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Prime Minister Janez Janša: The EU and the UN have many common priorities

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, Mr Janez Janša, met this evening at Brdo pri Kranju with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, who is currently on a two-day visit to Slovenia at the Prime Minister's invitation.  After the meeting concluded, Mr Janša observed that it was indeed taking place at an appropriate time and expressed his conviction that the meeting would contribute to a more effective and timely response to common challenges in the future.

Prime Minister Janez Janša also said that he was delighted that the Secretary-General was paying a visit to Slovenia during Slovenia’s EU Council Presidency, since both the European Union and the United Nations share a number of priorities. In the Prime Minister’s words, the European Union is an important part of this organisation since it contributes almost 40 percent to the capacity of United Nations peacekeeping operations, while also providing contributions to a number of other priority activities of this international body.  The common priorities were indeed the main topic of the discussion between the Prime Minister and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

As stated by the Slovenian Prime Minister at the press conference after the meeting, climate change is one of such priorities, since the United Nations is the only existing framework within which the world can effectively tackle this challenge.  “The energy and climate package which the European Commission put forward two days ago is a tangible contribution of the European Union in the fight against climate change. This package contains solutions that the European Union will implement internally while offering certain of them to partners in the course of global dialogue, when we will discuss how to address this challenge in the post-Kyoto period,” said the Prime Minister.

Among the priorities shared by both organisations, Mr Janša underlined intercultural dialogue, where a number of activities are already under way, and the challenges in the Western Balkan region – especially the issue of the future status of Kosovo. “In addition to principled solutions, which still need to be fully defined, there are also a number of other specific concerns linked to deploying a European Security and Defence Policy mission in Kosovo. There is also a question of transferring certain competences, and in particular, it is in our common interest to ensure peace, security and a stable future for all inhabitants of Kosovo and the broader Western Balkan region,” explained the Prime Minister.

Furthermore, Mr Janša and Mr Ban discussed several peacekeeping operations in which the European Union is participating and in connection with which certain decisions are to be adopted in the coming weeks, especially in regard to the situation in Sudan and Chad.



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Date: 01.02.2008