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State Secretary Simona Leskovar expresses Slovenia’s support for Ukraine’s reform efforts

State Secretary Simona Leskovar participated in a ministerial meeting of the Ukraine Reform Conference, hosted by the Canadian and Ukrainian governments. She commended the progress achieved by Ukraine and called for further efforts in implementing necessary reforms, desired and indeed demanded by the Ukrainian people, and assured Slovenia’s support to this end.

The third Ukraine Reform Conference is hosted by Global Affairs Canada. Besides the participants from Kyiv, high representatives of EU and NATO Member States and delegations from other countries, representatives of the international community and international organisations are also present. The ministerial meeting is aimed at reviewing progress achieved in the implementation of reforms and identifying challenges that still lie ahead.

In her address, State Secretary Leskovar complimented new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his commitment to continue reform efforts. She praised achievements in several fields, accomplished despite the demanding security situation in the country, which is burdened by conflicts in the east and the illegal annexation of Crimea. She called for further efforts in strengthening the rule of law, justice, combating corruption and establishing a stable business environment. Women, civil society and independent media play an extremely important role in this process, she noted. “Slovenia will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts in the implementation of reforms, share its own experience and provide humanitarian aid, i.e. medical and psychosocial care, for victims of the various security challenges in the country,” said State Secretary Leskovar, adding that Slovenia is willing to cooperate on demining through ITF Enhancing Human Security when conditions allow.

The participants of the conference were addressed by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

The next Ukraine Reform Conference will be hosted by Lithuania in 2020.

During her visit to Toronto, State Secretary Leskovar met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marta Morgan for bilateral consultations. They agreed on Slovenia’s and Canada’s status as NATO allies and partner states in numerous international organisations, sharing common values such as respect for human rights, the rule of law and a global community based on international rules. State Secretary Leskovar emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation and transatlantic partnership, advocating an enhanced political dialogue including an exchange of visits at the highest level. She thanked Canada for its support for ITF Enhancing Human Security operations and called for Canada's continued commitment to demining.

On the sidelines of the conference, State Secretary Leskovar also met former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy, the initiator of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Mr Axworthy acknowledged Slovenia’s activities in international disarmament efforts and advocated ever closer cooperation between Canada and Slovenia in demining and providing assistance to mine victims.

At the invitation of Prof. Richard M. Sommer, Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, State Secretary Leskovar viewed an exhibition of Jože Plečnik’s architecture as captured by Canadian photographer Geoffrey James, currently on display at the Faculty.

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