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Estonian Ambassador stated that the Baltic States had been occupied first by Soviet, then by Nazi, and then again by Soviet troops

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Shown here is Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga who issued a strong statement in May on behalf of the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during a meeting of the UN General Assembly in commemoration of ALL victims of the Second World War. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Shown here is Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga who issued a strong statement in May on behalf of the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during a meeting of the UN General Assembly in commemoration of ALL victims of the Second World War. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Shown here is Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga who issued a strong statement in May on behalf of the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during a meeting of the UN General Assembly in commemoration of ALL victims of the Second World War. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Shown here is Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga who issued a strong statement in May on behalf of the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during a meeting of the UN General Assembly in commemoration of ALL victims of the Second World War. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

 

Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga, speaking on behalf of Latvia and Lithuania, too, stated that the Baltic States had been occupied first by Soviet, then by Nazi, and then again by Soviet troops

 

In commemorating ALL victims of the Second World War, Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga stated in a meeting of the UN General Assembly on May 5, “that the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania could not be among the founders of the United Nations as they had been occupied first by Soviet, then by Nazi, and then again by Soviet troops.” As he pointed out, “for the men of the Baltic States, the Second World War was particularly poignant because they were forcibly recruited Into armed forces on both sides of the battlefront. “

In his statement during this General Assembly meeting, the Estonian Ambassador went on to say that “at the time of the creation of the United Nations, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were illegally annexed to the Soviet Union and could liberate themselves only decades later. This is our story, this cannot be denied, this cannot be downplayed to irrelevance, and it definitely cannot be called “rewriting of history”, as some are trying to do.

He added, “therefore, while commemorating the victims of this war, we also pay our tribute to thousands of our compatriots, who sacrificed their lives in the fight for our independence after the World War officially ended in Europe. Our thoughts are also with all the victims of Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes who were deported to and condemned to die far from their homes.”

The statement made by Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations in New York, on behalf of all three Baltic States, including Latvia and Lithuania, was fully aligned with the statement made by the European Union. The Estonian Ambassador said “that this meeting was about remembering the innocent victims and loss of lives in the Second World War, but also about the basic values that led to the creation of the United Nations. Recalling the past, we unfortunately have to admit that the personal, psychological, demographic, economic, and political implications of the Second World War are felt to this day.”

He also stated that “we also remain very conscious of the fact that it is not just the two world wars that have brought untold sorrow to humankind over the last hundred years. Regrettably, our efforts for peace have failed too often and many current crises and conflicts remain unresolved. “

An important part of Estonian Ambassador Kolga’s statement referred to the fact that as a result of World War II, Europe was left deeply divided. As he put it, “while commemorating sincerely all the victims of the Second World War and paying solemn tribute to all the women and men from all around the globe who fought for liberty and peace, we know that the war left Europe deeply divided for more than four decades. While we commemorate the ending of the world war atrocities, we must also remember that for many European countries – including our three countries – the end of the Second World War did not bring freedom but more oppression and injustice, more crimes against humanity.”

In this joint statement covering Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Estonian Ambassador Margus Kolga also emphasized the negative role that the use of force has played in changing internationally recognized borders. Here’s how he explained it: “This anniversary must remind us of our commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or sovereignty of any state. Also, it should lead us to redouble our efforts to settle disputes by peaceful means. “

He went on to say:” We are deeply committed to the core principles outlined in the United Nation’s Charter, and we firmly believe that there is no place for the use of force and coercion to change internationally recognised borders.

The United Nations was created to put an end to the world where might makes right. We, every one of us, should ensure that the dark days of war and injustice, which followed, will never ever prevail again.”

In his concluding remarks, Estonian Ambassador Kolga stated: “Remembering that the United Nations was created to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom – we should be inspired by all this and redouble our efforts for peace and understanding in the world.”

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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