Minister Fajon at the UN General Assembly: People in Ukraine deserve just and lasting peace

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on the second anniversary of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Minister Tanja Fajon stressed that the war in Ukraine has led to the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. She added that we must all – without exception – respect international humanitarian law and human rights law at all times.

“These days we are marking two sombre anniversaries – almost ten years have passed since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, whereas two years ago we witnessed the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine – a brutal war of aggression that is still ongoing. This occasion is perhaps an opportunity to reflect once more on what the UN and its Member States can do to stabilize the situation in the region and bring just and lasting peace to Ukraine,” said Minister Fajon. In this context, she reiterated that Russia must halt its invasion, withdraw from the territory of Ukraine and stop its war rhetoric.

In her statement, she focused on three issues: bringing peace to Ukraine, respect for international humanitarian law and the need to address the humanitarian situation around the world. “I am deeply saddened that in 2024 we are talking about an estimated 14.6 million Ukrainians in need of humanitarian assistance and 30 % of Ukraine’s territory contaminated by land mines and other unexploded ordnance. Many civilians have already fallen victim to them. This only highlights the importance of supporting Ukraine in humanitarian demining, which is key to ensuring the safety of its people,” said Minister Fajon, adding that all efforts and initiatives to bring peace to Ukraine must be supported.

“In any conflict situation, international humanitarian law and human rights law must be respected on the ground by all parties. The constantly rising civilian casualties, as well as all the ruined homes, families, hospitals, water and energy infrastructure and cultural property call for an end to this senseless war. Accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine needs to be upheld and justice has to be ensured. Russia needs to ensure safe return of all unlawfully and forcefully transferred and deported Ukrainians, especially children,” said the Minister.

Minister Fajon expressed Slovenia’s support for ensuring accountability for crimes committed in Ukraine and for strengthening the international legal framework. She also highlighted Slovenia’s contribution to the discussions on the establishment of the special tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine: “I hope that the recently signed ‘Ljubljana-The Hague Convention’, which is an important complementary mechanism, will be helpful in responding to violations.

Read the full statement here.

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