BORUT PAHOR, President of Slovenia, noted that the cry of “never again” has echoed around the world after the Second World War, and except for the war in the Balkans, even the major geopolitical changes in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall have been peaceful. However, he stated, the hope of building a lasting peace has been shaken by the “Russian aggression against Ukraine”.
The international community must not leave its children a world in perpetual fear of war, he emphasized. He also highlighted that the war, which has put international security at risk, is threatening the already fragile stability of the Western Balkans as well as international food and energy security. In that regard he commended the Secretary-General and Türkiye for their support to reach an agreement on the Black Sea Grain Initiative. It is the obligation of world leaders to resolve outstanding issues in a spirit of compromise and mutual understanding, he underscored.
He went on to stress that nurturing and strengthening good relations between countries is necessary if current challenges are to be met, especially climate change, which he described as “undoubtedly one of the most pressing”. He pledged support to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in their efforts against biodiversity loss, stress on water and climate damage. He outlined his country’s efforts in contributing to the “Least Development Countries Fund”’ of the Global Environment Facility, and to initiate the Green Group, working together with like-minded countries in the promotion of green policies. He thanked the General Assembly for the recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, noting that Slovenia was one of its original proponents along with Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco and Switzerland. The upcoming United Nations conferences on climate change, biodiversity and water will serve as an excellent opportunity for the international community to commit to do more and better, he said. Commending the Secretary-General for putting forward the Our Common Agenda report, he also expressed support for the proposed Second World Summit for Social Development to be held in 2025, expecting it to address the challenges of structural inequalities. “We should be attentive to all signs of human rights regression and should act accordingly,” he emphasized.
Recalling that rules-based order is a “sine qua non” for maintaining peace and security, as well as a just and balanced international system, he stressed that his country has proved itself an honest broker engaged in a genuine dialogue and constant search for creative and collaborative solutions to common challenges. “Slovenia has no enemies, but only friends all around the globe,” he added. Touching on his country becoming a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2024, he outlined the following as the task of Slovenia — striving for peace, justice, mutual understanding and reconciliation; respect for ethnic, national and religious diversities; and promotion of sustainable development and solidarity. He noted that this is the international community’s common task as well.