Ladies and Gentlemen,
When I addressed this assembly last year, foremost on our minds was the state of European and global security. The blatant violation of international law and the occupation of Ukrainian territory that we witnessed in the spring 2014 triggered a profound change in the global security situation. A year later, we are still adapting to this altered, more unpredictable state of affairs.
As we continue to tackle global challenges including terrorism, climate change, poverty and human rights violations, the number of conflicts and crises worldwide continues to grow. We also witnessed a positive development recently. Let us hope that the historic agreement on the Iran nuclear programme will pave the way towards more stability in the broader Middle East. It is a region where conflicts in Syria and Libya have led to the radicalisation of an ever greater number of people and to the emergence of ISIL. It poses a serious threat to peace and security in Syria, Iraq and the broader Middle East. ISIL violates universal human values. No country is immune from the threat that it poses. Stopping it, and other terrorist organisations, requires a global effort. Estonia supports the international coalition against ISIL. We believe that the UN and its Global Counter Terrorism Forum also have an important role to play.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ongoing crises and conflicts, including in Syria and Libya, have also led to the current refugee crisis in Europe.
"Russia's interference in the civil war in Syria has forced European countries to face complicated foreign policy choices, particularly seeing as the currents actions are against the backdrop of Russian aggression in East Ukraine and Crimea," said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves yesterday in Washington at the opening panel of the Center for European Political Analysis (CEPA), in which the President of the Republic of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis, also participated and which was moderated by the Editor of Economist magazine, Edward Lucas.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is in New York for the high-level opening week of the General Assembly of the United Nations, held a public discussion on the current international security situation at New York University with Professor Mark Galeotti, a lecturer at the university.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who arrived in the US for the opening week of the UN 70th General Assembly, held a reception on Sunday night to acknowledge the local Estonian community in New York in co-operation with the Estonian Consulate and the New York Estonian Educational Society at the Estonia House.