Prime minister meets UN secretary-general in New York

UN Secretary-General  António Guterres (right) meeting with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in New York on Monday.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meeting with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in New York on Monday. Source: social media

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) is in New York this week, and has already met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The pair discussed co-operation and security issues, and outlined Estonia's priorities for its upcoming UN Security Council membership in 2020-2021.

Ratas noted that the security council spot marked the beginning of a new era for Estonia.

"The security council seat gives Estonia an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to world politics, and thus contribute to ensuring stability and security," Ratas said, according to a government press release.

Ratas also noted the significance of Estonia as a small country in holding the position.

"On the other hand, it is our duty to stand up for the values ​​wjocj are important to us, and to bring the perspective of small countries into the council's discussions and to act as their (i.e. smaller countries-ed.) spokesperson, in defending common interests,"said Ratas.

As a non-permanent security council member, Estonia's desire is also to strengthen constructive cooperation with UN Secretary.General Guterres as well as other security council members, Ratas said.

"In the role, we need to communicate with countries worldwide. Sometimes our story has to be explained from the beginning. Who we are, where we come from and what we think. This is a great opportunity to tell our digital story or to share our knowledge and experience in effective governance and smart e-solutions," the prime minister went on, also emphasizing climate change issues and cyber threats, as well as Estonia's more recent contributions to international crisis management and peacekeeping missions.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the Secretary-General's leading role in the climate issue and confirmed that the Estonian government has also made these issues a political priority.

Ratas also tweeted about the meeting, saying that he was: "Honored to meet Secretary-General Guterres to reaffirm Estonia's interest to [sic] contribute to and defend the international order, at the heart of which lies the UN."

Ratas was accompanied at the meeting by his education minister, Mailis Reps (Centre), who also brought up the topic of the role of the United Nations in promoting educational cooperation.

Jüri Ratas is in New York for four days, and also visited the 9/11 memorial on the first day of his visit.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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