Eesti alalise esindaja ÜRO juures, Margus Kolga sõnavõtt Julgeolekunõukogu avatud arutelul „Rahvusvahelise rahu ja julgeoleku tagamine: peegeldades ajalugu ja kinnitades üle oma tugev pühendumus ÜRO Harta eesmärkidele ja põhimõtetele“


Mister President, Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like thank the Chinese presidency for convening this open debate on Maintaining International Peace and Security. The 70th anniversary of the United Nations provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Estonia aligns itself with the statements delivered by the European Union as well as by the representative of Maldives on behalf of the ACT group.

Mister President,

With regard to the topic of today’s discussion, I would like to reiterate that the protection of human life is the foremost priority we as the international community have been given. Carrying out this mandate by the Security Council should be clear and understandable to us all.

In the UN Charter the Permanent Members of the Security Council were given a great power, but also a great responsibility to maintain peace and security in the world. The three most important principles which should be adhered to while maintaining peace and security in our view are: democracy, rule of law and fight against impunity. And I hope that all members of this council are and will be guided by these principles.

Mister President,

Considering  the large number of crises around the world and the disastrous consequences they have on the civilian population – in Syria, Ukraine, the Middle East, Somalia and South Sudan to name some, it is clear that the Security Council of the United Nations has not always lived up to its tasks.

Several attempts of adopting resolutions on effective international response to stop the crisis and to ensure the accountability for perpetrators of atrocity crimes have been blocked by permanent members of the Security Council. Far too often history has shown us how the distinct privilege of the veto, or even just the threat of using it, has been abused leaving the Security Council paralyzed and passive on the sidelines in situations where it is most needed. The saddest example of this is the four year long and ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Estonia therefore stands by the French proposal on establishing a code of conduct on voluntary restraint on the use of veto and firmly believes that taking such a step would help the Security Council to live up to its mandate.

The Security Council can and should make its contribution to the protection of fundamental human rights through its power of referring situations to the International Criminal Court. The Council must take measures to ensure that adequate support is given to the Court for the delivery of its mandate. 

Mr. President,

From the perspective of the working methods of this Council, one aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the obligation deriving from Article 27 (3) of the Charter, which establishes the only limitation to a Council member participating in a vote in the Security Council: “in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.” This applies in equal measure to all Council members and should be adhered to.

Furthermore, while focusing on the Council’s role in the maintenance of peace and security in the world one cannot ignore the seriously deteriorated security situation in Europe. The conflict in Ukraine has shown that one of the basic principles of international law – the respect of a country's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and the inviolability of its borders – can be breeched. We – member states of the UN – should not tolerate it. With the occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing military intervention in Eastern Ukraine, one permanent member of the Security Council has violated international law, the underlying principles of the European security including those enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter and others. Despite those violations, however, these principles are still valid and must be fully respected. The independence, sovereignty and territorial inviolability must remain the fundamental rights of states and nations.

Mister President,

On a broader spectrum of the UN, the member states can make their own contribution to the maintenance of peace and security by strongly adhering to the rule of law, which also encourages sustainable development, as progress is best guaranteed by good governance, transparency of decision-making processes and minimization of corruption. Estonia firmly believes that loyalty to the rule of law is a tool to improve the fundamental human right of access to justice, which is inherently linked to the promotion of a culture of accountability over impunity.

Thank you very much, Mister President.


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