Informal meeting of the plenary on the intergovernmental negotiations on and increase in the membership of the SC and other matters related to the Council

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

At the 78th Session of the General Assembly to the United Nations

Informal meeting of the plenary on the intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council

“Five Clusters. Working methods”

19 March 2024


We welcome today´s discussion on UNSC working methods. The Security Council must be more transparent, efficient and inclusive in conducting its business to better respond to the current global threats.

I would like to highlight a few areas:

  • There is a consistent need to improve the UNSC working methods to ensure the Council can better fulfil its mandate towards international peace and security. Therefore we support the initiative of Japan to update the Note 507. It is a living document that requires continuous review.
  • Co-chairs, we welcome your initiative to organise annual meetings between the IWG Chair and the IGN Co-Chairs to discuss ways and means whereby the two processes can best complement each other. We hope that this increased communication will contribute to achieving the common goal of enhancing the working methods of the Council.
  • It is important to ensure the full participation of all members of the Security Council in its work. This includes for example more burden-sharing among all Council members in terms of penholdership and systematic consultations with affected countries like host countries or TCCs and PCCs. In this context, we welcome the recent Presidential Note on penholdership that encourages shared responsibility and fair burden sharing, and recognises the value added by elected members.
  • There is need to strengthen interlinkage between the Security Council and the main organs of the United Nations. During the recent years, we have seen the role of the General Assembly becoming ever more important, including in the context of the veto initiative. We also welcome the General Assembly’s recommendations to the Council including on issues related to its working methods, notably those recommendations contained in the Resolutions on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly.
  • Lastly, Estonia remains concerned over the frequent use of the veto and supports all efforts and initiatives to limit the use of the veto. In particular, on actions aimed at preventing or ending mass atrocities, as outlined by the ACT Code of Conduct and the French-Mexican Initiative. As these initiatives have gained large support among UN member states, we should try to agree how to universalise and codify them. We need a collective deterrence against the use or rather abuse of veto right – no one can be above the international law. The use of veto should also be adequately reflected in the annual report in a dedicated chapter.

Thank you!