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.

Ways to increase the UN Security Council’s openness discussed during Estonia’s presidency

Yesterday 15 May, an open VTC meeting on enhancing the working methods of the UN Security Council and adjusting to crisis conditions was held as part of Estonia’s presidency of the Security Council.

One of Estonia’s objectives in the Security Council is to increase the transparency and efficiency of the council. “Only 15 countries can belong to the council at once, while the UN has 193 member states in total. We will continue to make sure that during the current crisis Security Council activities do not become more distant to the general public, but the opposite – there is currently an opportunity as well as a need to make the council’s work even more visible,” Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sven Jürgenson explained. This time, the annual discussion took place at an unprecedented time, with the Security Council – for the first time in its history – not meeting face-to-face but via VTC instead.

In addition to the transparency of Council working methods, efficiency and effectiveness were under discussion. “Many of the practices of the Security Council have developed over years and decades but there is room to increase its efficiency considerably,” Ambassador Jürgenson said.

Briefers included Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions Ambassador Inga Rhonda King, Executive Director of Security Council Report Karin Landgren, and Professor of Columbia University Edward C. Luck.

The meeting can be re-watched via UN WebTV.

Estonia is Vice-Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions. At Estonia’s initiative, extraordinary working methods for the month of May have been agreed upon. In addition, Estonia, France and Germany – who hold the presidency of the Security Council in May, June and July respectively – have put together a joint document on best practices that they will implement during their presidencies.

Joint statement by the 10 elected members of the Security Council: https://bit.ly/3bDWhko