Rõivas: Temporary Security Council seat would increase Estonia’s profile and influence (5)

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York, May 2016 (Eleri Ever/Riigikantselei)
5/16/2016 8:42 AM
Category: News

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said in reaction to criticism of his government’s plans to campaign for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council that Estonia was dedicated to developing its cooperation in international organizations, and that none of the critics had offered alternatives that could be taken seriously.

“President Lennart Meri said in his first speech on October 6, 1992 that Estonia had been an active member of the League of Nations, and would remain active internationally. We plan to contribute and develop our cooperation with the United Nations, the European Council, and elsewhere,” Rõivas said.

He added that a small country like Estonia couldn’t afford a passive approach to foreign and security policy. On the contrary, it needed to do all in its power to strengthen its relationships with its allies and be a part of the kind of decisions that affected global foreign and security policy.

The government is planning to allocate €500,000 a year to the project. The money is to be used for campaigns as well as making available the necessary resources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As the funds would be added to the ministry’s existing resources, the project wouldn't negatively affect its budget, Rõivas said. Half a million a year wasn’t too much to keep the country’s foreign policy from becoming overly passive, he added.

A temporary seat on the Security Council would increase Estonia’s profile and influence, the prime minister said. “On the UN Security Council, Estonia will have the chance to sit at the same table with the most powerful countries of the world and to be at the epicenter of global security’s most important decisions and information.”

Rõivas added that if some thought that the UN was in itself pointless, Estonia could also contribute to making it more constructive and transparent.

The year 2020, when Estonia would join the council, is also Estonia’s 30th anniversary as a member of the United Nations. Rõivas said that Estonia had always had the position that at least one of the countries of this region should be represented on the Security Council. “We have the moral responsibility to take on this burden as well,” he said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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