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Statement by H.E. Mr Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the High-Level Meeting on Sustaining Peace, 24 April 2018

24.04.2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing this timely meeting on how to build sustainable peace for all. Estonia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union.

The conflicts and crises in today´s world have grown in intensity and scale, becoming increasingly troubling to solve. Focusing on conflict prevention helps us to spare resources on responding to crises. And most importantly – to save lives.

Mr President,

The United Nations is an important pillar in today´s multilateral architecture. Estonia is an advocate of maintaining strong multilateral system and we have to keep strengthening it. Considering the number of crises and the tragic consequences they have on the civilian population, we have to admit that the United Nations has not always lived up to its full potential and tasks.

Therefore, UN system needs to work in a more integrated, flexible and coordinated manner. Estonia supports Secretary General’s reform agenda and the sustaining peace concept. I am convinced that prevention should be at the core of the UN´s work. Peace will only be sustainable if we make progress in development and address the root causes of conflict. The UN reform agendas on peace and security, management and development should reinforce coherence and the OneUN and fit-for-purpose vision. I am glad that today, the support for the reform of the United Nations system by all the stakeholders is greater than ever.

Mr President,

In fostering the sustaining peace agenda, we cannot rely only on the UN system as sustaining peace is the primarily responsibility of Member States. We need to have the will to put in practice adequate policies to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. I´m proud to say that Estonia was among the first countries presenting our voluntary review on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals two years ago.

The role of the Member States also becomes critical in investing more in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Estonia had the privilege of being a member of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) last year. We believe that the Peacebuilding Commission is a central actor in conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the UN system and we support its broader focus.

Inequality and political, social or economic exclusion are among the most common reasons leading to internal violent conflict. The World Bank and the UN drew this conclusion in their joint study “Pathways for Peace”. Therefore, democratic governance, rule of law, protection of human rights and transparent, accountable state institutions are essential for achieving stability and peace. It is also crucial that we fully recognize and support the role of women and youth in sustaining peace.

Over the years, Estonia has participated in several UN peacekeeping missions and given humanitarian and development aid globally. We have contributed to the Peacebuilding Fund already for five years and we believe that the Fund is an effective instrument for providing fast and flexible assistance. Estonia contributes currently to the Missions in Lebanon and Mali and to the UN Truce Supervision Organization.

Mr. President,

I can assure you that Estonia is fully committed to implementing the Sustaining Peace agenda and working towards maintaining peace. We promote these ideas also throughout our first bid ever for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021.

I hope today’s discussions will lead to concrete actions for building together more peaceful societies.

Thank you.

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