The emergence of a novel coronavirus, its rapid spread and subsequent declaration of a pandemic have posed a common challenge to the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both in internal and foreign service: Covid-19.
Even before the epidemic was declared, the Ministry had set up a Consular Crisis Management Unit staffed by diplomats and employees from the Ministry's various departments and services, with the main mission to communicate the message: "We are here for you and we will help you." Day after day they have been receiving phone calls from Slovenian citizens who – owing to a growing number of restrictions in air and road traffic – were stranded in various parts of the world. Through intensive efforts and contacts of the Ministry and the Slovenian diplomatic and consular network, evacuation flights and coach services have been arranged for 674 Slovenian and 136 foreign citizens. Together with those who managed to return independently relying on our advice and guidance, more than 2,000 Slovenian citizens have come home to date.
All this could not have been possible without the invaluable help of our diplomatic and consular staff, our diplomats and ambassadors all over the world. To facilitate communication, a special group was created on WhatsApp, in which our colleagues abroad exchange information. Mutual support and assistance, sacrifices and long working hours, often late into the night, all in the midst of a pandemic, have not remained unnoticed.
This successful work is the result of personal sacrifice, humanness, professional and hard work, solidarity and concern for fellow human beings of all those employed in Slovenian diplomacy.
There can be no doubt that we are living in one of the most intense and demanding periods in Slovenian diplomacy.
A warm thank you to my colleagues at home and abroad. Without you all we could not have managed. #stayhealthy