Small States in the UN Security Council: Working for Peace to Overcome the Scourge of War
A conference organised by the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
1 April 2022
Nordic Hotel Forum, Tallinn, Estonia
Working language: English
Welcome remarks by Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia
Video greeting by Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
Session I: Small state influence in times of great-power rivalry
Great-power rivalry has intensified in recent years, which has hampered the work of the UN and its Security Council. However, small states continue to invest considerable resources to join the UNSC as elected members and make an active contribution to the Council’s work. What can small states achieve as UNSC members? Does Russia’s war against Ukraine paralyze the UNSC for months, even years ahead?
Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Simon Coveney, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland
Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania
Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia
Moderator: Kristi Raik, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS
Session II: War in Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of the core principles of the UN Charter. As Richard Gowan writes in Foreign Affairs, the war is likely to accelerate the decline in the UN’s role in maintaining international peace and security. Is it time, finally, for a radical reform of the Security Council? What can the UN system do to help Ukraine? How are the fates of Ukraine and Belarus interconnected?
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France
Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Leader of the Belarusian Democratic Movement
Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations
Richard Gowan, UN Director of the International Crisis Group
Karin Landgren, Executive Director of Security Council Report
Moderator: Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament
Discussion on women and girls in armed conflicts
Kersti Kaljulaid, former President of Estonia
Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director
Moderator: Minna-Liina Lind, Ambassador at Large for Human Rights and Migration of Estonia
Session III: New security challenges: climate and cybersecurity
In addition to traditional security challenges, the UN and its Security Council need to be able to address new issue areas such as security implications of climate change and cybersecurity. Elected members have played an active role in introducing such new topics to the Security Council agenda – for example, Estonia succeeded in bringing cybersecurity on the Council’s agenda for the first time ever. What are the prospects of further UNSC engagement on climate and cybersecurity?
Stanislav Raščan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia
Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations
Motohiro Tsuchiya, Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance
Henrik Urdal, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Moderator: Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament
Estonia’s membership in the UNSC 2020-21: Looking back and looking forward
Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations
President of Estonia
H.E. President Alar Karis was elected President of Estonia on 31 August 2021 and was sworn in on 11 October 2022. President Karis graduated from the Estonian Agricultural Academy (now the Estonian University of Life Sciences) as a veterinarian in 1981. He then worked at the Estonian Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science and later at the Estonian Biocentre of the Academy of Sciences. He earned a Master of Science degree in parasitology in 1987. In the intervening years, his research has focused on molecular genetics and developmental biology. He has worked at universities in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and joined the University of Tartu as a professor in 1999. His research has been among the most widely cited internationally of any Estonian scientist of his generation. President Karis served as rector of the Estonian University of Life Sciences from 2003–2007 and of the University of Tartu from 2007–2012. He has led the work of Universities Estonia (the national council of university rectors) on number occasions. President Karis served as Auditor-General of the Republic of Estonia from 2013–2018 and as head of the EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (EUROSAI WGEA) from 2014–2018. President Karis was the director of the Estonian National Museum from 2018–2021.
Secretary General of the United Nations
H.E. Mr António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office in January 2017. Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation. Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organisations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities, as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015. Before joining UNHCR, he spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. As president of the European Council in early 2000, he led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda for growth and jobs, and co-chaired the first EU-Africa summit. He was a member of the Portuguese Council of State from 1991 to 2002. Mr Guterres was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 where he served as a member for 17 years. During that time, he chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Planning, and later the Parliamentary Committee for Territorial Administration, Municipalities and Environment. From 1981 to 1983, Mr Guterres was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and chaired the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees. He was active in the Socialist International, a worldwide organisation of social democratic political parties.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
H.E. Ms Eva-Maria Liimets has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia since January 2021. She began her career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997. In 2017–2021, she served as Estonian Ambassador in Czechia with co-accreditation in Slovenia and Croatia. Prior to this, she was Adviser to the European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017–2018), Consul General in New York (2014–2017), Director of the Office of International Organisations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009–2014), 1st Secretary of the Embassy and later Vice Head of the Embassy in Washington D.C. (2006–2009), 2nd Secretary of the Political Department (2003–2006) and Economic Diplomat in the Embassy in Rome (1999–2003).
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland
H.E. Mr Simon Coveney T.D. is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Defence of Ireland. He is also the Deputy Leader of Fine Gael and served as Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit from November 2017 to June 2020. He has previously served as Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (2016–2017), Minister for Defence (2014–2016) and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2011–2016). Mr Coveney was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 where he was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr Coveney was the author of the European Parliament’s Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for 2004 and again for 2006.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania
H.E. Mr Gabrielius Landsbergis is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and a Member of the Seimas (Lithuania Parliament) for the Centras – Žaliakalnis constituency. Mr Landsbergis was a Member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2016, where he was a member of the European People’s Party Group (Christian Democrats). He served in the European Parliament as a member of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats and was elected Chairman of the Homeland Union in 2015. In 2003, Mr Landsbergis graduated from the Faculty of History at Vilnius University and attained a bachelor’s degree; in 2005, he graduated from Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, gaining a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and the Chancellery of the President of Lithuania. In 2007, he joined the staff of the Lithuanian embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium and to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia
H.E. Mr Edgars Rinkēvičs has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia since October 2011. Prior to this appointment, he was Head of the Chancery of the President of Latvia from October 2008 until October 2011. He also served as State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia from August 1997 until October 2008. Additionally, he worked as Chief of the Office for organising the NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government, which took place in Riga in 2006. Mr Rinkēvičs graduated from the University of Latvia and received a master’s degree in Political Science in 1997. From 1999 to 2000, he also studied at the U.S. National Defence University and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and has a graduate degree in National Resource Strategy.
Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS
Dr Kristi Raik has been Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS since February 2018. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku. Dr Raik has previously served inter alia as a Senior Research Fellow and Acting Programme Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki; an official at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels; and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv. Dr Raik has a PhD from the University of Turku. She has published, lectured and commented widely on European foreign and security policy.
Jean-Yves Le Drian
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France
H.E. Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian has been the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France since 2017. He previously served as Minister of Defence from 2012–2017. Among other positions, Mr Le Drian was elected President of the Regional Council of Brittany (2004–2017), Brittany Regional Councillor (1998–2004, 2017–2021) and National Assembly Deputy for the Morbihan Department (1978–1991, 1997–2007). He has been an academic since 1973 and an Honorary National Education Inspector-General since 1993. Mr Le Drian is the holder of an agrégation in History.
Leader of the Belarusian Democratic Movement
Ms Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of the Belarusian democratic forces whom independent observers agree won the presidential election in August 2020 against the autocratic President Aleksandr Lukashenko. As leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, she has visited 26 countries where she has gathered support and advocated for the release of more than 1 000 political prisoners along with striving for a peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections. In meetings with President Biden, Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, President von der Leyen and other world leaders, Ms Tsikhanouskaya has emphasised the need for a bolder response to the actions of the Belarusian dictatorship. She has become a symbol of the peaceful struggle for democracy and strong female leadership. Among dozens of distinctions, she is a recipient of the Sakharov Prize awarded by the European Parliament, the 2022 International Four Freedoms Award and the Charlemagne Prize. In 2021 and 2022, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Members of the Norwegian Parliament, respectively.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine
Dr Ihor Zhovkva graduated from the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University in 2001 with a degree in International Relations. He attained a PhD in Political Science in 2005 and became an Associate Professor in 2014. In 2002, he began his service as an assistant to a Member of Parliament of Ukraine and Chairman of the Committee on European Integration. During 2002–2008, Mr Zhovkva held various positions in the Foreign Policy Department of the administration of two Presidents of Ukraine. In 2008, he became Chief of Staff of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European Integration. During 2010–2014, he headed the Department of International Cooperation and Investment Marketing at the State Agency for Foreign Investment of Ukraine. In 2014, Mr Zhovkva moved to the Administration of the President of Ukraine to become Director of the Foreign Policy and European Integration Directorate General. Since September 2019, he has served as Deputy Head of Office of the President of Ukraine.
UN Director of the International Crisis Group
Mr Richard Gowan has been UN Director at the International Crisis Group since March 2020. He has contributed to Crisis Group publications on the UN, sanctions against Iran, COVID and conflict, and the international response to the war in Ukraine. He has previously worked with the European Council on Foreign Relations, New York University Center on International Cooperation and the Foreign Policy Centre (London). He has taught at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Stanford in New York. He has also worked as a consultant for organisations including the UN Department of Political Affairs, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Rasmussen Global, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Global Affairs Canada. From 2013 to 2019, Mr Gowan wrote a weekly column entitled “Diplomatic Fallout” for World Politics Review.
