President, FM attending UN General Assembly, as Security Council membership preparations in full swing

New York, 16 September - President Nataša Pirc Musar and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon will be attending a UN General Assembly in New York next week, with Pirc Musar addressing a leaders' discussion on Tuesday. The meeting will be important for Slovenia in light of its upcoming non-permanent Security Council membership in 2024-2025.

New York, US
UN General Assembly.
Photo: Xinhua/STA
File photo

Slovenia was elected a non-permanent member in June and will be granted observer status in October, which means that it will have access to most UN meetings.

The Foreign Ministry has said that the Slovenian delegation in New York next week will be focusing in membership preparations, both in term of topics and establishing cooperation channels.

In addition to attending the UN events, the president and the foreign minister will hold a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of countries from all over the world. They will also be attending a number of receptions.

Pirc Musar will start the week by attending a sustainable development summit on Monday, before addressing world leaders a day later. On Wednesday, she will attend an open debate of the Security Council on Ukraine and an annual meeting of female leaders.

The president's office said that Pirc Musar will put special emphasis on the role of women in international relations. She will be stressing the need for more women in UN institutions in her address and in her bilateral meetings.

Meanwhile, Slovenia's Security Council membership preparations are in full swing. In October, State Secretary Samuel Žbogar, a former foreign minister, will be leaving for New York, where he will be heading a special mission to the Security Council.

Ambassador Boštjan Malovrh will continue to head Slovenia's Mission to the UN and will represent Slovenia in all UN bodies, bar the Security Council, where the country will be represented by Žbogar.

The mission led by Žbogar will function as an independent unit within the Slovenian Mission to the UN, with the ministry underlining that the duties had been clearly divided.

Slovenia has been reinforcing its Mission to the UN in the face of Security Council membership. Usually, the mission numbers six or seven diplomats, but during the campaign their number increased to 13. Moreover, in the coming two years, seven more will be working there.

Slovenia will also be sending two Defence Ministry representatives to New York, and likely also representatives of the ministers of finance and the interior.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has set up a five-member project group to coordinate policies between Ljubljana and New York.

After Fajon's return from New York, a strategic council of the Foreign Ministry will meet to discuss top priorities of Slovenia's Security Council membership, which the government is expected to discuss in October. The National Assembly will also take note of the document.

In December, the Foreign Ministry is planning a diplomatic consultation to inform the entire diplomatic network about Slovenia's priorities as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

Slovenia is to focus on four main topics: the effect of climate change on security, conflict prevention using preventive diplomacy, women, peace and security, and protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

In November, a three-week simulation will take place to test Slovenia's readiness to perform the tasks of a non-permanent member.

The Foreign Ministry has said that Slovenia's operations in the Security Council will be transparent, that the country will perform a connective role and act responsibly, in line with the promises it made during the campaign.

The Foreign Ministry has meanwhile urged against unrealistic expectations about Slovenia's role on the Security Council, above all with respect to possible interventions to end the war in Ukraine.

The ministry also said that Slovenia will above all try to be active in nuclear safety, which is why Fajon will be meeting Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi in New York this week.

© STA, 2023