Diplomat: UNSC seat increased Estonia's influence around the world

The Estonian and UN flags.
The Estonian and UN flags. Source: Marko Mumm / Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonia's two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council helped raise the country's reputation around the world and strengthened its relations with allies, Estonia's top diplomat to the UN said.

Today is the final day of Estonia's term and which began on January 1, 2020.

Estonia's diplomat to the U.N. Sven Jürgenson told ERR one of the biggest achievements was getting the topic of cyber security put on the table for the first time. Other successes include keeping Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia high on the agenda.

"But perhaps a little more broadly, our prestige in the world has risen noticeably, and so have our relations with our closest allies, who are permanent members of the Security Council," Jürgenson said.

He said more countries are now aware of Estonia and Estonian diplomats have gained a lot of experience over the last two years.

Estonia's ambassador to the UN, Sven Jürgenson at an undated meeting. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

But there were also difficult moments.

Jürgenson highlighted occasions when Estonia had to to choose between which allies to side with when European allies and the U.S. held opposing views.

"These moments were very isolated. It cannot be said that they did not exist at all," he said, adding compromises were usually found.

Additionally, sometimes Estonia needed to take a position on issues that were "inconvenient" and could have led to confrontation with other countries. Jürgenson declined to go into more details.

The diplomat also rebutted criticism that being one of the 10 non-permenant members makes no difference as only the five permanent members make decisions.

"In my experience, this is currently 99 percent untrue. In fact, 99 percent still work for the Security Council as 15, not as five plus ten," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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