Minister Dr Cerar at the opening of the Bled Strategic Forum: “A warning bell for our planet is being sounded at Bled”
The annual Bled Strategic Forum kicked off today with opening addresses by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar as the host of the Forum. This leading international conference in the region is being held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Centre for European Perspective for the fourteenth consecutive year. Under the title (Re)sources of (In)stability, this year’s Forum has gathered many state dignitaries and representatives of international organisations, civil society and business, including President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, Spanish Foreign Minister and EU High Representative-designate Josep Borrell, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto, currently presiding over the Council of the EU, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and the foreign ministers of most Western Balkan countries.
Minister Cerar’s opening address was dedicated to the importance and urgency of sustainable development, this year’s main topic. The international community has adopted a series of comprehensive agreements to deal with climate change and ensure more equitable and efficient use of natural, energy and human resources; it is high time that these words be put into practice.
“If you find a moment to go to the island and ring the bell for luck, please do not forget that we create our common happiness only together, respectfully engaged. A warning bell for our planet is being sounded at Bled,” said Minister Cerar.
“We cannot discuss clean water without the right to it – and this is why Slovenia has enshrined this right in its constitution. Democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are the fundamentals of any serious discussion, including on climate change,” he pointed out, moving on to two other topics of the forum: the future and challenges lying ahead of the European Union, and the importance of its enlargement into the Western Balkans: “Being bold about the Balkans and its EU enlargement has always been a special feature at the Bled Strategic Forum. The region must deliver on the reforms and adopt European norms and values. However, when the region delivers, the EU should also be brave and daring enough to move forward.” In the Minister’s view, the Western Balkans is a region that the EU simply cannot afford to lose.
His address also touched on migration and the importance of protecting borders in accordance with international standards and Schengen rules, and went on to focus on the significance of common solutions to problems facing the world within international organisations. “Multilateralism is in danger,” cautioned the Minister, who will feature as a panellist at the afternoon panel Multilateralism at a Crossroads. For countries like Slovenia, multilateral cooperation and dealing jointly with global issues are essential.
On the sidelines of the Forum today, Minister Cerar held bilateral meetings with President of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés and Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov.