Yesterday, 29 August, Estonia’s Ambassador to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi presented her credentials to Director-General of United Nations Office in Geneva Tatiana Valovaya.
During the conversation following the ceremony, discussion included the different aspects of cooperation between Estonia and the UN Office in Geneva, as well as opportunities to further enhance them. “Estonia considers multilateralism very important, and this holds true for the three UN priority areas: peace and security, human rights, and development. As an incumbent non-permanent member of the UN Security Council we are ready to hold a greater responsibility and contribute to a rules-based world order,” Ambassador Saarsalu-Layachi said.
“In Estonia’s view, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is crucial. Using innovative digital solutions plays a big role here,“ stressed the Ambassador. Director-General Valovaya acknowledged Estonia for its achievements in the field of innovation and expressed hope for closer collaboration on questions of e-governance.
Ambassador Saarsalu-Layachi also raised the issue of a poor level of representation of Estonians at the UN Office in Geneva and other secretariats of UN organisations. According to Director-General Valovaya, dealing with the problem of regional representation is one of her priorities.
Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi was born on 10 January 1967 in Tallinn. She graduated from the School of Law of the University of Tartu in 1990 and in 1994 got her postgraduate degree from the European Institute at the University of Basel. She has worked in Estonia’s foreign service since 1991, and up until 1996 she was a counsellor at the Foreign Ministry’s Legal Department. From 1996-1999 she served as a counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the European Union and from 1999-2003 she was the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s European Integration Department. From 2003-2009 Saarsalu-Layachi was Estonia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Slovakia, and the Swiss Confederation. She was also accredited as Estonia’s Ambassador to the UN Office in Vienna, IAEA and CTBTO. Between 2009-2019, Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi worked as the Director-General of the Personnel Department.