We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Improving the working methods of the UN Security Council

The world has undergone considerable changes since the founding of the UN, however, the structure and working methods of the Security Council have remained the same. Estonia supports a broad view of security. We think that the Security Council should reflect the interests of the world’s states in a balanced way. This would also make it possible to use the contribution of small states more efficiently for peace and security.

The position of most UN member states is that it is in everyone’s interests to have a more efficient Security Council with more transparent working methods. The number of countries supporting change is growing. One of Estonia’s objectives as an elected member is to promote greater transparency and openness in the work of the Security Council. It is important to have an active dialogue between the members of the Security Council as well as the countries that are on its agenda, including those contributing to peace operations and non-governmental organisations.

We wish to strengthen the ties between the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, including ensuring a prompt and substantive reporting by the Security Council. We also consider it important to have an exchange of information between the Human Rights Council and the Security Council. Estonia supports increasing the transparency of the veto procedure and restricting it in certain cases: we support blocking or limiting veto rights on items that concern genocide or other crimes against humanity.