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President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor delivers a speech in the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, 26. 9. 2013 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today delivered a speech on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia at the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Before the speech, he also gave a lecture at Columbia University, during which he discussed the future of Europe with students and professors.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today delivered a speech on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia at the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Photo: STA

At the lecture, the Slovenian President presented his view on the future of Europe. In his opinion, this issue might or even must soon become one of the main issues for the global community to address. "This issue is not only an academic one, and it is not an abstract one: it is currently highly relevant and of strategic importance. It is a challenge that should be addressed now; the consequences of delays will be difficult to remedy," he said.

President Pahor explained to the students that he advocates a new, legal and political move towards a comprehensive enhancement of the European Union. And this must be now, in the current situation in Europe and in the world, not despite of it but indeed because of it. "The right moment for this initiative will probably be the period after the European elections next year. And the Convention on the Future of Europe might be the appropriate framework. I believe that by the time of its successful completion, the right moment will come to decide on the results of its work. In short on a new European Constitution."

The Slovenian President said that the global economic crisis had shown that the Treaty of Lisbon could no longer satisfy our common needs for tomorrow. In this context he added that "if we hold onto the Treaty of Lisbon, it will not be enough… It is not only that the global financial crisis is the reason for considering a major reinforcement of institutional capacity in the European Union and the elimination of its democratic deficit. You cannot have one central bank and 17 or 18 fiscal policies," the President stressed.

In the framework of the World Leaders’ Lecture Forum at Columbia University, lectures were also given by former US President Bill Clinton, former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Dalai Lama.

In his speech during the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of Slovenia devoted considerable attention to the need for further integration of Europe and the European Perspective of the Western Balkan countries and stated that Slovenia also shows its commitment to the European Perspective of the Western Balkans through the Brdo Process initiative, the purpose of which is to enhance political dialogue, exchange opinions and resolve all kinds of open issues between the countries in the region.

In respect of the vision and the future of Europe, President Pahor emphasised that it is important to effectively resolve the economic, social and political challenges which Europe and other countries worldwide are currently faced with. According to the President, Europe, which is confronted with increasingly deeper social distinctions, also needs an active labour market policy and support in the creation of new jobs, but at the same time it should further strengthen its competitiveness.

The Slovenian President concluded his visit to New York by meeting the President of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, John W. Ashe. He congratulated Mr Ashe on his appointment and wished him every success in his Presidency.