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SLOVENIA'S IMPORTANT PREVIOUS ACTIVITIES

Since its independence and establishing its own diplomacy, Slovenia has chaired two international organisations, the Council of the European Union, and was a UN Human Rights Council member.


Slovenia's chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

 

In 2005, Slovenia chaired the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Several important ministerial decisions ministerial decisions regarding the so-called OSCE human dimension were made during its chairmanship. The more important decisions were those on migration, tolerance and non-discrimination, combating trafficking in human beings, the prevention of violence against women, and human rights education.

 

During its OSCE Chairmanship, Slovenia launched a pilot project on human rights education entitled “Our Rights", which is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Slovenia held the Council Presidency in the first half of 2008. The Slovenian Presidency led the EU Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM) and coordinated the implementation of the extensive EU human rights policy agenda.

 

Slovenia carefully monitored the human rights situation in individual countries and consistently responded to major human rights violations (ICFSP statements during EU Council presidency). During Slovenia’s Presidency, the External Relations Council adopted three updated guidelines (death penalty, children in armed conflict, torture); an interim review of the implementation of the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders was drafted and the application of the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child began. In its conclusions of June 2008, the European Council called on Member States and the European Commission to ensure coordination and compliance of development and security policies and human rights policy in the enforcement of children's rights, especially children in armed conflicts. These conclusions were the first to be made by the European Council on this issue.


Presidency to the Council of Europe

 

Slovenia presided over the Council of Europe from May to November 2009. The thematic priorities of the Slovenian Presidency in the field of human rights were strengthening the rule of law and promoting pluralistic democracy, reform of the European Court of Human Rights, active policy of integration and protection of minorities, Roma, and Travellers, establishing democracy, rule of law, and human rights in South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, abolition of the death penalty in Belarus and, above all, the rights of the child.

 

Slovenia has also participated in the activities of the Council of Europe  by drafting of a number of documents concerning human rights, in particular the Convention on Access to Official Documents, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and Protocol no. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which relates to the general prohibition of discrimination, but the codification of international standards in the field of human rights and biomedicine is also important. In addition to “legislative” activities, Slovenia was also actively involved in practical activities for the application of adopted standards.


Slovenia's membership on the UN Human Rights Council between 2007 and 2010

 

Slovenia was a member of the UN Human Rights Council between 2007 and 2008. During its membership on the Council, Slovenia represented EU interests for over a year and greatly increased its visibility and influence as regards the protection and promotion of human rights. Slovenia's role on the Council also helped the country to strengthen values laid down in the Slovenian constitution.

 

After concluding its EU Council Presidency, Slovenia focused on and further enhanced its activities related to national priorities: children's rights, women's rights, and human rights education. Slovenia initiated a debate on the proposal of a new optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which would also provide for a complaints mechanism. In 2009, Slovenia was invited to take part in the Platform for Human Rights Education and Training, where it endeavoured that this form of education would become and independent human right. Slovenia also initiated a discussion on the establishment of a new UN mechanism for the equality of women and men in national legislations.