Priorities of the Republic of Slovenia for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly

Ever since Slovenia became a UN Member State, it has striven for an effective multilateral approach, with the United Nations as its central pillar. Slovenia has also called for a more efficient United Nations, greater inclusion of all participants, and the legitimacy and transparency of decision-making processes at the international level. It is important in this regard that the United Nations adapt to the new reality; to this end, Slovenia supports comprehensive reform of the United Nations, and particularly of the UN Security Council, and the revitalisation of the UN General Assembly. Also, Slovenia is actively involved in the selection and appointment of the next UN Secretary-General.

Slovenia’s activities within the UN General Assembly traditionally concern human rights protection, the promotion of human security and the person-centred approach, prevention, and the enhancement of, and respect for, international law and the goals and principles of the UN Charter. During its Human Security Network chairmanship, Slovenia will draw attention to the challenges that threaten the security of individuals.

Moreover, Slovenia will pursue its priorities within the European Union and EU priorities, and will cooperate with like-minded countries of different regions.

At the time of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, Slovenia will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of becoming a UN Member State. Also at this session, the next UN Secretary-General will be appointed. Slovenia’s key priorities for the session include:

1. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Slovenia will strive for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. Special attention will be given to forging successful partnerships between all key stakeholders in society. Slovenia will contribute to the formation of a coordinated, effective and inclusive framework for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the sustainable development goals at the global level.

Furthermore, Slovenia will continue to participate in international efforts to eradicate poverty and to achieve sustainable development in all its three dimensions in a balanced and comprehensive manner. It will promote a human-rights-based approach and support efforts to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment. Slovenia will advocate peaceful and inclusive societies, democratic government, and the rule of law, which are vital for achieving sustainable and inclusive development. It will also strive for an integrated approach to addressing development, humanitarian and climate challenges, as well as peacebuilding and security challenges.

Slovenia will support efforts to ensure environmental sustainability and the implementation of the Paris Agreement, thus promoting an effective response to climate change. It will further promote tackling other global challenges, such as sustainable water and forest management. One of Slovenia’s important sustainable development objectives concerns ensuring food security, both in the sense of safe, sufficient and nutritious food and as an effective solution to food waste and other worrying trends.

To support the implementation of the sustainable development goals, Slovenia will promote the importance of bees for food security, sustainable development, and biodiversity, and has put forward the initiative to have 20 May declared World Bee Day by the 72nd UN General Assembly.

Slovenia will continue to call for consistent respect for international humanitarian law, humanitarian principles, and international human rights law. Special attention will be given to protecting vulnerable social groups and including them in the processes of planning and providing humanitarian assistance, as well as to prevention and capacity building to ensure resilience to crises. Slovenia will fulfil the commitments that it made at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016.

2. Human rights
Slovenia will further strive to ensure that all human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled for all, regardless of any personal circumstances. Human rights are universal, unalienable, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated; no one should be subject to discrimination. In autumn this year, Slovenia will assume an active role in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provide foundations for the protection of human rights under international law. Also, it will continue to participate in international human rights forums as a strong promoter of a comprehensive approach to the protection of all human rights.

Slovenia’s traditional human rights priorities, also within our UN Human Rights Council membership, include rights of the child, gender equality and rights of older persons, rights of persons with disabilities, and LGBTIs, the situation of ethnic and other minorities, fight against racism and discrimination, abolition of the death penalty, advocacy of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and the right to water and sanitation, and the implementation and expansion of human rights education and training. Particular emphasis will be placed on conflict prevention through human rights fulfilment.

Slovenia will encourage women’s empowerment, also through strengthening the implementation of standards that ensure the full enjoyment by women of all human rights. It will continue to pay special attention to the protection of rights of the child and the elimination of all forms of violence against, and abuse of, children.

Slovenia will remain a firm supporter of the protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons. It will call for consolidation of the international legal framework for the protection of older persons’ rights, which would facilitate an adequate response to age discrimination, ensure the inclusion of older persons, and prevent violence against them.

In the context of the global refugee and migration crisis, Slovenia will strive for awareness raising through human rights education and training, with an emphasis on children and youth. It will seek to promote, at both the national and international levels, the implementation of good practices in human rights education and training.

3. Migration
Slovenia, too, has been affected by the pressure of mass migration, and therefore is aware of the importance of responding adequately to the world’s largest wave of migration since World War 2. It firmly believes that an effective and long-term solution to migration flows is only possible if adopted at the global level.

