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Ceremony Marks End of Estonia's UN Security Council Term

A formal ceremony was held in New York on December 31 to mark the end of Estonia's two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.


The Estonian national flag, along with those of the other four outgoing member states: Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was lowered at the UNSC chamber. Estonia's diplomat to the U.N. Sven Jürgenson said one of the biggest achievements was getting the topic of cyber security put on the table for the first time.


Other successes included keeping Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia high on the agenda.


"Perhaps more broadly, our prestige in the world has risen noticeably, and so have our relations with our closest allies, who are permanent members of the Security Council," Jürgenson said.



U.S.-Estonian Writer Elin Toona Wins Henrik Visnapuu Culture Award

Writer Elin Toona will receive the Henrik Visnapuu Culture and Literature Prize, re-established in the U.S. by the Estonian American National Council, Inc. (EANC).


The winner was announced on January 2, Henrik Visnapuu's birthday.


Elin Toona is being recognized for her life's work as an Estonian and English-language writer, including her masterpiece "Into Exile", published in English in 2013 and in Estonian as "Pagulusse" in 2017.


The Economist named it one of the best books of 2013.



Tartu's Car Free Boulevard Nominated in Sustainable Tourism Competition

For the second year in a row, the international organization Green Destinations, which develops sustainable tourism, included Tartu in its list of sustainable destinations.


This time, Autovabaduse puiestee, "Car-Free" Boulevard, playing on the existing Vabaduse (Freedom) Blvd., placed among the six best success stories in the environment and climate category.



Many Estonians Receive Huge Electricity Bills

In the beginning of January, many Estonian consumers received shocking electricity bills for December, when the average price of electricity increased more than four-fold.


Households that heat with electricity are particularly hard hit.


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