Government adopts principles of Estonia's UN Security Council membership

The UN Security Council. Photo is illustrative.
The UN Security Council. Photo is illustrative. Source: ERR/EBU

The Estonian government at its Thursday Cabinet meeting adopted the platform and principles for Estonia's membership in the UN Security Council in 2020-2021 as presented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).

The next two years will offer Estonia a chance to have a say in managing security crises and considerably raise Estonia's profile, Reinsalu said according to a foreign ministry press release.

"The UN Security Council is the center for global crisis diplomacy, and it is essential for alleviating human suffering in the world as well as for maintaining relations between states based on international law," he explained. "During this complicated time in world politics, it is particularly important to sit at such an important table."

For Estonia, it is especially important to highlight aspects of international law and its development that are essentially connected to the birth of the Republic of Estonia, which is why it will underscore the importance of the policy of non-recognition in particular.

"Estonia has the responsibility and opportunity to work toward making sure that state borders are not shifted, that human dignity is protected and commonly agreed norms apply in cyberspace as well," the foreign minister stressed. "We consider it crucial to amplify the voice of small states in the Security Council."

Small states in particular would like to see increased transparency in the work of the Security Council, more clarity in reporting, and more communication between Security Council members and other states.

Among other things, Estonia supports blocking or limiting veto rites in cases that concern genocide or other crimes against humanity. Estonia's permanent representative to the UN Security Council will also be heading the Sudan and Iraq sanctions committees.

According to Reinsalu, the experience gained in serving on the Security Council will add to Estonia's security, increase the competence of its diplomats and expand the country's foreign policy reach, as well as raise Estonia's profile in the world.

About the UN Security Council

The UN Security Council is tasked with protecting peace and security in the world. It consists of 15 members, five of which are permanent and ten of which are elected.

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China are permanent members of the Security Council. Estonia will begin its two-year membership of the council in January alongside four other new members: Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Belgium, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and South Africa will continue as non-permanent members in 2020; their replacements for the 2021-2022 period will be elected in a vote held next year.

Click here to read more about Estonia's membership in the UN Security Council.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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