Round Table “153” on Slovenia’s path to the UN Security Council

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia

Slovenia’s election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council is a significant achievement in their foreign policy history. With its slogan “Building Trust – Protecting the Future”, Slovenia has successfully proven to 153 countries that it is and will remain a reliable partner. 

Cukrarna hosted a round table discussion entitled ‘153’, which stands for the number of states that supported Slovenia in the vote for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York for the 2024–2025 term. The panellists agreed that this is an important foreign policy project where Slovenia must now show responsibility towards its partners.

The round table discussion about this achievement had several speakers, including Tanja Fajon, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Prof. Danilo Türk, former President of the Republic of Slovenia, the first Slovenian Ambassador to the UN in New York and the Slovenian representative to the Security Council, Prof. Ana Bojinović Fenko, Lecturer in International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Ljubljana, Matej Marn, Head of the UN Security Council Task Force at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and Arina Šmidt, Youth Delegate to the UN. 

Minister Tanja Fajon emphasised that Slovenia’s candidacy for the UN Security Council was an essential foreign policy and a nationwide project.

“Through a non-aggressive and respectful campaign coupled with personal contacts and presence in parts of the world where we had not been so visible in the past, we have managed to convince countries that Slovenia is a trustworthy country,” said Fajon.

“Right after Slovenia became an observer state on the Security Council at the beginning of October, major challenges began. In recent days, I have been constantly in touch with our partners and the Permanent Mission in New York because of the situation in Israel,” she added.

“I am aware of the weight of our words and the responsibility we have towards our partners around the world. Slovenia will have to be confident and consistent even in difficult times and stand up for what we believe is right. I hope our country will live up to the expectations of all those who gave us their support,” Minister Fajon stressed.

During an online meeting, Ambassador Samuel Žbogar, Slovenia’s representative on the Security Council, provided an overview of the work of the Permanent Representation, which is divided into five thematic areas to address critical challenges. He emphasised that Slovenia intends to be an active member of the Security Council and the international community rather than a silent observer.

Prof. Danilo Türk, the first Slovenian Ambassador to the UN and former President of Slovenia, emphasised that the world is changing, and as a member of the Security Council, Slovenia needs to contribute substantially to the debates. He believes that the Security Council allows for constant contacts with other Member States, and it’s time to demonstrate this quality in practice.

Matej Marn, the Head of the UN Security Council Task Force, revealed that Slovenia’s senior representatives had met with almost all countries. The common denominator of all the talks was climate change. Slovenia tried to find common ground with all countries, focusing on areas such as women’s empowerment, the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, mine action, protection of civilians, and conflict prevention.

Prof. Ana Bojinović Fenko expressed her satisfaction that Slovenia positioned itself among the small countries that feel responsible for contributing to the international community. 

Arina Šmidt, Youth Delegate to the UN, highlighted the role of young people in achieving peace and security. She believes that young people are a vital part of communities and are usually the first affected by conflict, which prevents them from normal development and limits their access to education and healthcare.

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