On the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Minister Fajon addresses the Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon addressed the Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York marking the first anniversary of the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Slovenia strongly supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and Member States working towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.
In her address, the Minister stressed that the United Nations was founded in 1945 “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The UN Charter reflects our collective vow to refrain from the use of armed force and to respect the territorial integrity and independence of all states. Aggression, violation of territorial integrity and illegal annexation of sovereign territories should have no place in the 21st century. Yet the principles enshrined in the UN Charter are being violated, and all those who hoped for a peaceful and just world almost eight decades ago would be deeply disappointed today. A year ago, the sovereign state of Ukraine was attacked by its neighbour, the Russian Federation. Sadly, despite wide international condemnation and calls for immediate withdrawal, the war still continues, along with its devastating consequences, especially for the civilian population.”
In her address, the Minister commended the bravery and courage of the Ukrainian people and expressed support for them. “Slovenia knows from its own historical experience what it means to fight for your land. We know what is at stake when someone uses force to deny you independence and sovereignty. While we, Slovenians, are deeply concerned about the wider security, political and economic consequences of the Russian aggression, we also remain committed to assisting Ukraine and its people. We stand in solidarity with the women, men and children whose lives have been changed forever by this unjustified war. We are deeply concerned about the increasing number of civilian casualties and the horrifying testimonies of sexual and gender-based violence used as a weapon of war. Especially heart-breaking are the accounts of children: millions are displaced, many of them at risk of human trafficking, exploitation, conflict-related sexual violence and forced deportation. They are deeply traumatised by the war and the violence. Their childhood is over forever.”
The Minister strongly condemned the Russian military's deliberate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure, the most serious crimes that must not go unpunished. “Slovenia supports all efforts to end impunity for the perpetrators of international law violations, especially the most serious ones. The principle of accountability must be upheld, as it is the only foundation for a future when war and its atrocities end. It is the only foundation for justice and reconciliation and the only foundation which enables the victims to move forward.”
Slovenia is committed to redoubling diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the existing situation and is committed to ending the conflict through dialogue, negotiation and other peaceful means. “International law, the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for the judgments of international tribunals as well as their strict implementation are the building blocks of a world that is peaceful, stable and prosperous,” the Minister added.
The Minister closed her speech by reiterating that any unprovoked invasion of any sovereign state is unacceptable. “Violations of the international legal order that we have worked so hard to build cannot and must not become our new normal. Slovenia therefore gives its strong support for today's resolution on the principles underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in line with the UN Charter,” the Minister concluded.
A video of Minister Fajon's address at the Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly in English is available here.