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Government adopts the principles of Estonia’s UN Security Council membership

19. December 2019 - 15:24

At a cabinet meeting today 19 December, the government adopted the platform and principles for Estonia’s membership in the UN Security Council in 2020-2021, presented by Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

According to Foreign Minister Reinsalu, the next two years will offer Estonia a chance to have a say in managing security crises and raise Estonia’s profile considerably. “The UN Security Council is the centre for the global crisis diplomacy and it is essential for alleviating human suffering in the world, as well as for maintaining relations between states that are based on international law. During this complicated time in world politics, it is particularly important to sit at such an important table,” the foreign minister explained.

For Estonia, it is especially important to highlight aspects of international law and its development that are essentially connected to the birth of the Republic of Estonia, which is why will underscore the importance of the policy of non-recognition in particular.

“Estonia has the responsibility and opportunity to work towards making sure that state borders are not shifted, that human dignity is protected and commonly agreed norms apply also in cyberspace. We consider it crucial to amplify the voice of small states in the Security Council,” Reinsalu stressed.

Small states in particular would like to see an increased transparency in the work of the Security Council, more clarity in reporting, and more communication between the members of the Security Council and other states. Among other things, Estonia supports blocking or limiting veto rights in cases that concern genocide or other crimes against humanity. Estonia’s permanent representative to the UN Security Council will also be heading the Sudan and Iraq sanctions committees.

According to the foreign minister, the experiences gained at the Security Council would add to Estonia’s security. It will increase the competence of our diplomats and expand our foreign policy reach. The elected membership will also raise Estonia’s profile in the world.

The UN Security Council is tasked with protecting peace and security in the world. The Security Council has 15 members, with five permanent and 10 elected members. Estonia will begin its membership at the UN Security Council in January 2020 with four new members: Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Estonia is a member with these four countries until the end of 2021. Belgium, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and South Africa will continue as non-permanent members in 2020 alongside five permanent members, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. The next five non-permanent members for the 2021-2022 period will be elected in the 2020 vote.

Read more about Estonia’s membership in the UN Security Council:

Additional information:

Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
+372 637 7627 / +372 5194 7045

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