Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets was in New York yesterday 9 November to attend a high-level open debate at the UN Security Council on the root causes of armed conflicts, which concentrated on social, political and economic exclusion, inequality and poverty as causes of armed conflict. It was a special event of the Mexican Presidency and was chaired by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“Conflict prevention must be the primary task of us all and human rights must be at the centre of our response to any conflict and conflict prevention,” Liimets said at the Council. “Consciously and continuously working towards achieving women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes and building post-conflict societies is of key importance.”
Foreign Minister Liimets also raised recent events on the border of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania. “Bringing thousands of migrants to the border is a clear hybrid attack on neighbours and the entire European Union, and an attempt to divert attention from widespread human rights violations in Belarus. Instrumentalising innocent people, including women and children, as a political lever is unacceptable. The actions of Belarusian authorities aimed at escalating tensions have become a threat to international peace and security,” the foreign minister emphasised.
Liimets also had several bilateral meetings. Her meeting with Marcelo Ebrard, the Foreign Minister of Mexico, covered topical issues of the Council and solutions to protracted crises, such as in Syria. Estonia and Mexico share many priorities at the Council, including the rule of law, humanitarian aid and the impact of cyber threats on international security. They also talked about bilateral relations and the cooperation agreement of the European Union and Mexico.
At her meeting with the new Executive Director of UN Women Sima Sami Bahous, both her and Liimets noted good bilateral cooperation and discussed the state of women’s rights in the world, including in Afghanistan. “Women's rights, including cooperation with UN Women, are a very important dimension in Estonia’s foreign policy,” Liimets said. “Implementing the principles of the resolution on women, peace and security is among our priority issues at the Security Council. We also consider it crucial to support the access of women and girls to internet and digital services, which is not equal to men in many parts of the world today.”
The meeting with Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the UN, covered the potential visit of Secretary-General Guterres to the Baltic States. The foreign minister also recognised the secretary-general and his team for the recently published ambitious report on their vision for the future, and affirmed Estonia’s support for the document. The minister also presented Estonia’s initiative to establish the Data for the Environment Alliance (DEAL) and thanked the UN for its support so far.
The meeting with Ramesh Rajasingham, Acting Assistant Secretary-General of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), focused on developments in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and eastern Ukraine. Liimets reaffirmed Estonia’s support for OCHA as one of the most important strategic partners in humanitarian assistance.
Estonia’s national statement in full
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia