Estonia organizing intl discussion to mark 75 years since end of WWII

  • 2020-05-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on European soil, Estonia is organizing a high-level international meeting within the framework of its UN Security Council presidency.

"The world is currently facing one of the greatest crises in recent decades. It is all the more our duty to remember one of the most painful chapters in our common history, to remember all those who perished, and to make sure that we never forget the lessons of this tragedy," Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu was quoted by ministry spokespeople as saying.

According to the minister, at the invitation of Estonia, the countries will gather for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic under the auspices of the United Nations in such a large number and at such a high level. "Approximately 50 foreign ministers from around the world will come together virtually for a high-level discussion," he added.

The meeting is open to all UN member states.

More than half of the members of the Security Council are represented at a high level -- Germany, France, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Participation has been confirmed by foreign ministers from most European countries, including the Nordic and Baltic countries, Georgia and Ukraine, as well as representatives from further away, such as the foreign ministers of Kenya, Bolivia, Brazil and Madagascar.

The opening speeches will be made by the President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University Timothy Snyder.

According to Reinsalu, Estonia's own history has made us even more determined in maintaining common values and security in one of the most important decision-making bodies ensuring peace and security in the world.

"Unfortunately, the end of World War II did not bring peace and security to everyone, but many countries continued to suffer long after 1945. For Estonia, World War II did not end until 1994, when Russian troops left. Even today, there is no complete peace in Europe, aggression continues in Ukraine and Georgia. It is important that we discuss the lessons of the past, look honestly at current security threats and stand firm on international law in the future," Reinsalu added.