In his first statement as the elected member of the UN Security Council in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu called for a de-escalation of tensions and an investigation into the circumstances of the plane crash in Tehran, and drew attention to the violation of international law regarding Ukraine and Georgia. The open discussion, organised by Security Council President Vietnam, which is also a new elected member, marked the 75th anniversary of the UN Charter.
Reinsalu began his statement by extending his condolences to the families of victims of the plane crash that took place in Tehran yesterday and stressed the need to determine the circumstances of this tragedy with an independent investigation.
He also expressed concern about the tense situation in the Middle East and condemned the recent attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and missile strikes against military bases in Iraq that also house Estonian forces. He called on the parties to begin serious negotiations to ease tensions and avoid nuclear proliferation.
According to Reinsalu, states that respect human rights also have a better track record when it comes to international law. “It is crucial that in situations of grave violations of international humanitarian law the Security Council engages and reacts. That has not been the case with regard to the tragedy in Syria and for that the Syrian people pay the highest possible price,” Foreign Minister Reinsalu said. He added that countries that hold veto rights in the Security Council had a special responsibility.
The foreign minister noted that violations of international law, including the UN Charter, were unfortunately still taking place in Europe. He highlighted that the Security Council as well as the General Assembly have drawn attention to the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and Georgia. It is crucial to keep a continued focus on these issues.
Ahead of the discussion, the foreign minister met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh to discuss the importance of cooperation between elected members in advancing the work of the Security Council. He also had bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Nicaragua and Hungary.
He is set to attend a lunch for UN Security Council members with the Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres and meet with Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.
Photos and video: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmKB7qXq
The full statement of the foreign minister: https://vm.ee/et/node/52526
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
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