Permanent Representation of Estonia to the UN :: Press releases, News en-us WiseCMS 2.0 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the UN Security Council: States are responsible for the protection of civilians in armed conflicts <p>At the UN Security Council discussion on 12th of February, focusing on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that States must take responsibility for finding solutions to ensure the safety of civilians. “Yet sometimes, as conflicts become more severe, precautionary measures are not sufficient and the international community must take decisive action to help alongside the UN Security Council in order to save lives,” the foreign minister said.</p><p>According to Paet, the central role of UN peacekeepers is often restoring peace, yet above all protecting lives. “Estonia will continue to support UN peacekeeping. Last year, we increased our contribution to peacekeeping significantly,” Paet said. “We are participating in the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in Mali and the UNTSO mission in the Middle East. We also decided to participate in the European Union’s peace support mission in the Central African Republic," he added.</p><p>Paet commented that the UN Security Council must give a clear mandate for the missions. "In order to strengthen opportunities to protect civilians, the UN Security Council should also monitor the implementation of its decisions," he said.</p><p>The assurance of the human rights of civilians in conflict areas is very important to Estonia.&nbsp; “Estonia has focused its contributions for development cooperation and humanitarian aid to those most in need of support in Afghanistan, Mali, Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Somalia and elsewhere. Unfortunately the work often becomes complicated and difficult for the humanitarian organizations, which go to great lengths in order to get aid to those in the most vulnerable situations. Therefore the UN Security Council must send a very clear message to all parties involved in an armed conflict, which would help in humanitarian aid reaching the needy,” Paet stressed.</p><p>Paet said that States have a duty to bring war criminals and human rights violators to justice. “But in addition to national legislation, international criminal law must also constantly be reinforced. Of particular importance is the International Criminal Court’s role in the prevention of future crimes – yet the court can only act effectively if governments cooperate with the Court," he remarked.<br> The UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts was organized by Lithuania, who holds the presidency of the UN Security Council in February.</p><p>While in New York, Foreign Minister Paet also deposited the instrument of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict to the Secretary-General of the UN and met with the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui.</p><p></p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:00:17 GMT Estonia Joined Amendment on the Crime of Aggression in International Criminal Court <p>Yesterday, 27 March, Estonian Ambassador to the UN Margus Kolga presented a letter of ratification of amendments to the Rome Statue to UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Patricia O'Brien in New York. The amendments primarily address the crime of aggression.</p><p>Also present at the presentation of the letter of ratification was President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court Tiina Intelmann, who expressed satisfaction over the ratification and encouraged other countries to follow Estonia’s example.</p><p>Ambassador Kolga said that Estonia is the second country in the European Union and the fifth country in the world to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression. “The goal of the amendments is to make it possible to bring to trial political and military leaders that have initiated acts of aggression,” Kolga noted. “The amendments also protect potential victims of aggression,” he added.</p><p>The International Criminal Court will gain the right to investigate crimes of aggression as of 2017, on the condition that the Kampala amendments have been ratified by 30 countries. This is why it is essential that the amendments be ratified by as many of the participating countries as possible.</p><p>Estonia has repeatedly called on countries to join the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court and for the member states of the court to join the Kampala amendments.</p><p>In order to hold an individual responsible for a crime of aggression, an act of aggression must have been committed. A crime of aggression means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position that allows him or her to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a state. Therefore crimes of aggression can first and foremost be committed by heads of state and government, as well as military leaders. An act of aggression means the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state. In addition, an act of aggression by its character, gravity and scale constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.</p><p>In Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in June of 2010, the primary points of contention in reaching an agreement were related to the conditions in which the court can exercise its jurisdiction. A compromise was reached by which the court can first and foremost start an investigation when a situation is referred by the UN Security Council. Under certain circumstances the start of an investigation can be requested by the state itself, or the court can initiate a request.</p><p>The need to compile the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute came about because during the negotiations of the Rome Statute in 1998, which ended in the creation of the International Criminal Court, a consensus was not reached regarding the definition and jurisdictional conditions of crimes of aggression. </p><p>Photos: <a title=" " href=""> </a></p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:29:22 GMT Estonia Contributes to UN Peacekeeping Operations <p>Nr 222-E<br><br><br>Estonia is interested in expanding its participation in UN peacekeeping operations in the next few years, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said during his meeting in New York with UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous. “Estonia has long-term experience participating in the operations of the European Union and NATO, and in the near future we would like to expand our participation in UN operations as well,” Paet noted.</p><p>Paet stated that Estonia has participated in UN peacekeeping missions since 1997 and is currently contributing two military observers. “We are currently participating in the UN’s military supervision mission in the Middle East UNTSO and the Syrian supervision mission UNSMIS,” Paet said. “However, by the year 2016 we would like to increase the number of observers to five, participating in up to three different operations,” he added.</p><p>At their meeting, Paet and Ladsous also spoke about the ever-worsening situation in Syria. The head of UN peacekeeping operations gave an overview of his recent visit to Syria. “The situation in Syria is extremely alarming – a political solution is needed,” Ladsous said.</p><p>Ladsous thanked Estonia for contributing to the UNSMIS supervision mission in Syria.