Välisminister Urmas Paeti sõnavõtt Julgeolekunõukogu avatud arutelul ÜRO ja regionaalsete organisatsioonide koostööst rahutagamisoperatsioonide teemal
President, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to thank the Rwandan
presidency for the initiative to convene this Security Council’s open debate. I
highly value the open debates as a measure of greater transparency and inclusion
of wider UN membership in the issues discussed by the Council. I recommend every Presidency to follow suit.
I congratulate the Council for the adoption of the resolution today and I would
also like to thank the Secretary General for his statement. Estonia fully aligns
with the statement of the European Union.
provides essential security and humanitarian support to millions of people in
conflict zones, as well as supports fragile institutions in countries emerging
from conflict. UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding help societies in desperate
need of stability to return to the path of peace and development. UN
peacekeeping facilitates the protection of human rights and strengthens
democracy that I believe is the best way to ensure one’s stability and
actively contributed to international peacekeeping since 1995. Since then,
there has not been a single day when an Estonian peace soldier, policeman or
expert has not been on a peace mission. This spring, Estonian soldiers started
their first mission on African continent, namely in Central African Republic
where our infantry platoon is deployed as a part of the EU’s mission. We realize
the importance of cooperation and mutual support in solving problems on international
arena. By taking part in peace operations, Estonia firstly aims to protect civilians
and achieve a peaceful outcome in situations with escalating tensions. But we
also understand that all tensions, instabilities and conflicts, close or
distant, will sooner or later have an effect on us. So, there is a link between
peacekeeping and our own security.
Based on our own
experience, please allow me to elaborate on some elements of the Presidency’s concept
note, which I find comprehensive and forward looking.
and operationally, we do agree that there are comparative advantages to
regional action. That applies to Africa but also to other regions where we have
witnessed some positive results of joint regional action. Let’s recall
operations and missions in the former Yugoslavia or in Afghanistan where the EU,
NATO, OSCE and the UN worked together and shared the burden. The regional and
sub-regional organisations sometimes have more knowledge and experience to
handle local affairs, and they might also have better suited capabilities for
regional action. Therefore, the complementary roles of for example the Regional
Economic Communities (like ECOWAS) or the African Union, while speaking about
Africa should be even reinforced in the future. In this respect, the experience
of peace operations gained by the EU or NATO could be used. Their increased cooperation with the UN, AU
and REC-s could improve the overall capacity for carrying out the missions. Over
the years, some progress has been made but the ongoing crises show that it is
still not enough. Conflicts still continue to erupt and instabilities spring. Our
response to them is still very often too slow or cautious.
understandable that even the UN has its operational limits and its capabilities
have to be used first of all to counter the most serious crises. With regional
organisations taking more responsibility, the excessive burden the UN is facing
can be relieved. Regional organisations are very often better suited for preventive
action since they can detect the rising tensions quicker and respond
accordingly sooner, using their good offices and mediation tools. Political
will is the first and foremost prerequisite to more regional action as are the
existing decision making framework and operational capabilities. Here, joint
planning and information collection capabilities but also pooling of troops and
necessary expertise has great importance.
During the last
decade, in the light of growing necessity for raising readiness and enhancing capacity
to counter crises and take timely action, both the EU and NATO have worked to
improve their toolbox in order to streamline their operational and planning
capabilities but also their readiness for prompt action. The EU’s concept of
Battle Groups or NATO’s Rapid Response Force could be used as good examples for
other regions to follow. The Battle Groups, for example, are based on
contributions from the member states and are manned and equipped in a rotational
manner. It is a battalion-sized force reinforced with a combat support element.
There are eighteen such groups and they are tasked to undertake military tasks
of humanitarian, peacekeeping and peacemaking nature. And even more importantly,
those groups are prepared in a unified planning and training framework.
peacekeeping, we should not overlook what happens in a conflict zone after peace
has been restored. The international community should keep looking for ways to
facilitate the countries’ return to a peaceful and sustainable path of
development. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) should be an
integral part of the mandates for peacekeeping operations and for post-conflict
peace consolidation. Comprehensive security sector reform (SSR) is vital to
ensure the development of effective, efficient, affordable and accountable
security institutions. In this regard, Estonia commends the work of the UN
I would like to
touch upon one important feature in peacekeeping, namely financing. We have
seen the UN peacekeeping budget increasing year by year. Exceeding 8 billion
USD, it lays an enormous burden on the member states, but especially on the
financially contributing countries. Estonia welcomes the very last minute
agreement of the Fifth committee to agree on the peacekeeping budget for
2014-2015, but allow me to remind everyone that the agreement was a hard
compromise and was hindered surprisingly by strong unwillingness by many
countries. Estonia has always taken its responsibilities to the UN peacekeeping
budget seriously. In 1999 Estonia made a unilateral voluntary decision to
contribute to the peacekeeping budget on the level B and has continued to
follow that pattern since then. I would like to call upon the member states to
follow that suit, especially upon those who have enjoyed considerable economic
growth during the last 10-15 years and whose capacity to pay today is much
higher than in the past.
I also have to
emphasize that the peacekeeping budget is not the only resource we allocate to
peace and stability. Estonia has contributed 75 000 € to the UN Peacebuilding
Fund this year. Funds are also allocated
through different UN bodies such as UNICEF and UNHCR to name only some,
Peace on the
African continent is the prerequisite for a better future of the whole world
and therefore, Estonia is ready to take on more international responsibilities
and willing to contribute increasingly to African stability. To bolster African
countries’ peacekeeping capacities, Estonia supported the EU decision (during
the EU-Africa Summit on Apr. 2nd and 3rd, 2014) to commit
to double spending on the African Peace Facility, a joint EU-African Union fund
supporting African-run peacekeeping and conflict resolution missions. The EU
will give € 800 million ($1.1 billion) to the fund over the next three years.
We highly value
the role of international actors and international law in safeguarding peace
and security. But there is also a need for stronger national and regional
ownership by the governments of countries struggling for peace and stability.
The societies must demand more from their elected leadership. We remain a devoted
supporter of this principle.
Here I come back
to prevention and its importance. One effective measure of prevention among
others is the general comprehension that perpetrators are to be held
accountable. Atrocity crimes have no justification and those who have committed
them have to be brought before court and subjected to trial. Therefore, we all
have to treat the International Tribunals and International Criminal Court with
respect and dignity, to help and support them to carry out their tasks.
Otherwise we will lose an important element of international justice and law and
the already complicated peace efforts will become even more complicated.
allow me to stress that these issues should be brought to wider international
attention. We should ask for more international reaction including by the
Security Council. But at the same time there is no real alternative to
increasing the local national and regional comprehensive approach to tackle protracted
and violent crises. We stand ready to contribute and assist. The more we invest
in prevention, the less we have to deal with consequences. But prevention can
be successful only if we strive for it together. I am convinced that we will be
successful in this endeavour. We shall commit ourselves here today to act
together for the better, safer and more prosperous future of our children!
Thank you for
your attention, and I wish us a lively continuation of the discussion.