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United Nations Day

What is the future that we want? Are we on the right track to reach it? What must be done to overcome the differences?

On 24 October 2020, three quarters of a century ago, the UN Charter establishing the United Nations entered into force. The United Nations was formed in the months following the end of World War II as a joint effort of mankind to save future generations from the horrors of war.

In the decades of its ceaseless activity, the UN has promoted peaceful conflict resolution, decolonisation and freedom, established the norms for international development, and sought to eradicate poverty and disease. The Organization has helped alleviate dozens of conflicts, and its humanitarian actions have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and provided education to millions of children. The most resolute efforts have been made to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including the equal rights of women and men.

During this long period, the UN has also found itself facing a crisis of action and effective response to developments in the international community. This crisis is not yet over. As an active member of the international community, particularly as a member of the EU and NATO, Slovenia wishes and strives to overcome the crisis as soon as possible. Only a strong UN will be able to offer a framework to address future challenges in the manner provided for in the Charter.

The anniversary is being celebrated against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which surprised and engulfed the whole world, regardless of national borders, continents or races. It has presented us all with new challenges and new questions.

The leaders, among them Slovenian President Borut Pahor, adopted a special declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations on 21 September 2020, in which they pledged: “We will leave no one behind. We will protect our planet. We will promote peace and prevent conflicts. We will abide by international law and ensure justice. We will place women and girls at the centre. We will build trust. We will improve digital cooperation. We will upgrade the United Nations. We will ensure sustainable financing. We will boost partnerships. We will listen to and work with youth. We will be prepared.”

Joining the United Nations almost 30 years ago was the final act of the establishment of the then new state of Slovenia. The provisions on the importance of international law were included in the declaration of statesmen on the proposal of Slovenia.

What kind of future do we want to create, are we on the right track and what do we have to do to overcome the differences? These are the questions the UN is putting to us, too. In the UN75 survey, which is still ongoing, Slovenians informed the UN Secretary-General: “In 25 years from now, we would like to see more environmental protection, fewer conflicts and greater respect for human rights.” Slovenians think that climate change and environmental problems will be the two greatest challenges in our future. Unfortunately, more than 60% of us believe that in 2045, life will be worse than it is today.

Multilateralism and responsible action by UN Member States remain the most effective ways to tackle current global threats. Less multilateral cooperation will make it more difficult to address the problems and challenges facing all societies.