Govor predsednice republike na 78. zasedanju GS OZN

Govor predsednice republike na 78. zasedanju Generalne skupščine OZN

The most pressing challenges of our time cannot be solved by individual countries, it must be a collective effort

President of the Republic of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar is attending the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where she addressed the participants today. In her first address to this most important multilateral organisation she stressed the urgent need to reform the work of the UN, in particular the Security Council. She also drew attention to the issues of tackling climate change, the achievement of gender equality and the growing problem of disinformation in the age of artificial intelligence. Before the official start, the Slovenian President also met with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

New York, 19 Sept 2023


The world is changing rapidly, both demographically and technologically, but human dignity is still not guaranteed for all, said President Pirc Musar in her opening remarks, adding that "it is a world that needs the United Nations, with a reformed and representative Security Council that will be able to respond to all upcoming challenges effectively and in an adequate and fair manner."

"The most pressing challenges of our time cannot be solved by individual countries, regardless of their size and power.  We must all be involved, otherwise our children and grandchildren will be far more affected than the generation of leaders gathered here." With these words, the Slovenian President drew attention to the urgency of reforming the UN Security Council, which Slovenia and some other countries believe should ensure a fairer and more representative distribution of seats.

The President also took the opportunity to thank UN Member States for their support for Slovenia's election to this body, to which it was elected on 1 June this year and will officially begin its term as a non-permanent member on 1 January 2024. She said that Slovenia would assume this role with great honour, deep humility and a sense of shared responsibility.

In the view of the Slovenian President, climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. As an example she recalled the disastrous floods in Slovenia and stressed the need for global solidarity to tackle such a challenge.  To this end, Slovenia intends to increase its contribution to the Green Climate Fund by 50%.

President Pirc Musar also spoke about the pitfalls of the digital age, including the spread of disinformation and the disregard for human rights in the digital space.  She also stressed the need for responsible management of the development of new technology, including artificial intelligence, and called for the adoption of a global digital compact.

For some time now, Slovenian foreign policy has been unanimous in drawing attention to the importance of gender equality as one of the key sustainable development goals, ensuring the full and equal participation of women in leadership positions.

In concluding her speech, the President of Slovenia referred to the need for multilateralism, stressing that the new global compact must be based on solidarity, the protection of the environment and human dignity, and that all actors must contribute to solving common challenges.

Before the official start of today's session, President Pirc Musar met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and stressed that Slovenia's message to Ukraine was clear and firm: "We must remain united in the protection of international law. We stand firmly with Ukraine!"

Later in the day, the President will also attend a reception hosted by US President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr Jill Biden. She will also have a meeting with the US President.

The head of the Slovenian Delegation started her activities at the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly yesterday at the opening of the SDG Summit, where she also took on the role of co-chair at the 3rd Leaders' Dialogue themed: Game-changers: Applying science, technology, innovation and data for transformative action.

She also held bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Ghana and Kazakhstan and the President of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis.  President Pirc Musar also held informal talks with several other world leaders, including the President of Barbados, Mia Mottley, a strong advocate of sustainable action to combat climate change.

At the end of the day, the Slovenian President also attended a reception hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.  Slovenia and Germany are firm allies within the United Nations and continue their excellent bilateral cooperation in the economic and cultural fields. The latter will be particularly highlighted this year, as Slovenia will be the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which President Pirc Musar will also attend.