where wars bring long-term consequences for food supplies. The Security Council must play its part, and “prevention is key.”

In February, we reaffirmed Slovenia’s commitment to peace on our first visiting mission to Colombia. The overarching goal of the visit was to reiterate Council’s full support for the implementation of the historic Peace Agreement. “Colombia is considered as the UN success story, the peace agreement was signed in 2016 and has a fifteen-year deadline for the implementation. We are now halfway through. The challenges still lie ahead, but strong commitment from all for peace, including the new government, remains,” stressed Ambassador Žbogar after the visit.

This month, the Council received a briefing on the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Sudan, with a specific focus on the challenges faced by the humanitarian community in delivering aid. The meeting took place behind closed doors. Addressing the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Slovenia condemned attacks targeting peacekeepers and diplomatic missions in the country, and called for a political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict. Furthermore, Slovenia welcomed the revitalization of the peace process in the Central African Republic and called for an inclusive political dialogue with meaningful participation of women and youth.

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