Foreign Minister Dr Miro Cerar attends regular meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels
The meeting of foreign ministers is focused on the preparations for the formal summit of NATO heads of state and government, to be held in London on 3–4 December 2019, marking the Alliance’s 70th anniversary. The ministers have already drafted the framework programme for the summit.
The working meeting focused on debates on fair burden-sharing among the Allies and NATO’s current challenges, including the fight against terrorism, hybrid threats and energy security. The ministers decided to declare space an operational domain, and went on to approve NATO policy on preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse.
Minister Cerar underlined that only a united Alliance can effectively rise to the challenges of an increasingly complex international environment. Such an Alliance must be based on the transatlantic connection, which, together with solidarity between the Allies, is at the core of adequate and lasting solutions, he stated.
As to the challenges posed by the dynamic environment in NATO's south, Minister Cerar stressed the importance of cooperating with NATO partner countries and its strategic partner the EU as the only way to effectively resolve issues in this part of the world. In this context, he advocated for NATO’s continued active role in the efforts undertaken by the international community to fight Daesh.
He also noted the importance of Euro-Atlantic structures for the prospects for the Western Balkans. The upcoming full membership of North Macedonia is the last in a series of NATO’s open-door policy achievements. Minister Cerar went on to convey Slovenia’s assessment that such efforts should be accompanied with a credible EU perspective for the entire region, consolidating its long-term stability.
The Minister welcomed the adoption of NATO policy on preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse, reflecting NATO’s zero-tolerance approach and upgrading its high standards on preventing sexual abuse.
As part of the meeting, Minister Cerar also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov. Slovenia will continue supporting North Macedonia’s EU integration, as negotiations for full EU membership are essential to its future. At the same time, it is expected that North Macedonia will become NATO’s 30th member in early spring 2020.
Over a working dinner, ministers will exchange views on the future of Euro-Atlantic security, including effective arms control, new technologies that affect all social spheres and the increasingly important new players. Slovenia is actively advocating and contributing to the Alliance’s enhanced defence and deterrence posture, while at the same time supporting further dialogue with the Russian Federation. Slovenia remains committed to preserving effective control over arms, disarmament and non-proliferation. The international legal structure of such control has lately been put to the test, as it is essential to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region.