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Prime Minister Rõivas at the meeting with Ban Ki-moon: The UN plays an important role in resolving conflicts

3. May 2016 - 20:43

New York, 3 May 2016 – Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the changed security situation and the role of the UN in resolving conflicts. The Prime Minister emphasised the willingness of Estonia to be more involved in global security matters and contribute to the work of the Security Council with its experience.

Rõivas and Ban Ki-moon also discussed the activities of Russia in Ukraine and Syria at the meeting. According to Rõivas, the UN has an essential role in resolving both conflicts.

“It is extremely important for the international community not be distracted by the seeming attempts of Russia to be involved in resolving the conflict in Syria given they have not made any actual attempts to leave Ukraine,” Rõivas stated. “As long as the Minsk agreement is not adhered to, we cannot speak about normal relations with Russia and must continue with the sanctions policy,” Rõivas said.

The meeting also focused on the migration crisis and Rõivas noted that the role of the UN in relieving the situation of war refugees and making their living conditions more humane cannot be underestimated.

Today, the Prime Minister will also speak at the International Peace Institute with regard to innovation and e-services contributing to the development of democracy and growth.

Rõivas also visited the soon to be opened Transferwise office in the New York City Flatiron building. Transferwise began operating in the US at the beginning of 2015 and by autumn, it had mediated transactions by Transferwise customers in the value of billion dollars. Transferwise has 70 employees in the US.

Taavi Rõivas will return to Estonia on Wednesday.



Estonia joined the UN in 1991 and its role in the UN has increased since then.

Estonia has actively participated in peacekeeping operations in the Middle East, Croatia, Mali, and Lebanon. In addition, Estonia is an active member of the UNICEF by contributing to the protection of women and children and the availability of education in crisis areas.

Estonia belongs to the ACT (Accountability, Coherence, Transparency) group led by Switzerland where it is in charge of developing criteria for electing the UN Secretary-General together with Costa Rica. For the first time in 70 years, countries have submitted their candidates publicly and hearings will be held to introduce their views.

In addition, UN Estonian Ambassador Sven Jürgenson is the Vice-President of the UN Economic and Social Council ECOSOC and the President of the UNICEF Executive Board.

In 2005, Estonia submitted a candidacy to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020–2021 in order to be more active in global security matters. The elections will be held in 2019.

The Security Council has five permanent members (Russia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) and ten non-permanent members. Each permanent member has the right of veto regarding decision-making. Non-permanent members are elected by the UN Security Council for two years.