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Estonia’s Foreign Minister Discussed Ukraine Situation With The UN Under-Secretary-General

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The Foreign Minister discussed the situation in Ukraine and Syria with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Assistance Stephen O’Brien

The Foreign Minister discussed the situation in Ukraine and Syria with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Assistance Stephen O'Brien

Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand met today with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien in Geneva. At the meeting, they discussed the challenges facing the humanitarian community, the situation in Syria and Ukraine, and issues related to the migration crisis.

Foreign Minister Kaljurand highlighted Estonia’s commitment to contribute to helping solve problems, for example through the mobilization of resources necessary to support UN agencies and humanitarian coordination, in receiving refugees, by protecting borders and in supporting countries accepting large numbers of refugees.

Foreign Minister Kaljurand and the UN Under-Secretary-General were unanimous that despite the emergence of other humanitarian crises, we must not forget the situation in Ukraine. “The humanitarian situation in Ukraine remains very serious. Therefore, Ukraine continues to be a priority partner country for Estonia in terms of bilateral development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

Since the conflict began in 2014, Estonia has allocated 1.8 million euros for humanitarian aid for the victims of the conflict in Ukraine, and to alleviate the situation of internally displaced persons,” the Foreign Minister said.

Under-Secretary-General O’Brien noted that despite the acute humanitarian needs situation in Ukraine, the UN still has problems with access to eastern Ukraine, especially Donetsk.

The Under-Secretary-General commended Estonia’s significant contribution in supporting the activities of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He acknowledged that part of the challenge facing the international community includes enhancing the work of the UN, for instance a uniform mapping out of those in need, as well as harmonising reporting and effects analysis.

O’Brien said the main donors of humanitarian aid should strive towards more transparent and predictable funding, as well as to better integrate humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

2016 will provide many opportunities for improving humanitarian aid and reforming the humanitarian sector. On February 4, the heads of state and government will discuss possibilities to improve the situation of Syria and its neighbouring countries with the UN in London. In preparing for the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23-24, a number of ideas have arisen, both to improve funding and for an effective analysis of the UN’s humanitarian system

{Source: Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs}

[photo credits-featured image: By Nikater (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]


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