Pahor says Slovenia to stick to principle regardless of UN Security Council bid

New York, 23 September - President Borut Pahor has suggested Slovenia is not going to change its foreign policy or positions on issues such as the war in Ukraine to win support for its bid to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2024-2025.

New York, US
President Borut Pahor addresses UN General Assembly.
Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak
File photo

Slovenia competes against Belarus for the seat on the UN Security Council for the Eastern European bloc. In the vote next year it needs to secure 129 votes in the 193-member General Assembly.

Russia's ally Belarus started its campaign much earlier, but considering that more than 140 countries condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March, Slovenia may well win sufficient support.

"I've had the first talks and I will have more in the coming days," Pahor told Slovenian reporters in New York, noting the official launch of Slovenia's campaign for the candidacy on Monday.

"As I've said in the General Assembly, Slovenia has no enemies, it only has friends. We have principled views on issues that more or less enjoy consensus in the international community," he said, pointing to the war in Ukraine.

"Slovenia makes no secret of its position. I've made it very clear that if someone cannot live with this position, we simply won't get their support. We're not going to change this position for the sake of the campaign, but we can talk about everything else," said Pahor.

He believes Slovenia can collect the required number of votes in favour of its candidacy, but it will have to work on it.

Based on his discussions, he does not see there is a chance yet for the conflict in Ukraine to be resolved peacefully and expects a further escalation, which means the issue will still be important when the vote for the Security Council comes up next year.

However, he reiterated that Slovenia must stick to its positions of principle. "We will try to build consensus, we're ready to make reasonable compromises, but not such that fundamentally contradict our foreign policy principles. I think this is very important for our credibility."

He believes Slovenia's diplomatic service, in particularly diplomats in New York, is capable of leading a successful campaign, noting the country's achievements in the 30 years since independence.

"Being small, we shouldn't have a complex of having no influence or of not being listened to," Pahor said, adding that every country had an equally important voice in the UN General Assembly and there was no difference between Monaco and the US.

"We will consult everyone, including those who may not support our candidacy because of the position on the war in Ukraine. We will meet everyone, introduce ourselves and we will get some countries to change their position on our candidacy."

Pahor expressed concern over the Kremlin's latest moves and statements, in particular the suggestion of potential use of nuclear weapons. "Under the UN Charter it is forbidden to threaten to use force, let alone nuclear weapons," he said, adding that such threats merited condemnation in the strongest terms and should be removed from the agenda.

Meanwhile, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazović told foreign correspondents in New York that Slovenia can count on his country's support.

He sees no reason why Montenegro would not support Slovenia's bid. The country's political interest is to have friends on the Security Council, said Abazović, adding that Slovenia was a true friend to Montenegro, including in its efforts to join the EU.

© STA, 2022