7. June 2019
At Friday’s election of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in New York, Estonia received a mandate to become a member for 2020-2021. Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu stressed that it was a historic event and a great day for Estonian diplomacy. Membership of the UN Security Council would make Estonia significantly greater on the world map.
“The UN is the most important organisation in charge of peace and security, and having a seat at the table of the Security Council provides Estonia with a chance to contribute to resolving conflicts and ensuring peace across the world. Estonia advocates a world order based on rules and international law,” he said. “By actively participating in the global organisation, Estonia is also ensuring its own security in the best way,” Reinsalu added.
The Foreign Minister said that Estonia’s priorities during its UN Security Council membership would include maintaining the world order based on international law, sharing our experiences related to the digital state and e-governance, climate and environmental issues, and making the functioning of the Security Council itself more efficient.
“E-governance and cybersecurity are definitely priorities for us as a digital nation, and they are directly linked to our security,” he said.
The Foreign Minister highlighted the work of Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, campaign director Margus Kolga and the Estonian Ambassador to the UN Sven Jürgenson in carrying out the campaign. “The dedication of our diplomats over several years is what ensured us this result,” Reinsalu added.
The Foreign Minister said that many Estonian enterprises have already greatly benefitted from the campaign for the seat at the Security Council.
“With this campaign, we have significantly raised Estonia’s profile in the world. We will continue using the contacts we have made to bolster our reputation as a digital country and help our enterprises expand their activities, above all beyond the European Union,” Reinsalu said.
The government made the decision to apply for non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council as early as 2005. Estonia was running for the seat alongside Romania and was elected in the second round with 132 votes. A majority of two thirds is necessary to be elected member. There are 193 countries in the UN.
Estonia will begin its membership at the UN Security Council in 2020 with four new members: Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Estonia is a member with these four countries until 2021. Belgium, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and South Africa will continue as non-permanent members in 2020 alongside five permanent members, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. The next five non-permanent members for the period 2021-2022 will be elected in the 2020 vote.