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Remarks by Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Peaceful Societies and Conflict Prevention, 17 November 2015

18.11.2015

Monsieur Président,

Tout d’abord, permettez-moi d’exprimer mes condoléances les plus profondes et sincères aux familles de celles et ceux qui sont morts dans les attentats terroristes le vendredi dernier à Paris, au people Français ainsi qu’aux autres pays victimes, le Liban, l´Irak et la Russie.

Mister President,

I warmly thank the United Kingdom’s Presidency for organizing this timely debate.  Let me also thank the Secretary-General, the PR of Sweden and Madame Bouchamaoui for their remarks. Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

We welcome the topic of today’s debate, which very accurately links together the three pillars of the United Nations system: peace and security, development and human rights.

Peace and security is the basic prerequisite for achieving sustainable development. Conflict and violence undermine development gains achieved over decades. At the same time, without development and human rights, there will be no durable peace and stability. The risks of armed conflicts and crises, forced migration, weak economies and corrupt governments, poor education, climate change and natural disasters — just to name a few, are all closely linked together and need to be addressed comprehensively.

As voiced by our President during this year´s SDG debate, the linkages between peace and security, development and human rights are clearly recognised in the recently adopted Agenda 2030. Promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels is essential for achieving sustainable development. 

Strong national institutions can only be based on the rule of law and must respect property rights, freedom of speech and the media, open political choice, and access to justice. Creating reliable institutions is also a central part of the transformation needed to enable countries prone to or emerging from conflict, to foster development, stability and peace. Rule of law is essential in both preventing and dealing with the consequences of violence and conflict as well as transnational organized crime, trafficking and illicit financial flows that directly impact sustainable development.

I am pleased to see that the Council is taking a more forward-looking approach. We must invest more in conflict prevention. It is very hard to end ongoing crises that often even turne into armed conflicts. It is easier and less costly – in every sense – to

prevent violent conflicts from escalating. The Council has a key role to play in prevention; and bridging silos across the development, security and human rights pillars is central to supporting prevention efforts.

Security Council has increased its focus on peacebuilding to reduce the risk of relapsing violence.  The Council should continue addressing peacebuilding through horizon scanning briefings, ensuring that longer-term peacebuilding is considered in mission mandates and by strengthening and reforming the advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission. We encourage Security Council to address peacebuilding as early as possible.

Addressing the interdependence between peace and security and development includes protection of human rights, including attention to women’s rights, also through their participation in peace consolidation.

Mister President,

While the primary responsibility for conflict prevention and sustainable development falls on Member States, the international institutions have to do their part. The UN system needs to work in a more integrated, flexible and coordinated fashion – both at headquarters and country level –to respond to the current global challenges - and give more weight to prevention and early warning tools.  

Thank you!

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