Eesti alalise esindaja ÜRO juures Margus Kolga sõnavõtt Julgeolekunõukogu avatud arutelul Julgeolekunõukogu töömeetodite teemal


Mr. President,


At the outset I would like to thank you for organizing today`s open debate on Security Council Working Methods, 6th of its kind and, for the very comprehensive concept paper. As a member of the ACT group we fully support the statement delivered by the representative of Switzerland on behalf of the group.



Mr President,


As set out by the Charter, the Members of the United Nations have conferred the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security to this 15-member body. Therefore, it is hard to overestimate the role of its working methods. How this Council works and how its decisions are taken is of the utmost importance to every single country. Let me focus today on transparency and accountability of these processes.


Estonia attaches great value to transparency in all decision making processes and therefore praises highly any steps taken with this consideration. As the Council decisions affect all of us, we expect to be involved in that process – therefore the more transparency accompanies them, the easier will be their implementation. Through enhanced engagement with interested parties, transparency can be improved on all levels.


The Council has demonstrated responsibility in front of the wider membership by adopting the Presidential Note 507 and more recently, in August this year, the Note 515 committing to closer collaboration and engagement with non-members. Estonia considers implementation of these decisions instrumental for the future. Many of the incorporated commitments have already been implemented – we have witnessed a growing trend in open debates and other public meetings. This trend should continue, the open meetings should become the norm rather than an exception.


In this regard we would like to recall as an excellent example the open debate organized a year ago by Guatemala on Peace and Justice, with a special focus on the role of the International Criminal Court. This was the first thematic debate focusing on the relationship of the Council with the Court and we believe it was a timely and fruitful exercise. Estonia therefore strongly encourages members of the Security Council to organize a follow up debate on this topic.


We would also like to commend the Council for organizing informal interactive dialogues and Arria-formula meetings with other interested parties. The informal introductory briefings on the Council working program and also the recently reintroduced wrap-up sessions are of the great value to the wider membership. Estonia encourages the Council´s current but also the newly elected members to continue this practice during their presidencies, so that this would become an integral part of the Council’s work.


Transparency is a multi-layer issue – it should be enhanced both horizontally and vertically. In a decision-making process involvement of the wider membership should start at the early stage and continue till the end of its implementation. On the other hand, even wider range of different stakeholders, including civil society, could be involved in the Council work. We believe, exclusion creates frustration while participation increases ownership and thereby also responsibility and accountability.


Hence, a lot has been done, but there is still room for improvement. An example of the lack of transparency in the Council work was the process that led to adoption of the long-awaited resolution 2118 (2013) on Syrian chemical weapons, which for the first time in history determined that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constituted a threat to international peace and security. We certainly welcome the decision, but the process of making this decision showed that transparency could be enhanced even within the Council itself.


Mr President,


With respect to accountability, another important goal that should be pursued by the Council, we again cannot overlook Syria, the most dreadful ongoing conflict. The Council has been paralyzed for too long and the international community has therefore not been able to take up the responsibility to protect the Syrian people who have been systematically attacked and killed by their own government, the government who has not lived up to the expectations of its own people to ensure them a peaceful and stable living environment. We would call upon the Council to reflect on its working methods - how such a situation has occurred and how it could be avoided in the future. One of the issues to explore is the veto and its use. Estonia would call the permanent members of the Council to seriously consider refraining from its use in cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Estonia welcomes in that regard the French proposal to define a way the permanent members of the Council could decide to collectively renounce their veto powers in the event of a mass crime.


More systematic follow up of its decisions is an important aspect of Council working methods regarding the accountability to the wider membership as well as the accountability matters the Council is dealing with. In relation to the Council`s work in fighting impunity I would like to recall few points that Ms. Tiina Intelmann, Estonian Ambassador-at-large for the ICC and President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute highlighted at the previously mentioned Council`s open debate: Security Council resolutions 1593 (2005) and 1970 (2011) took crucial steps in the fight against impunity by referring the situations in Darfur and Libya to the ICC. Given the complicated nature of these situations, the Court and, indeed, the Council itself, would greatly benefit from a more efficient and vigorous follow-up of these situations, particularly with regard to instances of non-cooperation. Furthermore, effective cooperation and assistance by all States is essential for the ICC to fulfill its mandate. In this regard the Security Council might consider imposing an obligation to cooperate with the Court on all UN Member States in future referrals.


Finally, as a member of the ACT group, Estonia is ready to work closely with the Council in order to identify further ways to increase transparency and interaction between all member states and the Council.




Thank you, Mr. President!


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