Foreign minister: UN key safeguard in international peace and security

Urmas Reinsalu (left) with Jüri Ratas (second left) and other attendees at Sunday evening's reception at the Estonia House in New York.
Urmas Reinsalu (left) with Jüri Ratas (second left) and other attendees at Sunday evening's reception at the Estonia House in New York. Source: Social media

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) is in New York this week, attending various meetings and other events connected with the United Nations General Assembly's 74th session.

Ahead of the session, Reinsalu emphasized the organization's importance.

"The UN plays a key role in ensuring international peace and security. At a time when dealing with global problems and finding common solutions has become so important, our non-permanent membership makes Estonia's voice louder in these discussions," Reinsalu said, according to a ministry press release.

Reinsalu already gave a speech at a reception for North American Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian communities at the Estonian House, on Sunday evening. The event was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the flight westwards of Baltic people in the wake of the Soviet re-occupation near the end of World War Two, as well as the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) was also at this event, and the Estonian delegation included foreign affairs ministry adviser Mart Luik.

Ahead of Sunday evening's reception, Reinsalu stressed that close interaction between the state and communities was vital.

"Cherishing your people, whether near or far, and preserving our language and culture is the lifeline for the preservation of a small state. Estonians who had to leave their homeland in the pivotal moments of World War Two and make their way to a new and unknown world have succeeded thanks to their doggedness. This doggedness and love for their country can be seen in the way how Estonian national identity has thrived outside its national borders," Reinsalu said.‬

The rest of the foreign minister's calendar while in New York looks like this:

Monday, Sept. 23

The minister gives a speech at Columbia University on Estonia as the land of Skype and a voice of small states at the UN.

He also attends a joint U.S-Netherlands discussion on cybersecurity, focusing on promoting responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

Reinsalu also holds bilateral meetings with this counterparts from Yemen, Morocco, Georgia and South Sudan, and in the evening is attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers, where the agenda includes the situation in Libya and Syria.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

The foreign minister is involved in a high-level, EU-organized event discussing Syria, and will also have bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan throught he course of the day.

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Urmas Reinsalu meets with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee, speaks at an event on the sidelines of the General Assembly focusing on how small and medium-sized states participate in ensuring peace and security, and will have several bilateral meetings with counterparts, plus a meeting of the three Baltic States' foreign ministers.

In the evening he will attend a dinner with guests including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R).

Thursday, Sept. 26

An informal breakfast meeting with the network of ministers of the International Criminal Court and a joint event involving Germany and France are on the table up to lunchtime.

Estonia holds a two-year non-permanent seat on the U.N.'s Security Council, starting at the beginning of 2020.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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