Liechtenstein Reflects on 25 Years of UN Membership

On Friday, November 27th, the Principality of Liechtenstein celebrated the 25 year anniversary of its admission to the United Nations at the Saal am Lindenplatz convention center in Schaan. The celebration played host to a cast of notable speakers, such as UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, former Ambassador of Austria to the UN Martin Sajdik, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United Nations Christian Wenaweser, as well as Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States Claudia Fritsche. They spent the evening not only reflecting on the influence Liechtenstein has had on the growth of parts of the UN system, but also discussing how the country fits into the institution’s long-term goals going forward.

From left: Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer, Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick, President of the Liechtenstein Parliament Albert Frick, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and Prime Minister Adrian Hasler. Photo © Tatjana Schnalzger

Ambassador Fritsche looked back on her appointment as the first Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United Nations in 1990. She recalled how the country’s decision to join the organization centered primarily on the question of strengthening and safeguarding national sovereignty. In hindsight, the decision clearly paid off, leading to a national legacy highlighted by the advancement of human rights, the right to self-determination, the rule of law, and international criminal justice.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. Photo © Tatjana Schnalzger

Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson proceeded to laud Liechtenstein for its role as an advocate for the cause of global justice. He praised Ambassador Christian Wenaweser’s work at Liechtenstein’s Mission to the United Nations in New York, acknowledging the role he played in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. He went on to commend Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick’s current efforts to reform the operations of the UN Security Council, a matter which he finds particularly pressing in a time of great humanitarian strife in many parts of the world.

From left: Minister Marlies Amann-Marxer, UN Ambassador Christian Wenaweser and Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick. Photo © Tatjana Schnalzger

Both Ambassador Sajdik and the Deputy Secretary-General stressed the importance of Liechtenstein’s continued commitment to the United Nations. The Ambassador noted how the egalitarian nature of the UN, when combined with diplomatic expertise, allows for even small nations to successfully influence member states and the international community at large. Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson echoed his sentiments, thanking Liechtenstein for its support in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and expressing his hope of similar commitment to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.