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22 May - Slovenian Diplomacy Day

22 May has been designated Slovenian Diplomacy Day to mark the day in 1992 when the young independent state, the Republic of Slovenia, joined the great family of nations of the United Nations Organization. It should be noted that Slovenian diplomacy is much older than the diplomacy of the sovereign state of Slovenia, as many Slovenians have engaged in diplomacy with distinction since the 16th century. Despite demographic limitations, Slovenians were no rarity in the diplomatic and consular service of the multinational states of which Slovenia was part until 1991. It should not be forgotten that, on the dissolution of Yugoslavia, most Slovenian diplomats in Belgrade not only supported the aspirations of the Slovenian political leadership to independence, but also engaged actively in the fight for international recognition and used their knowledge to serve Slovenia's national political efforts. This was a test of the maturity of a nation, which is capable of learning from experience and seizing the right moment in history.

This year's Slovenian Diplomacy Day is a special opportunity to remember two Slovenians who served in Yugoslav diplomacy in the pre-war period, and to present to the public Mr Ciril Kotnik and Mr France Punčuh, who earned this honour with their activities during the Second World War. They understood their diplomatic mission in this dark period in the history of the world as a possibility to preserve humanism and a principled stand and an opportunity to show personal courage by saving the lives of others, also at the cost of their own.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a leaflet to mark the occasion of Slovenian Diplomacy Day.