On 18 November, the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs held a conference to present their new joint report on how small states in the UN Security Council can protect international norms and advance key priorities such as cybersecurity, and conflict resolution in Afghanistan and eastern Europe.
“It is vital for small states that the agreed rules are respected on the international stage. This is especially the case now, when the global security situation has become volatile due to increased great power rivalry and power politics,” says Kristi Raik, director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS and one of the authors of the report. “Small states need to be at the table, to know the big players and the rules of the game, and to get them to support their own interests,” she adds.
Estonia is a member of the UN Security Council during 2020-2021, and Norway during 2021-2022. “By working together and prioritising, these two small states can increase their influence and punch above their weight on the international stage,” Raik notes.
Former President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, UN Director at the International Crisis Group Richard Gowan, Estonia’s Ambassador-at-Large for Cyber Diplomacy Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Ambassador of Norway to Afghanistan Ole Andreas Lindeman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations Andre Lipand, Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu Lauri Mälksoo and Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Kristin Haugevik were some of the leading policymakers, diplomats and researchers to speak at the conference “Small states in the UN Security Council: Ambitions and achievements of Estonia and Norway”.
The opening remarks were delivered by Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets and Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The conference was organised by the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security in cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, supported by the EEA & Norway Grants, in the framework of the EFPI-NUPI project on Estonian-Norwegian cooperation in the United Nations and its Security Council: Defending and renewing multilateralism. The conference marked the launch of the report “Small states, different approaches: Estonia and Norway on the UN Security Council”.
The conference was held in Fotografiska, Tallinn.
Read more about the event, speakers and view the agenda here.
Watch the full gallery of the event here.
Full discussions are rewatchable: