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The Estonian Foreign Minister to the UN Under-Secretary-General: Ukraine needs the international community's full support


At meetings in New York with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyang-wha Kang, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus discussed developments in various conflicts around the world, as well as the activities of the United Nations in resolving crises. “The UN Security Council has a crucial role in preventing and solving crises,” Pentus-Rosimannus remarked. “The situation in Libya, Ukraine and Syria – to name some of the conflicts – has long been more than disturbing. In the absence of political consensus in the Security Council, the wider activity of the UN is essential in order to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population,” she said.

Speaking about the situation in Libya, the Foreign Minister emphasized that Estonia supports the dialogue process in Libya mediated by UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon, as well as cooperation between the European Union and UN to find a political solution to the conflict. “The situation in Libya has worsened and a humanitarian crisis is approaching. Due to the lack of a unity government, Libya does not have a single partner in the international community,” the Foreign Minister said. “We hope that under the leadership of Leon, the first results are achieved before the start of Ramadan.”

Estonia also supports the activities of the Special Representative of the UN in finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

The Foreign Minister also discussed the situation in Ukraine with Under-Secretary-General Feltman. Pentus-Rosimannus and Feltman agreed that the latest developments in Ukraine are very worrisome. “The ceasefire violations and recent events in the Marjinka area are a sign that military action has not been abandoned and an escalation could occur at any moment,” the minister stressed. “That is why we must continue strongly demanding, through the European Union and the UN, that Russia comply with the Minsk agreements. Ukraine must regain control over its own borders.” The Foreign Minister added that Ukraine also needs financial support in order to survive these difficult times. “The country is at war and at the same time is implementing reforms; they need all manner of support that we can give internationally,” Pentus-Rosimannus explained.

At their meeting, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyang-wha Kang and Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus focused mainly on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. “More than 6000 people have died due to the fighting and the number of internally displaced persons has risen to nearly 1.3 million,” the Foreign Minister said. “The local population lives in constant fear and human rights are constantly being violated. We must continue to comprehensively support Ukraine, to ensure human rights and help alleviate the situation of displaced persons,” the Foreign Minister said, adding that Estonia has increased assistance for development and humanitarian to Ukraine to 2.35 million euros in 2015.

According to the Foreign Minister, UN-centred and effective coordination is essential in providing humanitarian aid. “The need for humanitarian aid is continuously growing around the world; however, the opportunities of the donors are not increasing significantly; which is why the humanitarian aid system should be made more effective. It is also important to contribute more to crisis prevention,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

Photos from the meeting:



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