Slovenia is also an active participant in international discussions on migrants and refugees, and thus welcomes the UN General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants to be held on 19 September 2016 at UN Headquarters, which will adopt an outcome document. Slovenia is seeking to ensure that the text is balanced and its emphases include: the importance of eliminating the root causes of mass migration; the need to protect migrants; the importance of migration for development; and the need to assume global responsibility for effectively responding to, and managing, migration flows.

Slovenia will strive to ensure that at the international level, refugees and migrants are consistently treated in accordance with international legal commitments. Furthermore, it will participate in discussions, urging the international community to make greater efforts to successfully fight criminal organisations involved in smuggling, and trafficking in, human beings, with special attention to the most vulnerable groups, i.e. children, women and the elderly.

4. Preventive diplomacy
Slovenia has traditionally supported efforts to intensify conflict prevention and peaceful conflict resolution, as well as to strengthen UN mediation activities and further encourage the use of mediation and capacity building at the national, regional and international levels. It will continue to promote mediation, which forms part of a wider range of means of conflict prevention and resolution and attaining lasting peace.

Slovenia will encourage intercultural dialogue as an important contribution to overcoming polarisation and stereotypes and as promotion of values and principles bringing people closer together.

Slovenia will remain an active supporter of putting the Responsibility to Protect into practice, notably in the context of preventing mass atrocities, i.e. genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. It will actively promote awareness raising of the risks and circumstances indicative of developments that could escalate into atrocities, thus strengthening deterrent mechanisms which could prevent the most serious human rights violations.

5. The rule of law and strengthening the international legal system
Slovenia will call for respect for the rule of law, including international criminal justice and transitional justice, at both the national and international levels.

Slovenia remains firmly supportive of efforts to end impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes, and the work of the International Criminal Court and other international tribunals, and will promote the universal acceptance of the International Criminal Court. It will also advocate enhanced and wider cooperation between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations, particularly the UN Security Council, as UN support could significantly improve the International Criminal Court’s efficiency.

Slovenia will continue to promote the effective implementation of the principle of complementarity through various initiatives, including the Mutual Legal Assistance initiative.

Slovenia also remains an advocate of the ratification and implementation of the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and will continue to promote the exercise of jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court over the crime of aggression.

6. International peace and security
Slovenia will call for the implementation of measures arising from the UN Secretary-General’s report reviewing peace operations, the resolution of the General Assembly and the Security Council on peacebuilding architecture, the resolution on the review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on the role of young men and women in peacebuilding. In this light, Slovenia will advocate for greater synergies among UN instruments on peace and security as well as on development and humanitarian assistance and human rights protection, in order to ensure greater success of our joint efforts to maintain global peace and security.

Slovenia will continue to support efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, notably nuclear weapons. Furthermore, it will remain firmly supportive of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and will join states that seek to reform the international disarmament machinery, notably with regard to nuclear disarmament. Particular attention will be given to a comprehensive review of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

In the field of conventional weapons, Slovenia will continue to actively support the promotion of the Arms Trade Treaty and the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention), also through the work of ITF – Enhancing Human Security. It will also call for wider support for the resolution on the Ottawa Convention.

Slovenia will actively promote the reform of the security sector as part of its comprehensive and sustainable support for peace and security throughout the crisis cycle, which also promotes strengthening of the rule of law, human rights, democracy, stability, and conflict prevention.

Slovenia will remain engaged in the international community’s operational activities aimed at establishing and maintaining international peace and security, both within the United Nations and other relevant international organisations pursuing the principles of the UN Charter. Also, it will follow how responses to new security challenges (e.g. cyber security and hybrid threats) are developing.

7. The fight against terrorism
Slovenia will support enhanced efforts and cooperation for a global response to terrorism, as well as violent extremism and radicalisation that incite terrorism, while fully respecting international law, including human rights. It will draw attention to the importance of prevention, while calling for the full implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted 10 years ago. When addressing the circumstances and underlying causes of such threats, Slovenia will raise awareness of the specific vulnerability of youth and the need for good educational opportunities and social and economic inclusion. It will also promote women’s participation in the fight against terrorism in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2242, and advocate responding to such challenges at the regional level to avoid duplication, to ensure coordination and to increase effectiveness.