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Remarks by H.E. Mr Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia at the High Level Event on Action for Peacekeeping, 25 September 2018

25.09.2018

Exellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The blue helmets of our peacekeepers are and have been the symbols of peace and hope for a better future in many countries and regions all over the world. However, the international security environment has significantly changed and the threats we are facing are more complex and, at times, difficult to attribute. The fundamental human rights and values we hold self-evident have come under increasing attack and more often UN peacekeepers are the targets of aggression.

We are convinced that the UN will maintain its leading role in bringing peace and stability to different regions and tackling today’s security challenges. We welcome and support the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative and the general push to reform how the United Nations manages Peacekeeping missions and the whole Peace and Security Pillar. The “Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations” stresses the pertinent and critical issues concerning our peacekeeping operations, and Estonia is glad to be among the countries that have joined the declaration.

Additionally, I would like to make more specific remarks on the following aspects:

Firstly, we share the idea that the UN Security Council mandates for peacekeeping operations could be more realistic and robust. The Council should increase its focus on adopting more specific and tailored mandates. Closer coordination among the UN mission commanders would also help set up achievable tasks for the successful fulfilment of mandates.

My second point touches upon the improved decision making process. The UN can become quicker and more flexible in addressing the dynamics of the crisis areas and in giving greater delegation of power to the field. This would help guarantee that operations can rapidly and effectively respond to complex and changing circumstances on the ground. We believe this would also benefit from improved gender balance in peacekeeping.

Thirdly, adequate training and equipment of forces is the responsibility of all of us, the member states. I would also like to emphasize that there must be zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse.

Lastly, I would like to underline that creating security and stability requires cooperation and coordination with other international, regional and sub-regional stakeholders in the field. African Union led peace operations, MINUSMA, G5 Sahel-Barkhane cooperation in Mali and the UN-EU Partnership on Peacekeeping are but a few examples of how cooperation is necessary to secure peace.

Finally, Estonia has always contributed to peace and stabilization operations around the world and we will continue to contribute to making a difference for a world in peace and promote these ideas throughout our bid for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021.

Thank you!

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