Statement by Estonia at Security Council debate on New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism

77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security:

New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism (NORM)

Statement by the Republic of Estonia, delivered by Permanent Representative H.E. Rein Tammsaar

14 December 2022

Mr. President,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement by the European Union to be delivered later this afternoon. Let me nevertheless add few lines in my national capacity.

We thank India for organizing today´s important and timely debate. We also thank Secretary General and President of the General Assembly for their briefings. Estonia fully supports the rule based international multilateral system, with the UN at its core. This system has served us rather well. So, we need to strengthen it recognizing at the same time that the world is not the same today as it was in 1945, when the UN was founded.

There are numerous global, regional and local challenges on this way.  These challenges are more complex and interconnected, from climate change to cyber security and widening inequalities. The way we are responding to these challenges must change too. Secretary General has outlined his vision for the next 25-years of global cooperation in the Our Common Agenda Report. We fully support his initiative to agree on how to reinvigorate multilateralism and achieve SDG´s. We also thank him for the details shared today on the New Agenda for Peace.

The question however is how to reform the multilateralism and strengthen international peace and security when one country – permanent member of the Security Council – has launched an aggression, and is conducting a bloody colonial, imperial war against its neighbor? Unfortunately, we are all witnessing today the most brutal violation of the UN Charter and its core principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inability of the Security Council to take any substantive decisions on Russia’s unprovoked, unlawful and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, shows the urgency of the UN Security Council reform more than ever. It is highly important that the Security Council remains relevant as a place where we can take actions against the aggressor, actions to strengthen global peace and security and to prevent or end wars. This has been the founding idea of this Council.

Therefore we still believe that at the core of any attempt to renew and revitalize multilateralism should be the UN Charter in its entirety, most of all, in matters of global peace and security, but also related to human rights, rule of law, gender equality, human dignity, and equality among nations and within nations.

Security Council members, especially permanent members, have a special responsibility. Any Permanent Member that exercises the veto to defend its own acts of aggression against another member state, most seriously undermines the credibility of the UN Charter, of the UN, and of the whole multilateral rules bases international system, and should be therefore held fully accountable.

As a member of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group and supporter of the ACT Code of Conduct, Estonia insists that permanent members of the Security Council should not use their veto power to block Council’s action aimed at preventing or ending mass atrocities.

This spring, Estonia was also a proud co-sponsor of the initiative that requires the General Assembly to convene a meeting after any veto has been cast. It was another important decision that enables the General Assembly to take a more active stance on international peace and security issues in case the Security Council has been paralyzed, and to increase the accountability and transparency of the Council.

Estonia continues to advocate for a meaningful, results-oriented process, to reform the Security Council. The main goal of the reform endeavors should be a revitalised United Nations, an increased transparency and ownership of the Security Council’s work and better accountability of the Council to the UN membership. There is a clear need for an increased membership of the Security Council based on equitable representation.

Mister President,

In conclusion, I want to stress, that in our view, one of the main threats to the international peace and security at the moment is the Russia´s full scale aggression against its neighbor and Russia´s reckless nuclear blackmail. We need to stop the aggressor before it’s not too late and the global consequences for all of us and for the multilateralism will be much worse. This would be in itself an indispensable, urgent solid contribution to the reinforcement of the rules based international system with the UN at its core.

Let me take this opportunity to reassure that Estonia is fully committed to contribute to the renewed multilateralism to be better able to respond decisively to today´s numerous threats and challenges.

Thank you.