Today, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) was given an overview of the elections of non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for 2020–2021, and future activities. The Committee acknowledged the work of the Estonian diplomats during the UN Security Council campaign and admitted that practical work was only beginning.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa said that the diplomats had done a huge job, which also won recognition, but the real work was just starting. He thinks that the Committee is interested in parliamentary level involvement in the development of Estonia’s positions for participating in the work of the UN Security Council. “The Foreign Affairs Committee actively cooperates with the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Eesmaa emphasised. “We effectively use our role relating to parliamentary control in dealing with various issues.”
Eesmaa added that during the autumn session, the Foreign Affairs Committee would continue discussing the issues of the UN Security Council, and before Estonia took up its seat, the Committee would review Estonia’s positions also by topics. During Estonia’s presidency, there will be regular discussions in accordance with the agenda of the Council.
In the opinion of Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, it is clear that Estonia’s diplomatic work in the Security Council during the coming two years will be based on the framework of international law and the long-time traditions of Estonian foreign policy.
Mihkelson thinks that the status of non-permanent member will give Estonia the possibility to make itself better known globally. “It should be kept in mind that a large part of the topics concern African and Middle Eastern region, where we ourselves do not have diplomatic representation, or it is very, very small,” Mihkelson said. According to him, one of the critical issues is relating to Iran.
The main topics discussed by the UN Security Council are threats to international peace and security, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, arms control and disarmament, and human rights. Estonia wishes to bring issues relating to cyber security to the attention of the Security Council.
Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paul Teesalu told the Foreign Affairs Committee about the work of the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020–2021. He thanked the members of the Riigikogu who had contributed to the campaign and introduced Estonia’s positions.
Teesalu said that the Presidency of the UN Security Council rotated monthly in alphabetical order, which means that Estonia would hold the Presidency of the 15-member Council in both years.
Besides discussions, the main output of the UN Security Council are resolutions. In 2018, the Security Council adopted 54 resolutions and issued 21 presidential statements.
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