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Remarks by Ms Minna-Liina Lind Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia at the Open Debate of the Security Council on Peace and Security Challenges facing Small Islands Developing States , 30 July 2015

30.07.2015

Mr President,

First of all, I would like to thank New Zealand for convening the meeting on this important topic for the first time. I would also like to thank for all the presentations this morning. Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

We are well aware that natural disasters and development issues such as scarce resources, remoteness, limited administrative capacity and disadvantaged economy that Small Islands Developing States are facing can pose serious threats to peace and security not only in those countries but even in a wider – regional and global – context. These threats include tensions caused by political, social and economic instability, humanitarian crises, risks related to migration and transnational organized crime.

One of the greatest challenges for SIDS of course is climate change that generates sea-level rise and increasingly intense natural disasters as was demonstrated by recent Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and Tuvalu.  Estonia was one of the first to contribute through UNICEF in response to the most critical needs of children and families affected by the disaster in both countries. In this context, we also welcome the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction including reference to the vulnerabilities of SIDS.

As was also discussed in the recent Arria-formula meeting, climate change can be a driver for insecurities of various nature and crisis internally and globally. It is a matter of utmost importance that a global, ambitious, single, legally binding agreement on climate change, applicable to all, will be concluded this year in Paris. Estonia has always been a strong proponent of safeguarding international law, and we also think that the obligations taken by the international community to fulfill the targets of tackling climate change must be taken extremely seriously. Estonia has also decided to contribute 1 million euros to the Green Climate Fund in the years 2015-2016.

Mr President,

Last year, Estonia was glad to be present at the 3rd SIDS Conference in Apia and be part of the adoption of Samoa Pathway and the Program of Action for the sustainable development of SIDS. It recognized, as a core theme, that genuine and durable partnerships and international cooperation are essential for the mitigation of the risks of climate change and other challenges of those island countries. In Apia nearly 300 partnerships were announced, and now it is crucial to implement them.

 Estonia has made a long-term commitment to partner with SIDS countries.  We have contributed to the project aiming to provide and improve satellite internet connectivity in the remote and vulnerable areas in the Pacific small island states. While the ICT solutions are proved to be one of the most powerful promotors of development, especially in the remote areas, the other side of the coin is security. Among other threats, SIDS are also susceptible to cybercrime and cyberattacks. Therefore, we have extended our cooperation with SIDS to the field of cyber security, inter alia in cooperation with the Organization of American States in several Caribbean countries such as Dominica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Finally, Mr President, we hope that today`s debate will not remain the only one on the subject. Security Council`s involvement is essential in the maintenance of peace and sustainable development in the Small Island Developing States. And vice versa, in order to better accomplish that aim, stronger voice of the small nations in the Council is vital. We therefore hope that the SIDS countries will be adequately represented in the Security Council in the closest future.

Thank you!

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