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Speech given by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, at the 38th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Ženeva, 20. 6. 2018 | press release, speech

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on a working visit to Geneva, where he was the main speaker today at the 38th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council. Slovenia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council in the 2016–2018 period, and this year it holds the prominent and responsible position of presiding state.

Speeches given by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor (spoken word applies!):

"Mr President,
High Commissioner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honor to address the Human Rights Council. I am also very pleased to see Slovenian Ambassador Vojislav Šuc presiding over its work.

I would first like to affirm Slovenia’s strong commitment to multilateralism the central pillar of which is the UN. The existing multilateral structure is vital to maintaining peace and security, achieving progress, and ensuring respect for human rights.

Let me say Mr. President that in this context I also see the decision of the USA to resign its membership in the Human Rights Council. It is a bad news. The US has been for a long time strongly engaged in protection of human rights throughout the world. I hope it will remain so.

We can successfully promote and protect human rights which are universal problem, if we work together. We should together endeavor to improve the work of this Human Rights Council which is among the most important bodies for protection of human rights. If it is believed that there should be reforms of its work we should most seriously and keeping in mind its function – promotion and protection of human rights – try by dialogue and working together to introduce the necessary reforms.

We need to work together in good faith for respect of human dignity throughout the world. In this noble endeavor the Human Rights Council without the USA will be weaker but also endeavors of the USA in protecting and promoting human rights throughout the world will be weaker as well. So, let us endeavor to find ways to work together for human rights.

Mr. President,

My country has been active in the Human Rights Council since it was established in 2006. As a current member, Slovenia remains fully committed to the Council’s work and objectives, and we are determined to continue our commitment through cooperation with all UN Member States and the UN system.

Over the last decade, this Council endeavored to make progress in promoting and protecting human rights around the globe. The Council and its mechanisms constitute a strong and well-functioning institution, but there is still room for improvement.

I would like to stress that each member of this distinguished Council, including Slovenia, should always fulfil its human rights obligations and uphold the highest human rights standards, also through unyielding support for, and full implementation of, international law and the decisions of international courts and tribunals. The rule of law for everyone is the core of human rights protection.

Mr President,

Slovenia looks forward to contribute further to the Council’s work in a positive and constructive manner. It remains fully committed to the respect and promotion of human rights at home and worldwide.

Thank you."