A Necessary Voice: Small States, International Law, and the UN Security Council

On April 16th, IPI together with the Permanent Mission of Estonia to the UN cohosted a policy forum event on “A Necessary Voice: Small States, International Law, and the UN Security Council.”

The international rule-based order is facing high-risk challenges on multiple fronts. What is at stake in the weakening of this order, and what are the paths forward? Among UN member states, small countries are most at risk if the international system further deteriorates into an older model of a world order based on power politics and zero-sum games. As such, they should also be predisposed to defend the order that protects them.

In a system dominated by large powerful states, can small states serve as effective champions of the rule-based order and international law? One place to begin to answer this question is the UN Security Council, a body that presents both critical opportunities and difficult challenges for small states. Given these opportunities and challenges, what role can small states play in defending international law on the Security Council?

Panelists discussed these questions and more. This event launched the IPI policy report, “A Necessary Voice: Small States, International Law, and the Security Council,” produced in partnership with the Government of Estonia.

Mr. Gert Auväärt, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN
H.E. Mr. Luis Homero Bermúdez Álvarez, Deputy Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the UN
Dr. Adam Lupel, Vice President, International Peace Institute
Dr. Lauri Mälksoo, Professor of International Law, University of Tartu and former Executive Director, Estonian Foreign Policy Institute
Dr. Kristen Boon, Associate Dean, Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law School

Ms. Jimena Leiva Roesch, Senior Fellow, International Peace Institute