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Statement by H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia at the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security∶ Strengthening Multilateralism and the Role of the United Nations, 9 November 2018


Mr President,

I would like to thank the Chinese Presidency for convening this open debate on Strengthening Multilateralism and the Role of the United Nations, an issue which is ever important and topical against the backdrop of current global challenges. Estonia aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union.

Mr President,

The international challenges of 21st century have become more complex, transnational and multidimensional. To overcome these intertwined and interrelated issues a coherent and holistic response by international community is needed. We must demonstrate that collective international action not only works, but also that it is in all of our best interests.

Estonia is committed to promoting the respect for international law and the rules-based international order. For us, international law is an existential matter. It is of utmost importance to make full use of all the instruments and to act with full responsibility in preventing and ending conflicts. In order to make the whole system work, every country has to play its role.

Mr President,

In that regard, we strongly support the Secretary-General’s reform efforts to make the UN more responsive, effective and modernized, in order to be more capable of dealing with today’s challenges. Making an effort to increase the transparency and accountability of the UN System should be part of our ambitions. Helping to make good progress on all three main strands of the SG’s reform agenda is by far the best way how all of us can make a tangible contribution to strengthening a multilateral, rules based international system.

Although in recent times we have been witnessing growing disunity and disagreements on a number of topics, it is clear that the international community needs the Security Council to uphold and promote international law by responding decisively to grave violations of international law, including that of humanitarian law and human rights law. We need to keep up our efforts in order to strengthen the legitimacy of the Security Council resolutions and their implementation. If we want the Council to fulfil its purpose of maintaining international peace and security, its practices need to be updated so it is not hamstrung by the use of the veto, especially in the case of atrocity crimes.

Mr President,

Modern conflicts threatening international peace and security are characterized by ever-broader use of new technologies. Being ready to adequately respond to these kind of new challenges is important if we want to ensure that the UN peace and security architecture stays relevant in times of dynamically evolving international environment. Estonia is firmly of the position that crimes have to be prevented, investigated and prosecuted irrespective of the way they are committed, be it by using kinetic force or cyber means. International law is applicable when cyber means are used for threatening international peace and security. It is our view that the Security Council can and should use all powers deriving from the UN Charter to take action in such cases.

Mr President,

As the saying goes: Listening well is as powerful as talking well, and is also as essential to true conversation. We could learn from these wise words, in order to strive for a deeper cooperation and empathy both within the Security Council as well as with the wider UN membership and other actors. Estonia stands ready to engage in this partnership, to better uphold international law and to maintain international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr President.


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