Statement at open debate on Security Council working methods

UNSC Open Debate on the Working Methods of the Security Council

Delivered by H.E Mr. Rein Tammsaar, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations

New York, 14 March 2024

 Mr. President,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Norway on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group (ACT).

I thank Japan for your continuing leadership in advancing the working methods of the Council. The Security Council must be more transparent, efficient and inclusive in conducting its business to better respond to the current global threats. Therefore, we fully support the process of updating note 507 by incorporating all presidential Notes and to reflect the current realities of the Security Council.

Let me highlight three areas:

Regarding the question of veto:

Note 507 is completely devoid of any mention of the use of veto which is addressed in Article 27 (3) of the Charter. We call on all Council members to ensure the implementation of an obligatory abstention of a party to a dispute from voting.

As a member of the Code of Conduct by the ACT group, Estonia insists on refraining from voting against resolutions aimed at ending mass atrocities, including the crime of aggression. I call on all the signatories on the Council not only to refrain from voting against credible draft resolutions, but to support timely and decisive action to prevent or halt mass atrocities. Including drafting products and calling meetings.

The “veto initiative” by resolution 76/262 is a significant step towards accountability, transparency and responsibility of all of the permanent members of the Council. We welcome the Council’s new utilisation of Special Reports and we commend the Council’s consistent publication in line with GA resolution 76/262. We suggest this procedure now be codified in Note 507.

We would also welcome a dedicated chapter on the veto, and special reports in the Council’s annual report thereby increasing the transparency of the Council’s work and accountability for the use of the veto.

It is important to ensure opportunities for the wider membershipto engage meaningfully in the work of the Council, in line with Article 24 of the Charter. We urge a more inclusive approach on the acceptance of Rule 37 requests and suggest to make a commitment in this regard in the Note 507.

We look forward to the timely submission of the Annual report to the General Assembly to enable scheduling its consideration by the General Assembly latest in June of each year. We find it important to exchange views on the annual report of the Council prior to drafting of the introduction and welcome that the UK did so in 2024. We also encourage timely completion of monthly assessments and call for more transparency, as monthly assessments are prepared under the responsibility of the presidency, following consultations with members, and therefore can be more analytical and do not require unanimity among Council members.

I thank you, Mr. President.