Statement on the cooperation between the UN and the EU

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, European Union

Thank you Mr. President,

Thank you for organizing this yearly briefing on cooperation between the UN and the European Union. I warmly welcome the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell, and I appreciate his informative briefing on the EU as a force for good in this troubled world.

Mr. President,

As opposed to the Russian Federation we don’t consider the Security Council as a battlefield where we need to focus on our divisions and where we accuse each other of double standards. And we definitely don’t see this Chamber as a place to offend each other, to offend regional organizations and its member states with derogative labels. We of course are aware of big differences among us and the Russian Federation aggression on Ukraine is one of the most striking one. But we see the Security Council as a body, very powerful body, the most powerful body which can be effective if united. Body that can help bring peace, stabilize peace if and only if we are united. We, a naïve fledgling,see the Security Council as a body where we should look for crisis where we can unite, where we can use Security Council’s unique powers and responsibilities and where we can make a change.

Mr. President,  

In a couple of weeks, Slovenia will celebrate 20 years of membership in the European Union. We are proud to be part of this largest European peace project. We also take great pride in representing the EU member state here at the Security Council. The European Union we are representing, together with the two other member states, is one that does not merely listen, but also hears concerns from around the globe. The European Union that has a vision for a more peaceful and secure future, but is not afraid to work together with others to improve it.

The European Union that believes in a world order based on respect for the UN Charter and international law and with the UN at its center. We believe in a genuine multilateralism as just defined by the representative of China and we believe in synergy between regional organizations and the European Union and the UN.

Mr. President,

The current international security landscape is marked by escalating complexity. The imperative to strengthen the cooperation between the EU and the UN, has never been more evident, as we navigate the challenges that threaten the foundations of international peace. Genuine multilateralism matters and it is more indispensable than ever before.

Mr. President,

First, let me reiterate the significance of the EU-UN strategic partnership on crisis management and peace operations.

This is by no means an abstract partnership. It is substantive, and it is visible. EU missions are deployed alongside the UN peacekeeping operations or special political missions, some are mandated by the Security Council. This is a tangible example of EU contribution to global security action on the ground, and it is happening from our neighborhood of Western Balkans or Ukraine to missions in Africa, the Middle East and most recently one in the Red Sea, where ASPIDES is deployed to fulfill its defensive mandate.

Slovenia is very proud of its own contribution, as it participates in seven missions and peacekeeping operations.

In my second point, I would like to touch upon the role of the EU as guarantor of peace in Europe.

In its pursuit of peace, the European Union has reached much beyond its work in different field operations. A concrete way represents the process of its further integration. And in spite of what we have heard from the Russian Federation, how bad the EU has become, there still seems to be a line of countries that want to join the project.

The process of EU integration is a strong stabilizing factor in Europe, encouraging prospective members to stay on the path of reforms, democracy and the rule of law. It helps reconciling divisions and lower tensions. With this in mind, Slovenia firmly supports the EU integration of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Trio.   

Thirdly, let me expand on the EU’s role globally. While developments in our continent with global implications of Russia’s illegal aggression on Ukraine cannot be overseen, we share our collective aspiration to Silence the Guns in Africa. In this respect and as confirmed by the High Representative Borrell this morning, cooperation with our African partners continues to be a priority of the European Peace Facility instrument under which the EU provides sustainable and predictable support to the African Union-led Peace Support Operations, including ATMIS in Somalia.

EU global engagement includes humanitarian emergencies response. To that end, the EU has been among the leading humanitarian donors globally, in close cooperation with 26 UN humanitarian agencies, which attest to the EU–UN synergy. We are also proud of the contribution of Slovenia’s EU commissioner for Crisis Management, Lenarčič, who makes sure that the EU’s humanitarian relief ends where it is most needed including with the continuation of the funding for UNRWA.

Mr. President,

The European Environmental Agency’s first-ever report on climate risk published yesterday, brings me to my final point. Agency’s findings show the undeniable links between climate, peace and security, as established in the EU’s Joint Communication on Climate-Security Nexus.

This pressing concern demands the Security Council to develop a climate-sensitive approach to conflict prevention and peace. Investments in resilience of communities around the world and sustainable management of key natural resources, including water and food security, are at the center of Slovenia’s contribution to the Team Europe approach.

In conclusion, I would like to return to the foundation of cooperation between the EU and the UN: our common understanding that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the UN Security Council. The Council must resume its role and work towards sustainable solutions for peace and security in Gaza, in Ukraine, in Haiti and elsewhere.

Thank you.

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