Executive Director of Security Council Report
Ms Karin Landgren is the Executive Director of Security Council Report, an independent think tank that analyses and reports on the work of the UN Security Council. Ms Landgren served with the United Nations for over 35 years, and is the first woman to have headed three UN peace operations. She was until 2015 a UN Under-Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), a peacekeeping operation, and led UNMIL’s response to Ebola through the height of the epidemic. Prior to this, she led UN peace operations in Burundi and in Nepal. She was UNICEF’s first chief of child protection, in 1998–2008. With the UN Refugee Agency from 1980 to 1998, Ms Landgren served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Singapore, the Philippines, India and at its headquarters in Geneva. Ms Landgren is a founding member of the Nordic Women Mediators network.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament
Mr Marko Mihkelson is a Member of Estonian Parliament, a member of the Reform Party (ALDE) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr Mihkelson was first elected to the Parliament in 2003 and is currently serving his fifth mandate. He has served in previous parliaments as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair of the EU Affairs Committee and Chair of the National Defence Committee. Between 2000 and 2003, he worked as the Director of the Baltic Centre for Russian Studies, from 1997 to 2000 he was Editor-in-Chief of Postimees, Estonia’s largest-selling national daily newspaper, and from 1994 to 1997 he was the Postimees correspondent in Moscow. Mr Mihkelson has a master’s degree in History from the University of Tartu. He is author of the books Russia: In Dusk and Dawn (2010) and The Disruptive Era (2018).
President of Estonia (2016-2021)
H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid was President of Estonia in 2016–2021. Previously, she had served as a Member of the European Court of Auditors, advising Prime Minister Mart Laar and holding different top-level positions in energy, investment banking and the telecom sector. A genetic engineer and economist by education, she was a member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Genome Centre and Council Chair of the University of Tartu from 2012 to 2016. During her presidency, she was a vocal advocate of human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy. She is a desired speaker in the most prominent forums on the topics of digitalisation, economics, foreign and security policy. President Kaljulaid was the first Estonian to be featured in the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2021, she was appointed the first Global Advocate for Every Woman Every Child by the United Nations Secretary-General.
Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director
Ms Åsa Regnér has served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women since May 2018. Ms Regnér served as Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality of Sweden in 2014–2018, where her focus was on achieving concrete results in the implementation of Swedish gender equality policies as well as a shift towards the prevention of violence against women and the involvement of men and boys in gender equality work. She has extensive experience in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment, having held various leadership positions in government, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations. She has led important processes and campaigns as a leading advocate for feminism and gender equality in Sweden and beyond. She has built and managed strong partnerships with a range of key stakeholders, including women’s movements and civil society, both nationally and globally. She previously served as UN Women Country Director in Bolivia (2013–2014) and Secretary-General of Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning, Swedish International Planned Parenthood Federation branch. She also served as Director of Planning, Ministry of Justice (2004–2006) and as Political Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office (1999–2004). She began her career in women’s rights as a volunteer for a Swedish NGO in La Paz, Bolivia (1990–1991) and moved to the Ministry of Labour working on Gender and labour market issues for several years in the 1990s. Ms Regnér holds a master’s degree in Democratic Development from Uppsala University.
Ambassador at Large for Human Rights and Migration of Estonia
Ms Minna-Liina Lind was appointed Estonia’s first-ever Ambassador for Human Rights and Migration in August 2020. She has been dealing with UN and Human Rights issues throughout her career at the Estonian foreign service. She was the main expert when Estonia led the negotiations on creating UN Women in 2010. In her role as Deputy Ambassador to the UN between 2014 and 2018, Ms Lind was in charge of Estonia’s campaign for UN Security Council membership. During her tenure in New York, she also led the negotiations at the General Assembly on behalf of the like-minded ACT group on opening up the process of UN Secretary-General selection and paving the way to appointing the first female UN Secretary-General. On being appointed Ambassador for Human Rights, Ms Lind drafted Estonia’s first Human Rights Action Plan, which was approved by the Government in April 2021. She started working in the Legal Department of the Estonian Foreign Ministry in 2004 on obtaining her Master of Laws degree from Heidelberg University. She has twice been posted to the Estonian mission to the UN in New York. From 2010 to 2014, Ms Lind was Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia
State Secretary Dr Stanislav Raščan is a medical doctor and holds a master and doctorate degree in political science. A career diplomat, he has been employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1994. From 1995 to 1999, he served in Tokyo as Deputy Head of Mission, and upon returning to Slovenia in 2000, he assumed the position of Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2002, he served a brief period as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the Slovenian Embassy in Tehran. In 2004, he was appointed Head of Department for Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Pacific, and in 2005, Director-General for Multilateral Affairs. In 2006, Dr Raščan was appointed Ambassador at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the OSCE in Vienna. In 2012, he took over the helm of the Directorate for Economic Diplomacy as Director-General, and in 2015, became Head of the Department for Strategic Studies and Analyses. Until he was appointed State Secretary, he served as Head of the Department for Asia and Oceania. Since 2021, he has served as President of the Executive Board of the Centre for European Perspective (CEP) and President of the Managing Board of ITF Enhancing Human Security. Raščan has published over 150 articles, co-authored a number of books and written two monographs on international politics.
Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations
H.E. Mr Martin Kimani, PhD, CBS, is Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He has recently served as the President’s Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism, as the Director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre and in Strategic Initiatives in the Executive Office of the President. Previously, he served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Nairobi, as well as to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). In the past 20 years, he has worked to a senior level in the global currency and bond markets, political risk advisory for underwriters and other corporates, and peace and security in the Horn of Africa and East Africa. Ambassador Kimani is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Mr Kimani holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London of the University of London.
Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance
Dr Motohiro Tsuchiya is Vice-President for Global Engagement and Information Technology at Keio University and Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance. He served as Dean of Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University from October 2019 to July 2021. He is also serving as guest editorialist of Nikkei since April 2019. He is a member of Space Security Division of the Committee on National Space Policy at the Cabinet Office. Dr Tsuchiya authored Intelligence and National Security (Tokyo: Keio University Press, 2007), Cyber Terror (Tokyo: Bungeishunju, 2012, in Japanese), Cyber Security and International Relations (Tokyo: Chikura Shobo, 2015), Cyber Great Game (Tokyo: Chikura Shobo, 2020) and co-authored Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Responses (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012) and 40 other books. He earned his BA in political science, MA in international relations, and PhD in media and governance from Keio University.
Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Dr Henrik Urdal is Director and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Peace Research, and a former Research Fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard Kennedy School (2011–2012). Dr Urdal’s work on political demography has been published in leading international academic journals. He has been a consultant for international organisations such as the World Bank, the United Nations and USAID. Dr Urdal was part of a PRIO team producing one of the key background research papers for the World Bank/UNDP report Pathways for Peace. His research focuses on the impact of population and environmental change on armed conflict, including security implications of urbanisation, ‘youth bulges’ and climate change. He has worked extensively on global trends in armed conflict as past Director for the Conflict Trends project, a long-term collaborative effort between PRIO and the Norwegian MFA.
Member of the European Parliament
Ms Marina Kaljurand was elected to the European Parliament and started her duties as MEP in July 2019 after resigning from the Estonian Parliament. She has been a member of the Estonian Social Democrats Party since 2018 and a member of the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters since 2020. Mrs Kaljurand was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (2018–2019). She chaired the Global Commission of the Stability of Cyberspace (2017–2019). She served as Estonian Foreign Minister in 2015–2016. Kaljurand has served twice as the Estonian National Expert at the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (GGE), in 2014–2015 and in 2016–2017. She began her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991 and held several leadership positions, including Undersecretary for Legal and Consular Affairs (Legal Adviser), Undersecretary for Trade and Development Cooperation, Undersecretary for Political Affairs. She served as Ambassador of Estonia to the State of Israel, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Canada and the United States of America. Mrs Kaljurand headed the legal working group at the Estonian accession negotiations to the European Union and was the Chief Negotiator in Estonian accession negotiations to the OECD. Ms Kaljurand graduated cum laude from the University of Tartu (1986, LLM). She has a professional diploma from the Estonian School of Diplomacy (1992) and MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (F95).
Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations
H.E. Mr Sven Jürgenson has been Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations since August 2015. He graduated from the information processing department of Tallinn Polytechnic Institute and completed the diplomacy and consular affairs course at the International Institute of Public Administration in Paris in 1992. He joined the Estonian Foreign Service in 1991 and has worked at Estonian Embassies in Helsinki and Vienna. From 1998 to 2000, Sven Jürgenson was the Estonian Ambassador to the UN, and from 2000 to 2003 Jürgenson served as the Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico. From 2003 to 2006, he was the undersecretary for political affairs of the Estonian Foreign Ministry and from 2006 to 2010 worked at the Chancellery of the President of Estonia as the foreign policy advisor. Most recently, from 2010 until August 2015, Sven Jürgenson was Estonia’s Ambassador to France a s well as Ambassador to Monaco from 2011 and Ambassador to Tunisia from 2014.
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