The 5th Conference of the Honorary Consuls of the Republic of Estonia concluded on Saturday, 31 May. There were 73 honorary consuls from 44 nations all over the world in attendance.
When summing up the conference, the honorary consuls emphasised the necessity of holding such events. They felt that the conference offered them a chance to gather information necessary for their work and meet both Foreign Ministry employees as well as their colleagues from around the world, and to share the joys and concerns of the job.
Estonian Honorary Consul in Brazil Jüri Saukas emphasised that it was good to see Estonia’s progress with his own eyes and experience its developments himself. “I’m an optimist about the future of Estonia, and the things I have seen and experienced here give me the strength and desire to remain in this position,” said Saukas.
Igor Goncearov, Estonia’s honorary consul in Moldova, said, “Estonia is a beautiful and dear country, and it is a great honour to represent it. It’s important to have these conferences for us honorary consuls. It’s good to get information for our everyday work straight from the source.”
Diplomats of the Foreign Ministry gave presentations to the honorary consuls on consular and protocol issues as well as Estonia’s foreign policy. The honorary consuls visited the Tapa Defence Forces training base, Tartu University, and Tartu Town Hall, and participated in the seminar “Knowledge Intensive Estonia” at Tartu University. The seminar was about the role of education and science in society, and topics included co-operation among universities, science and business, the implementation of information technology, and satellite construction.
At the reception held by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on Friday, Estonia Honorary Consul in the USA Jüri Treiman presented a donation from the honorary consuls for the support of disabled children.
The honorary consuls also visited the National Defence College, Tartu Aviation College, and the Song Festival Museum, and listened to a concert by the Tartu University Students’ Mixed Choir in Jaani church in Tartu.
Estonia currently has 104 honorary consuls in 50 countries. Thanks to honorary consuls, Estonian citizens all over the world have easier access to consular aid and services. Consuls are also noteworthy in their contributions to the areas of politics, economics, culture, education, and other important spheres. Honorary consuls are not paid by the Estonian state.