While talking about the worsening situation in Syria at his meeting in New York yesterday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the UN has a leading role and responsibility for finding a solution to end the violence. “The crimes against the people of Syria must stop. By now the conflict has touched the lives of over two million people,” said Paet. “We support the efforts of the UN and the Arab League to end the civil war,” he added. Paet stated that Estonia will continue to contribute to the UNSMIS supervision mission in Syria in accordance with the mandate of the UN Security Council.
The UN Secretary-General stated that the continuation of armed fighting will not lead to a solution. “The further militarisation of the conflict will only extend the destruction and suffering and could pose a threat to Syria’s neighbours,” said Ban. “Each day that the violence continues, more and more Syrians are killed, tortured, or forced to leave their homes,” he added.
Foreign Minister Paet also introduced Estonia’s candidacy plans to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council this year and part of the UN Security Council in 2020. At the meeting Paet emphasised that Estonia feels that supporting the development of rule of law in the world is very important. “Estonia’s activities as president of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are geared towards developing rule of law and fighting impunity in the world,” said Paet. “We feel it is essential to achieve the global jurisdiction of the court by getting as many countries as possible to join the ICC,” he said. Ban recognised Estonia’s contribution to developing the International Criminal Court. Paet once again extended an invitation to Ban to visit Estonia in the near future.
At the meeting the Estonian foreign minister also spoke to the UN Secretary-General about getting out of the economic crisis, sustainable development, and the UN sustainable development conference that took place at the end of June in Rio de Janeiro. “We support adherence to principles of sustainable development in economic development – making investments into education, technology, and a knowledge-based society,” Paet noted.
Foreign Minister Paet also met today with UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman.
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