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Minister Fajon: “We would like to promote closer cooperation with countries of the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia”

Minister Tanja Fajon attended the EU-Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum and the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brussels. In her remarks, she underlined Slovenia's commitment to strengthening EU cooperation with Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asian countries, given their great economic and geostrategic importance.

"We would like to strengthen our strategic partnership. We are natural allies who share the universal values of international law and the UN Charter. Global instability presents us with great challenges. Solidarity is our strength, as is dialogue, respect for human rights, the protection of civilians, children and women, and conflict prevention. We are very happy to share our expertise with partners and allies and in the UN Security Council, especially regarding cross-border cooperation on water resources and water management," said Minister Fajon on the sidelines of the Ministerial Forum.

She also participated in a panel discussion on accelerating the green transition and combating climate change, which is a particular threat to Pacific Island and Least Developed Countries. "The green transition is urgently needed in the face of accelerating climate change and extreme weather events. 2023 was the hottest year on record, and Slovenia is one of the countries where temperatures are rising fastest. In September 2023, temperatures were nine degrees Celsius above average, and in August we faced the worst floods in our country's history. Many other countries are experiencing similar or worse conditions." She added that the green transition is also an opportunity to accelerate technological development and strengthen international cooperation, and went on to outline Slovenia's efforts to combat climate change, including through its membership of the UN Security Council.

"Slovenia is working to strengthen its partnership with ASEAN countries, as demonstrated by its increased diplomatic presence in the region, most recently with the opening of a Consulate General in Manila, which will also be Slovenia's first representation in ASEAN countries," said Minister Fajon at the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in the afternoon.

The Meeting adopted a joint ministerial statement on strengthening the strategic partnership in a number of areas, including trade, connectivity, maritime security, commitment to international law, as well as on the alarming situation in the Middle East and the impact of the war in Ukraine on international peace and security.

On the margins of the Meeting, the Minister held a series of bilateral meetings. She met with the foreign ministers of Fiji, the Philippines, Indonesia, Yemen, Malaysia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and with the Secretary-General of ASEAN to discuss bilateral relations and current issues on the UN Security Council agenda, in particular the alarming situation in Gaza.