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Estonia initiated a discussion on the events in Belarus at the UN Security Council

18. August 2020 - 21:54

Today 18 August, Estonia and the United States initiated a discussion at the UN Security Council on the situation in Belarus and its potential impact on peace and security in Europe.

Representing Estonia, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu expressed deep concern over the excessive use of force by the authorities of Belarus in response to the peaceful demonstrations triggered by fraudulent elections.
                                            
According to Reinsalu, now is the time to raise the issue at the Security Council. “The UN Security Council has a key responsibility in the prevention of violent conflict. Therefore, early warning and awareness raising is our job,” Foreign Minister Reinsalu emphasised.

The Security Council has previously drawn attention to the fact that severe human rights violations are an early indicator of conflict with international implications. “Maintaining peace depends on how states treat their own citizens. The unfolding tragedy in Belarus is proof of that,” the foreign minister said.

“The election results were falsified; international independent observers were not present. We have seen what happens in many parts of the world where free and fair elections fail and where legitimate grievances of people are not met,” Reinsalu said.

According to the foreign minister, today’s meeting sends a signal that we are closely following the events in Belarus and are making sure the Secretary-General receives the necessary support for using his preventive diplomacy toolbox where necessary. Any outside interference threatens the peace and security of Belarus and that of the wider region.

The foreign minister proposed for the UN Resident Coordinator to update the Council on events in Belarus if the developments so require. “Estonia will continue to closely monitor the events in Belarus and, if necessary, will keep the UN Security Council focused on them in various and appropriate ways,” Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said, stressing Estonia’s commitment to raising issued related to the security of Europe at the UN Security Council.

In a statement made this afternoon, the government of Estonia expressed support for the will of the people of Belarus for change, and stating that Alexander Lukashenko had lost his presidential mandate due to a widespread falsification of election results. Tomorrow, heads of state and government of the European Union will discuss the situation in Belarus at a special video meeting of the European Council convened by the President of the European Council Charles Michel.

Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmQ6CQzx

Estonia's statement in full: https://un.mfa.ee/statement-by-estonian-minister-of-foreign-affairs-at-u...

Additional information:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
press@mfa.ee

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