Estonian president to take part in UN General Assembly

  • 2022-09-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - After attending the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London on Monday, Estonian President Alar Karis flew to New York, where on Tuesday and Wednesday he will take part in events and meetings held as part of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

Late on Wednesday evening Estonian time, Karis will deliver his first address to the UN, in which he will focus on the UN's roles in resolving crises, making a stand against Russia's war of aggression, and supporting Ukraine, spokespeople for the Office of the President said.

"Estonia has always championed a world order based on international law and where the same rules apply to everyone," the president said in remarks released through spokespeople.

"Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is breaching one of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter in its war of aggression in Ukraine: the ban on the use of force against another sovereign state. In doing so it has presented one of the biggest challenges in history to a world operating according to these rules and, as a result, it has highlighted the need for reforms within the Security Council. The question is simple, and yet so far unanswered: how do you stop an aggressor who, as a permanent member of the council, has the right of veto?" Karis asked.

The Estonian president will take part in a number of other events while in New York: a high-level event entitled "Accelerating the Future of Digital Cooperation," organized by Estonia, Norway, Germany, the UN Development Program, UNICEF and the World Bank; a discussion among leaders of the Christchurch Call, an initiative to stop the spread of material with terrorist content, launched by France and New Zealand; and a reception being hosted by US President Joe Biden.

During his time in New York, the Estonian head of state will also join his counterparts from Latvia and Lithuania in meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. A four-way meeting between the three Baltic heads of state and their Polish counterpart is also planned. The visit will furthermore see Karis attending bilateral meetings and getting together with members of the local Estonian community at Estonia House in New York.

The president's wife, Sirje Karis, will participate in a program for the spouses of the heads of state assembling in New York, including receptions with the wives of the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey and, with her husband, the reception hosted by President Joe Biden.