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President Ilves met with the local Estonian community in the New York Estonian House


The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who arrived for the opening week of the UN 69th General Assembly, held a reception on Sunday night with the Estonian Consulate and the New York Estonian Educational Society in the New York Estonian House to acknowledge the local Estonian community.

In his presentation, President Ilves stated that the recent events in Ukraine have totally changed the current security situation and further developments will require our constant attention.

"This is not a problem faced by just one country, but a problem for Europe in general," remarked the Estonian Head of State.

"The rules and international agreements that have been valid for 60 years are no longer valid. Russia wants to reorganise the current geopolitical lines of power," added President Ilves, referring to military annexation of Crimea by Russia.

The head of state expressed his pleasure with the visit of the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to Estonia this September; according to many experts, the speech there by the President of the USA was the best foreign policy speech since the term of President Reagan.

President Ilves invited the younger generation of the Estonian community in New York to pass military service in Estonia, as many of them have done, as this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about Estonia and practice the Estonian language.

"Make the most of the opportunities offered by New York Estonian School and speak in Estonian with your children at home. This will make it easier for them to settle in Estonia, should they want to," said the head of state in recommending that parents teach the Estonian language to the younger generation.

On Wednesday, President Ilves will give a speech at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, on the first day of the general debate of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. The main subjects of his speech at the world organisation will be the challenges of international law in light of the Ukrainian conflict, international terrorism and Internet freedom. The head of state will give a speech entitled The New Security Reality of Europe at the security debate organised by the International Peace Institute, and at a climate change summit.

At Columbia University, President Ilves will hold a public lecture on international politics, focusing on geopolitics, ideological warfare and the Ukrainian conflict. President Ilves will take part in the formal reception held by President Barack Obama on the occasion of the opening session of the UN General Assembly and will also meet with enterprising young Estonians active in New York and the East Coast.

President Ilves will open the photo exhibition The Waterfowl People, which introduces Lennart Meri's Finno-Ugric film travels, at the UN conference rooms within the framework of the UN's high-level week and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. The President also visited the Photoville festival, where the Estonian photographer Annika Haas participated with her series Plane Watchers.

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