Estonian delegation, led by a Member of Estonian Parliament and Member of the President’s Advisory Council Mr. Mart Nutt, started this week a tour of Eastern Caribbean countries. The visit will take the delegation to Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis. The aim of the visit is to introduce to the interlocutors the main messages of Estonia’s United Nations Security Council campaign and seek their support to Estonia’s candidacy, with the elections to the Council taking place in New York in June 2019.
Additionally, the visit is used for introducing Estonia more broadly and seeking ways to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation. Eastern Caribbean states, like the majority of the world’s small island states, are particularly worried about the consequences of climate change, the effects of which they are acutely feeling on their everyday lives and environment. A vivid example of that were the hurricanes of last autumn, which particularly fiercely struck Barbuda and Dominica and caused massive economic and social damages.
In St. John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Nutt met with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration H. E. Anthony Liverpool, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office Ambassador Lionel Hurst and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister Ambassador Colin Murdoch. Additional talks were held with the Minister of Information, Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information Technology Honourable Melford Nicholas. The hosts thanked Estonia for its contribution to the liquidation of hurricane damages. Every contribution, be it smaller or bigger, is important. What matters most is solidarity demonstrated through those donations.
Additionally, the interlocutors expressed hope that the activities of Estonian e-Governance Academy in the region as well as its cooperation with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union will continue, in particular in improving the resilience of the e-government system. E-Governance Academy and Estonian Information System Authority have been active in the Caribbean region already since 2013, which provides a solid platform for deepening cooperation. Antigua and Barbuda delegation is looking at an opportunity to visit Estonia this summer and participate in the Annual Tallinn e-Governance Conference.
In the United Nations Estonia’s cooperation with Antigua and Barbuda has been taking place mostly in the framework of the Forum of Small States (FOSS). Whenever possible, the countries have supported each other’s candidatures. At the meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the need for small states’ solidarity on global scale was stressed, because this is the only way for the small states to make themselves and their positions heard. The legitimacy and efficiency of the UN Security Council would be improved by the inclusion of small states in its composition.
Mart Nutt is accompanied during the visit by Ambassador Margus Kolga and diplomat Mari Tomingas from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The next destination of the delegation is Castries, the capital of St. Lucia.