Estonia has initiated a high-level UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting to take place virtually Friday afternoon, which will focus on the situation in the Crimea, on the seventh anniversary of the region's annexation by the Russian Federation.
The meeting is in English and viewable to the public at the foreign ministry's You Tube channel above. It starts at 4 p.m. Estonian time on Friday, March 12.
Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said: "With this meeting, we aim to draw the attention of UN member states and the international community to seven years of grave violations of international law by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the massive military build-up on the Crimean peninsula, and the persecution of Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainian activists."
Twenty countries are co-sponsoring the meeting – a record number, the foreign ministry says –including several from the UNSC.
"The remarkable number of co-sponsors from Europe and beyond demonstrates that we have been successful in highlighting issues that are important to us at the UNSC, and we have found understanding and allies among members of the entire international community," Liimets continued, according to a ministry press release.
Keynote speaker is Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York Ilze Brands Kehris, with President of the Potomac Foundation and independent observer Dr Phillip Karber, and Maria Tomak, Coordinator of the Ukrainian NPO Media Initiative on Human Rights, which specialises in human rights violations in Crimea, also taking part.
A Ukrainian journalist is due also to provide a view from the ground.
Estonia and other countries have kept the issue on the table at the UNSC for several years now. Estonia is in its second year of a two-year, non-permanent stint on the UNSC.
Editor: Andrew Whyte