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Eesti Vabariigi alalise esindaja ÜRO ja teiste rahvusvaheliste organisatsioonide juures Genfis Jüri Seilenthali sõnavõtt PA 28.istungi 1.komitee ülddebatil

11.10.2013

Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Let me first congratulate you on assuming this position and we assure you of our full support in your efforts to achieve a successful outcome in this very important session.

 

Aligning ourselves fully with the statement made by the European Union, we would like to highlight some specific issues to which Estonia attaches particular importance at this year's session of the First Committee.

 

Mr Chairman, Estonia shares the view of the overwhelming majority of UN Member States that consider the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) an extremely important instrument in curbing illicit and illegal transfers of conventional arms to conflict zones or parties of armed conflict. We are also very pleased to see that far more than half of UN Member States have already signed the Treaty. Our focus now should be on fast ratification and early entry into force of the ATT. This is exactly why my country, Estonia, has set the target of depositing our letter of approval of the ATT, together with the declaration of provisional application of Article 6 and 7, to the Secretary-General even before the end of this calendar year. We would also like to encourage other States to demonstrate their dedication and commitment to the process and ask for their help in bringing the ATT into force as soon as possible. We are also committed to the implementation of the ATT both on national and international level. As a Member State of the European Union, we intend to lend our expertise and participate in the EU ATT implementation assistance programme for third countries. 

 

The adaption of the ATT reminds us of the previous time the international community was able to make progress in concluding a universal treaty of disarmament and non-proliferation. Unfortunately today, 16 years later, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not entered into force. We urge the states, particularly those whose adherence is required for the CTBT to enter into force, to sign and ratify the treaty without further delay.

 

‘Its on-going stalemate remains deeply troubled’- this judgment, constantly repeated over the years, can be considered the unofficial slogan of the Conference on Disarmament. This year is not an exception. We nevertheless would like to express our gratitude for allowing observer states to take part in the work of the Informal Working Group (IWG) on Programme of Work. CD’s agenda encompasses global concerns and we believe that those concerns should be negotiated on a non-discriminatory, transparent and multilateral basis, with the wider participation of interested states. Given the universal nature of the United Nations, we do not see any reason or moral justification why an interested State should not be allowed to participate fully and equally in the disarmament discussions and negotiations and to contribute to its aims. Let me at this point reiterate Estonia’s request to participate fully and equally in the disarmament discussions as a full member of the CD. We also reiterate our call for the early nomination of a Special Rapporteur to review the issue of membership.

 

Mr Chairman, the use of chemical weapons in Syria on 21 August, and allegedly on several occasions before, demonstrates that there are still those who do not hesitate in using weapons of mass destruction. We welcome United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 and the OPCW Executive Council Decision of 27 September 2013 that constitute and reinforce legally binding obligations to destroy all Syrian chemical weapons, their means of delivery and all relevant facilities in an ambitious but achievable timeframe. We also hope that effective implementation of those decisions paves the way for further universalisation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. In order to support the OPCW in implementing its decision on Syria, Estonia has decided to provide a voluntary financial contribution to the OPCW special trust fund installed to serve that very purpose.

 

Supporting mine clearance activities remains essential for the stabilisation processes of post-conflict states and the safe return of refugees. My country is determined to support humanitarian demining and mine action; we increased our contributions over the past few years and we continue to do so. This includes financial support to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) as well as to various explosive remnants of war and mine-clearance activities under several bilateral or international humanitarian projects. We also urge all States which have not done so to join the Mine Ban Treaty.

 

Finally, Mr Chairman, the UN, including its 1st committee, could be important fora for sharing information on efforts taken at the national level to strengthen cyber security. It is also important to have international discussion on building trust and transparency in this field.  Cyber security and internet freedom are intrinsically linked and in no way incompatible. The UN Group of Government Experts (UNGGE) in its recent consensus importantly decided that international law is applicable and essential in promoting an open, secure and accessible cyberspace.

 

Thank you, Mr Chairman

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