Ceremony marks end of Estonia's 2-year UNSC term

Estonia's UN Ambassador Sven Jürgenson.
Estonia's UN Ambassador Sven Jürgenson. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

A formal ceremony being held in New York Friday marked the end of Estonia's two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The Estonian blue-black-white national flag, along with those of the other four outgoing member states, was lowered at the UNSC chamber.

Estonia's Permanent Representative to the UN Sven Jürgenson, who addressed the chamber, said that: "Estonia has been a reliable partner as a pen-holder for Afghanistan and on Libya, formally introducing cybersecurity as a topic for the first time, making sure grave human rights violations do not go unnoticed, and actively contributing to increased awareness of the connections between the climate and security."

"Through this, we have increased our foreign policy reach and reinforced relations with allies," Jürgenson went on, according to a ministry press release, noting that while the UNSC is not a body of like-minded countries, cooperation with the other members had been fruitful.

Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said that: "Every state has a right and responsibility to contribute to peace, including resolving urgent global crises. Being at the center of crisis diplomacy and standing up for human rights, international law, democratic values and the security of our region, including keeping the Council and the international community focused on the actions of Belarusian authorities, we can state Estonia has met this responsibility and our efforts have borne fruit."

Liimets underscored that Estonia has proved that a small state can have an impact on the UNSC, and make its voice heard among the heavyweights of global politics.

The formal ceremony can be viewed here.

The UNSC comprises five permanent member states (the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia and China), joined by 10 non-permanent members, elected to two-year terms, in two cohorts of five each year.

Estonia held the council's one-month rotating presidency in May this year.

The other outgoing member states along with Estonia are Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Albania, the U.A.E., Brazil, Gabon and Ghana will replace them from January 1.

Although Estonia won its non-permanent seat on the council in early June 2019, following a second-round run-off, in which Estonia picked up 132 votes against Romania's 58, this was merely the culmination of a campaign which began back in 2005, a year after Estonia joined NATO and the EU, and gathering pace from 2017, also the year Estonia hosted the Council of the EU's rotating presidency.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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