On Friday 8 October, a high-level informal virtual meeting is held at the UN Security Council on Estonia’s initiative to draw attention to the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus and the actions of Belarusian authorities that violate international law, such as the forced landing of a civilian airplane.
Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets will chair the meeting from a studio at the Kultuurikatel venue in Tallinn where she is joined by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and Deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania Dr Mantas Adomėnas.
“As an elected member of the UN Security Council, Estonia has noted the importance of events in our region that affect global security, so we think it is crucial to keep the situation in Belarus on the agenda of the Council,” Minister Liimets said. “After our discussion on the state of media freedom in Belarus at the Council in January, the situation in the country has continued to deteriorate. Media outlets have been closed down and the number of political prisoners has grown. Additionally, vulnerable third country citizens have been used for encouraging irregular migration to neighbouring countries. Human rights violations and the hybrid operation against neighbouring countries have clear implications for international peace and security.”
The keynote speaker is Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York Ilze Brands Kehris. The Council and other UN members will be briefed on the situation in Belarus by Artyom Shraibman, political analyst, scholar and founder of Sense Analytics; Jens Modvig, head of the International Accountability Platform for Belarus and Victoria Fedorova, from the International Committee for the Investigation of Torture in Belarus, and Anna Maria Dyner, political analyst at the Polish Institute of Foreign Affairs.
Estonia called the meeting and it has a record number of co-sponsors – 32 countries, including several members of the UN Security Council and other UN members from Europe and beyond.
Photo gallery (with updates): https://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/albums/72157719971935662