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Minister Cerar on importance of G20 cooperation with small and medium-sized countries forming majority of UN members

Foreign Minister Cerar is in New York attending the UN General Assembly session and various side events. During last night’s meeting organised by the EU, he held conversations with European Council President-designate Charles Michel, Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans and Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Discussing the continuation of political dialogue with the new Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, they agreed to hold a bilateral meeting as soon as possible.

A staunch advocate of media freedom as a pillar of democracy, Slovenia has joined the new Media Freedom Coalition, launched at the initiative of the UK and Canada at July’s global conference in London. On the sidelines of the UNGA session, the Foreign Minister attended the event Defend Media Freedom, where UNESCO's Director-General Audrey Azoulay spoke about cases of persecution and assassination of journalists and the importance of the protection of journalist activity. She was joined by the lawyer Amal Clooney, who chairs a legal panel offering professional assistance to persecuted journalists around the world.

On Wednesday morning, Minister Cerar participated in a meeting of the Global Governance Group (3G), an informal group of smaller and medium-sized countries that was formed at the initiative of Singapore to counterbalance discussions within the G20. Its 30 members, Slovenia among them, wish for greater transparency of agreements on issues that concern small and medium-sized countries and for closer links with the G20 and the UN’s general membership.

“The voice of these countries, which represent the majority of the international community, must be heard. Close cooperation between 3G and G20 countries is a win-win relationship, particularly when addressing issues such as the common fight to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Minister Cerar, welcoming the G20 pledges to reduce discharges of plastics polluting the oceans.

On this occasion, the Minister discussed opportunities for cooperation with Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Sultan Al Olama of the United Arab Emirates, because artificial intelligence will be one of Slovenia’s key priorities for its EU Council presidency in the second half of 2021. Minister Cerar is planning a visit to the UAE later this year, coinciding with the official opening of the Slovenian embassy.