Remarks by Ms Minna-Liina Lind, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia at the Security Council Open Debate on Working Methods of the Security Council, 20 October 2015
Estonia as a member of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group aligns itself with the statement delivered by Switzerland and would like to add some additional remarks on the issue of appointment of the next Secretary-General. My statement is endorsed by the 26 member states of ACT.
Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield has said many centuries ago "Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request." Although the wider membership would definitely value the reflection of more suggestions coming from outside the Security Council, the main goal should be increased ownership of Council´s work by all countries. Estonia cannot speak from the first-hand experience about the complicated everyday work of the Security Council since we have never served as one of its members. But we truly believe in the positive impact of open and inclusive processes.
We have seen very closely the importance of effective and substantiated communication between the permanent members of the Security Council and the wider membership during the negotiations of the resolution on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. ACT, with Costa Rica and Estonia in the forefront in these negotiations is pleased with the outcome and consensual adoption of the resolution on 11 September which has set a structured process for the selection of the next SG.
Of course implementation is the key. Over the years we have seen many resolutions passed and not implemented on the issue of selecting the next SG. We must change this. As first step a joint letter by the Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council should be sent to all Member States calling for nominations. We would hope to receive this letter in the coming weeks to kick off the whole process before the end of the year. President of the General Assembly has received a very strong mandate from the GA revitalization resolution and the elements of the letter are also outlined therein. Now we are looking forward to the Council to do its part. In this regard, we were pleased to hear about the informal discussion Security Council had under the New Zealand presidency in July.
In a much wider picture our main concern should be making sure that the best candidates will come forward and be considered based on concrete selection criteria. In 1945 UN Preparatory Commission said that “the Secretary-General, more than anyone else, will stand for the UN as a whole”. We would like to make sure that all the Members States as well as the wider international community have the possibility to hear the vision of the candidates presented and to interact with them.
Additionally, we believe that after 70 years the time has come to be even more innovative. Therefore we are of the opinion that in making the final decision preference should be given to equally qualified female candidates. We are also looking forward to thorough discussion at this session on the duration of term in office of the SG, including the option of a single non-renewable term.