Statement by Ambassador S. Jürgenson at UN Security Council Arria Meeting on Mandating peace: Enhancing the mediation sensitivity and effectiveness of the Security Council

Thank you, Mr President.

We extend our appreciation to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Vietnam for organising today’s Arria meeting. We thank the Ms Sorg from the Federal Foreign Office Berlin, Professor Laurie Nathan, and other briefers for their valuable input to the discussion.

Mr President,

Mediation as a process goes to the core of what we are doing or at least are expected to do in the Security Council – to assist in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts that reduces human suffering and enables peace in a sustainable fashion. With this aim in mind, the Council is mandated to utilise the various measures in accordance with the UN Charter, including under chapters six and seven.

It is useful to be aware of both the potential and limits of mediation as a means for prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. Most importantly, only genuine will for mediation by all sides is ever awarded with success. The ownership of the parties to conflict is essential for any lasting agreement. Although mediation is always an exercise performed with the consent of the parties, we agree that the Security Council can play an influential, and sometimes unmatched role, including through the use of targeted sanctions.

Yet, time and again, we see conflicts where its resolution, including through mediation, has not been possible due to one party to conflict being emboldened by support from one or more Security Council members. The most stark example being the continuing abominable situation in Syria.

While the mandate for mediation provided by the Security Council should not be too prescriptive in terms of the details of the peace process and the outcome, the sine qua non of any mediation effort is the necessity to adhere to international law, including human rights law and international humanitarian law, including to allow for full and meaningful participation of women in peace processes. Unfortunately, parties to conflict are often unwilling to meet these requirements.

As conflicts are born out of unique circumstances and root causes, it is also important to have tailor-made, context specific solutions to pave the road to successful mediation. Estonia recognises the valuable role that specially appointed UN representatives play in conflict resolution, and we support the inclusion of their thinking in the drafting of Council’s outcomes.

Mr President,

Estonia also recognises the role that other international regional organisations play in mediation efforts, as they are often better placed in terms of confidence building and inducing ownership of conflict resolution. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an important role in trying to solve the crises in Belarus and conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the UN, including the Security Council, needs to step in where there is a threat to international peace and security and other processes have not been able to produce significant progress.

Finally, we thank the organisers once more for bringing this topic to the foreground and look forward to further discussions in the UN and in the Security Council.

I thank you.