TALLINN – At a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets outlined the results of Estonia's membership in the UN Security Council so far and objectives for 2021, saying that Estonia continues to keep the Security Council focused on the security issues of its region.
The minister noted that Estonia has proven that even a small state can make a difference in the UN Security Council.
"Estonia had a successful first year as an elected member of the Security Council. We have raised our international profile and we have shown that we are a credible ally and partner. The COVID-19 pandemic also provided an opportunity to make history by organizing high-quality virtual meetings from Tallinn, which boosted Estonia's reputation as a digital state and opened new doors to our tech companies," Liimets said according to spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Estonia has initiated two UN Security Council discussions on grave human rights violations in Belarus and Crimea. Estonia has also kept the attention of UN member states and the global community on the violations of international law by Russia in Ukraine and Georgia and on improving the situation on the ground. The minister noted that we have helped introduce the impact of climate change to security policy discussions.
"We were among those who convened a meeting on the subject last year and we support the appointment of a special representative of the secretary-general on climate and security," she said.
The objectives and priorities of Estonia at the UN Security Council remain unchanged in 2021, according to the minister.
"This year, Estonia's focus remains on everything related to the immediate security of our region. This is why I am convening an informal high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on Crimea on 12 March. It also marks seven years since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia," Liimets said.
Thanks to successful efforts, Estonia will be the penholder for Afghanistan and Operation Irini of the European Union in 2021 -- with Norway and France respectively.
This year, Estonia takes on the greatest responsibility at the UN Security Council in June when it chairs the work of the council again as president.
"We wish to continue raising cybersecurity issues by holding Security Council meetings and we are also planning a high-level discussion on the rights of children," the minister said.
The government also approved the foreign minister's proposal for Estonia to apply for elected membership in the UN Security Council again for the 2050-2051 period.