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

Slovenia has concluded its third month in the UN Security Council. March was marked by the adoption of Gaza ceasefire resolution, showcasing the leading role of the 10 elected Council members in peace efforts. Slovenia continued to highlight other pressing matters including illegal elections held in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories and concerning situation in Sudan, requesting a meeting on conflict-induced food insecurity in the country.

After veto against US led resolution on Gaza, elected 10 members of UNSC drafted a new resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan. Slovenia engaged in all stages of negotiations, strongly supporting its outcome.

In his explanation of vote, Ambassador Samuel Žbogar expressed hope that the resolution will mark the end of the pain and suffering of the civilian population. “We delivered the strongest signal thus far: We demand an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire. It is a call we have all been desperate to hear from the Council,” stressed Ambassador Žbogar.

The E10 group demonstrated its consolidating power in the Security Council and its leading role in peace efforts. Slovenia highlighted the binding nature of UN Security Council resolutions and called for the speedy implementation of the adopted resolution, in particular the immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and the acceleration of life-saving assistance.

At the Council’s briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict on her findings of visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, Slovenia condemned all forms of sexual violence as a gross violation of human rights. Sexual violence has no justification and it cannot neither serve as justification in any setting.

Upon Slovenia’s request, a briefing was held on the conduct of Russian presidential election in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories. Slovenia condemned the attempt to legitimize the annexation of Ukrainian territories through elections, expressed hope for the launch of a peace process, and regretted Russia’s failure to invite OSCE observers to its elections.

At an open debate on “promoting conflict prevention – strengthening all stakeholders, including women and youth,” Slovenia underscored that women and youth bear the greatest burden in armed conflicts and advocated for their equal inclusion in all conflict prevention efforts. Conflict prevention should be the rule, not the exception, as people primarily desire peace, decent living conditions, and a secure future for their children.

At the Council’s ministerial meeting on disarmament and non-proliferation, Slovenia again highlighted the importance of the role of women – this time in nuclear policy, disarmament, and non-proliferation where they remain understaffed. “We know that women are powerful agents of change, and perhaps their full inclusion in nuclear decision-making processes can empower us all to bring about the long-awaited break-through in nuclear disarmament efforts towards a world without nuclear weapons,” said the Ambassador.

Regarding the situation in Sudan, Slovenia strongly supported the Secretary-General’s call for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan and urged all parties to commit to a cessation of hostilities. Slovenia, together with Guyana, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland, requested the meeting on conflict-induced food insecurity in the country and voted in favor of the resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during Ramadan.

Slovenia firmly supported the work and continued presence of UNAMA in Afghanistan and voted in favor of the resolution extending UNAMA’s mandate for a year. “The mandate of the UNAMA mission must remain broad – it should support Afghanistan and Afghans on their path to inclusive political transition towards an advanced and democratic future that will bring stability, prosperity, and lasting peace,” said the deputy permanent representative in her explanation of vote.

Unfortunately, due to veto cast by Russia, the mandate of the panel of experts monitoring North Korea’s compliance with international sanctions, was not extended. We emphasize that only a fully functioning panel of experts can provide independent assessment of sanctions implementation.

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