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Andrej Stopar on the backstage at the UN: We convinced countries where they don’t even know us



New episode of Ob Osmih

With the election of Slovenia to the Security Council, the countries expressed hope for a middle way between two poles, says our American correspondent Andrej Stopar.

The election with 153 votes of support is a remarkable result, as it is 80% support in a world that is very divided,” was the assessment of our correspondent from the United States for the show Ob osmih on the First Program of Radio Slovenia Andrej Stopar, who followed the Slovenian campaign in detail before yesterday’s elections in the Palace of the United Nations. As he points out, our campaign was very short, it also convinced countries where we are not even known, on continents where we do not have diplomatic missions. “Obviously, Slovenia knew how to appeal to these countries, because even those who are usually not in favor of the West, but have deeper-rooted contacts with the other pole, voted for it. We will see how we react under certain pressures and where they will press. But here we can clearly see that the countries were clearly expressing some kind of hope. They chose a not too defined member who emphasized her middle path.

Matej Hrastar spoke with Andrej Stopar about the behind-the-scenes events at the Palace of the United Nations in this episode of Ob Osmih.

Despite the cautious optimism that was mentioned in our delegation, especially Minister Tanja Fajon, a lot of caution, even doubts, could be detected before the vote. After all the talks, did you expect such a smooth victory in the first round?I had a pretty good feeling, I must say. Diplomats are always very careful, and if the voting is secret and takes place in the General Assembly, where there are so many very different members with different interests, it is of course difficult to predict the outcome. Because those who are familiar with the work at the UN know that diplomats there love to make promises, and that to all sides. But when you talk “off the record” with people, they were significantly more optimistic than they were willing to publicly admit.

And in the end, the result was at the upper pole of what they probably expected.No, this is an outstanding result. That’s 80% support at a time when the world is very divided, when there is so much mistrust. And something else is very interesting. Our campaign was extremely short compared to the usual ones that last 10 years or longer, and it also convinced countries where they don’t really know us at all and we actually had to convince them of who we are, what we are and what we want.

As the result was celebrated, everyone seemed to be a little relieved. We also saw tears, like at some sporting event. At the end, did you ask what the feelings were?I admit, I did, of course I asked them, because it must be understood that this was a short and extremely intense campaign: a lot of meetings, social events, trips and covered kilometers. People are tired, but they are well aware that the work is actually just getting started.

Photo: Twitter/Ministry of Foreign Affairs

80 percent of the votes were on the Slovenian side, 153, against 38 for Belarus. How much is this support for Slovenia and its work and how much for the West?I have to say that was my question as well. Of course, here we wonder how independent one small Slovenia can actually be in the Security Council, where so many different interests intersect, especially permanent members. Obviously, Slovenia knew how to appeal to these countries, because they also voted for it, which are usually not in favor of the West, or perhaps even have more deep-rooted relations with the other pole. We will see how we will now navigate between the different pressures. If the pressures are diffused, we will have even bigger problems, because then the left will not know what the right is doing. But here we can clearly see that the countries were clearly expressing some kind of hope. They chose a member who was not too defined, or a member who emphasized her neutrality, her own middle path.

The role of China, which did not support anyone, but also did not express opposition, is also interesting, especially considering that it is quite close to Russia.Yes, but this can be very well understood, because in the Security Council, perhaps more often a credible partner is necessary and not a partner that is defined in advance. China probably watched the Slovenian campaign very carefully, especially how it addressed African countries, where China has very strong interests. And when I observed how the situation at the Slovenian reception developed on Monday – that is, reading between the lines – the fact is that the reception was unusually well attended. I’m told about 50 guests usually come. More than 300 people came to the Slovenian reception, especially many from the African continent, including ambassadors, for whom it was clear that they would not vote for Slovenia in the first round. So Slovenia probably did a good job here.

If we completely turn the tables: many people will ask why a seat in the Security Council is important at all, if it is more of a consultative body, but on really important issues it is blocked by a veto and three countries hold the whole world hostage.Of course, it is also possible to look at it this way, but can anyone point to a more effective transnational organization today? I am also a critic of the world organization. I, too, am noticing an erosion of her influence. I say this all the time, but show me some forum where representatives of so many countries can meet and talk in a short time. We must be aware of what the world is capable of at this moment together with us. And the organization cannot be significantly better than humanity itself.

More in this episode at Eight o’clock. Subscribe to the podcast.

Source: Rtvslo

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