Minister Fajon first attends UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East

Minister Tanja Fajon made her first appearance at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East in New York. On behalf of Slovenia, which will become a non-permanent member of the Security Council on 1 January 2024, she called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a halt to violence, the protection of civilians, and urged the Security Council to step up its efforts to establish a lasting and just peace in the region.

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and after a visit to the Middle East, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon said that the situation in Gaza is catastrophic, a violation of international law. “After my visit to the region, I am convinced that we as the international community have failed the test of humanity in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Alarm bells have been ringing in the West Bank and Gaza for years. This conflict does not guarantee peace and security for anyone in the region. We need an international peace conference as soon as possible to achieve security and the recognition of Palestine. Slovenia supports all initiatives for a two-state solution and for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians,” said the Minister.

“I understand the agony and pain of the Israeli people following the brutal Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October 2023. Slovenia’s message is clear – we condemn all forms of hostility and extremism and stand for the protection of civilians. One of the biggest humanitarian crises is currently unfolding before our eyes in Gaza, and it will have major consequences in the future, especially for children. The images of the destruction and rubble in Gaza are devastating. Rubble under which many lives and families have been lost. Rubble which children used to call home,” said Minister Fajon.

She called on both sides, Israel and Palestine, to establish a lasting ceasefire: “I welcome the agreement on humanitarian pauses and hostage and prisoner exchanges. It is essential to continue humanitarian aid to the people, but not with the intention that they lose their lives in the protracted conflict. I support the calls of the World Health Organization to prevent the further spread of disease. I am also concerned about the violence of Israeli settlers in the West Bank,” she added.

On the margins of the Security Council meeting, she met UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He thanked Slovenia for its constructive and active role in the UN and agreed with Minister Fajon on the need to step up the international community’s efforts to find a long-term political solution to the Middle East conflict. “I look forward to Slovenia’s further activities within the UN, especially in the next two years, when we will be sitting at the Security Council table,” the Minister said on the sidelines of the meeting. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 1 January 2024, Slovenia will be actively engaged on the issues on the Security Council’s agenda, including the situation in the Middle East.

She also met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with whom she discussed bilateral cooperation, the situation in the Middle East and EU-China relations. “We will continue to strengthen bilateral relations, including in the economic and winter sports fields. I thanked my Chinese counterpart for organising today’s important debate in the Security Council. We are at a historic moment to reach a political solution that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live in security. I assured my Chinese colleague that his country can count on Slovenia as a credible and active non-permanent member of the UN Security Council,” said Minister Fajon on the periphery of the meeting.

Today’s debate in the UN Security Council coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is observed annually on 29 November.

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