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Slovenian Statement at the 27th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council


Statement by
H.E. Dr Stanislav Raščan,
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia,
at the 27th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council

Madame Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me express my personal joy to be back at the OSCE work this time as Deputy Foreign Minister.

I never left OSCE from the Chairmanship in Office in 2005 and worked often with the Organisation in different capacities.

The OSCE and its Participating States had ambitious objectives set for 2020. We were all committed to work tirelessly, to attain a wide range of goals and to make full use of our platform for dialogue.

Instead, we are experiencing a COVID-19 pandemic of overwhelming proportions, re-emergence of conflicts, human rights violations, and acts of terrorism.

Terrorist attacks remain a threat to our societies. The despicable recent acts of terrorism in Austria and France and other cities are a sore reminder of the ongoing radicalization in our societies. I wish, once more, to extend our sympathy to the victims.

There is a close link between terrorism and organised crime. The OSCE activities aimed at curbing the spread of small arms and light weapons importantly contribute to the global fight against terrorism. Slovenia strongly supports all efforts in this regard and calls for the adoption of all related decisions.

The OSCE is not the main international organisation responsible for tackling the pandemic, but it can play a crucial role in addressing its negative consequences through its comprehensive approach to security.

This includes a range of measures, from providing armed forces assistance to civilian authorities to fighting corruption by promoting digital transparency.
When responding to the COVID-19 crisis, we should all bear in mind the need for continuous respect for universal human rights and the OSCE Human Dimension commitments.

The pandemic is a multiplier of risk factors that endanger democracy.  We have to make use of the existing OSCE tools, such as the Moscow Mechanism.

Hopefully, the Government of Belarus will see the benefits of the report presented in November, and engage in an open dialogue with the opposition and the international community. Slovenia will continue to support the Belarusian civil society, including financially through the European Endowment for Democracy Fund.

The vision of a new, non-divided Europe from three decades ago was also a vision of security and stability. Today, the pillars of the established conventional arms control architecture are eroding due to a lack of trust.

We have to reach a common understanding and resolve conflicts peacefully. We have to cooperate constructively in order for the OSCE to be effective in addressing the present and future challenges.

Slovenia fully supports the endeavours of the Normandy format, the OSCE, the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. We also support the efforts to resume substantive negotiations to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. 

At the same time, we should not forget that security risks related to climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly recognised as emerging challenges. They need to be taken into account when devising preventive, peace-making or peace-building actions.

Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Slovenia's gaining independence and becoming a sovereign state was one of the "outcomes" of the Paris Charter, 30 years ago. As a staunch supporter of effective multilateralism, the OSCE was the first international organisation that Slovenia joined. Ever since, we have been fully committed to its work. 

This year, we have nominated an excellent candidate for the position of Representative for Freedom of Media to help resolve the leadership challenges of the Organisation.

We were constructive in reaching a consensus on all TOP 4 positions. We welcome the political will, summoned among the 57 states, to empower the new Secretary-General and the Heads of autonomous OSCE institutions.

In this spirit, Madame Chair, let me commend Albania on skilfully steering the Organization in one of the most challenging years in recent history.

Let me also wish Sweden every success in taking over the Chairpersonship of the OSCE, and express our support to the announced chairpersonships of North Macedonia and Estonia.

You can count on Slovenia's full support and cooperation.

Thank you.