On 1 January, Estonia started its membership of the UN Security Council.
Estonia is an elected member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2010 period. On 1 January, the event was marked by the country’s president, Kersti Kaljulaid, hoisting the flag of the United Nations in front of the president’s office in Tallinn. On 2 January, the Estonian flag was raised in front of the UN Security Council hall in New York City.
“Estonia will be at the world’s hardest diplomatic negotiating table for the next two years. This makes Estonia indisputably larger than our population, area or GDP naturally allows,” president Kaljulaid said after hoisting the UN flag.
“We are an equal country in a complex and fragile international family. But it comes with an obligation and responsibility to understand and to speak up on difficult issues that at first sight do not seem to concern us directly. We will help stand for a value-based and international law-based world order, without which we and many other countries and nations would have no place in the world.”
According to the Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, the UN Security Council membership serves Estonia’s national interests and allows the country to contribute to solving the world’s conflicts with diplomatic means.
Taking over the council’s presidency in May
“For the next two years, we will be at the centre of world politics. Estonia must help manage conflicts that have erupted both within as well as between countries,” Reinsalu said.
The role of the UN Security Council is to stand for peace and security in the world. The Security Council consists of 15 countries, of which the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China are permanent members.
Together with Estonia, four new elected members – Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – will start, while Belgium, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and South Africa will continue their membership.
Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Sven Jürgenson, will head the Sudan and Iraq sanctions committees. Estonia takes over the UN Security Council presidency in May, when it is its task to organise sessions and administration.
Cover: On 2 January, the Estonian flag was raised in front of the UN Security Council hall in New York City. Photo courtesy of the Estonian foreign ministry.