</p><p>Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised the UN’s leading role and responsibility for finding a solution to end the violence in Syria. “The crimes against the people of Syria must stop. By now the conflict has touched the lives of over two million people,” said Paet. “We support the efforts of the UN and the Arab League to end the civil war,” he added.</p><p>Paet said that Estonia will continue to contribute a soldier to the UNSMIS supervision mission in Syria in accordance with the mandate of the UN Security Council.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Photos</a></p> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 13:00:27 GMT Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and President of UN General Assembly Discussed Stopping Violence in Syria <p>Nr 220–E<br><br>At his meeting in New York yesterday with President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed deep concern over the developments in Syria and noted that the UN has a leading role and responsibility for finding a solution to end the violence. “The crimes against the people of Syria must stop. We support the efforts of the UN and the Arab League to end the civil war,” Paet stated. “Estonia will continue to contribute to the UNSMIS supervision mission in Syria in accordance with the mandate of the UN Security Council,” he added. Al-Nasser stated that on 2 August the General Assembly will once again vote on a resolution regarding Syria that was proposed by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab group. Paet said that possible war crimes must also be investigated. “The UN must fulfil its leading role in order to end the violence and killing in Syria and to uncover the path towards stabilising the situation in Syria,” he added.</p><p>At their meeting, Paet and Al-Nasser also spoke about supporting the importance of rule of law in the world and Estonia’s work as the president of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC). “Priorities for Estonia are developing rule of law and fighting against impunity in the world,” said Paet. “As president of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC, we feel it is essential to help new countries join the ICC and thereby achieve the global jurisdiction of the court,” he said.</p><p>Paet and Al-Nasser also talked about the reform of the UN General Assembly during their meeting. “We feel it is essential to increase the authority of the General Assembly and make its working methods more effective,” said Paet. “We also support carrying out debates on current topics and high-level meetings during the General Assembly – for example, the debate on the peaceful resolution of conflicts held at the beginning of the current assembly was very timely,” he added.</p><p>Today, 31 July, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Foreign Minister Paet also has meetings scheduled with UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman and UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Photos</a><br></p> Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:58:33 GMT Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Met With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <p>Nr 221-E<br><br><br>While talking about the worsening situation in Syria at his meeting in New York yesterday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the UN has a leading role and responsibility for finding a solution to end the violence. “The crimes against the people of Syria must stop. By now the conflict has touched the lives of over two million people,” said Paet. “We support the efforts of the UN and the Arab League to end the civil war,” he added. Paet stated that Estonia will continue to contribute to the UNSMIS supervision mission in Syria in accordance with the mandate of the UN Security Council.</p><p>The UN Secretary-General stated that the continuation of armed fighting will not lead to a solution. “The further militarisation of the conflict will only extend the destruction and suffering and could pose a threat to Syria’s neighbours,” said Ban. “Each day that the violence continues, more and more Syrians are killed, tortured, or forced to leave their homes,” he added.</p><p>Foreign Minister Paet also introduced Estonia’s candidacy plans to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council this year and part of the UN Security Council in 2020. At the meeting Paet emphasised that Estonia feels that supporting the development of rule of law in the world is very important. “Estonia’s activities as president of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are geared towards developing rule of law and fighting impunity in the world,” said Paet. “We feel it is essential to achieve the global jurisdiction of the court by getting as many countries as possible to join the ICC,” he said. Ban recognised Estonia’s contribution to developing the International Criminal Court. Paet once again extended an invitation to Ban to visit Estonia in the near future.</p><p>At the meeting the Estonian foreign minister also spoke to the UN Secretary-General about getting out of the economic crisis, sustainable development, and the UN sustainable development conference that took place at the end of June in Rio de Janeiro. “We support adherence to principles of sustainable development in economic development – making investments into education, technology, and a knowledge-based society,” Paet noted.</p><p>Foreign Minister Paet also met today with UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Photos</a><br></p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 12:58:46 GMT Estonia Helps Haiti Manage Cholera Epidemic <P>Estonia is supporting the activities of UNICEF is alleviating the situation of residents of Haiti, particularly woman and children, during the cholera epidemic. To this end the Foreign Ministry is allocating nearly 60 000 euros to support UNICEF.</P><P jQuery1292617304930="5">Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the complicated humanitarian situation in Haiti, which suffered an earthquake at the beginning of this year, has gotten even worse as a result of the vast cholera epidemic that began in October. “Over 2 100 people have already died due to the epidemic, and nearly 45 000 have been taken to hospitals. The situation is very critical in regions that suffered as a result of the earthquake, where the need for humanitarian aid is especially great,” Paet emphasised. “In order to prevent the further spread of the epidemic, the clean water issue must be resolved and sanitary and hygiene problems must be improved,” he added. </P> <P jQuery1292617304930="7">The goal of UNICEF’s activities in Haiti is to improve the situation for people, especially women and children, living in temporary camps by increasing the availability of clean water and ensuring hygienic conditions. In order to help the million resettled residents, including 420 000 children and 300 000 women, UNICEF will need 18.8 million EUR.</P> <P>The 7.3 magnitude earthquake that took place on 12 January of this year and its aftershocks caused extensive destruction in Haiti and left 1.5 million people without homes, clean water, and normal sanitary conditions.</P> <P><BR>SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR><A href=""></A></P> Sun, 12 Dec 2010 20:21:26 GMT Estonia Chosen as Member of UN Women Executive Board <P>On 10 November the UN Economic and Security Council chose Estonia as a member of the Executive Board of the newly created UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).</P><P jQuery1289490244985="5">The new UN agency, which was created on 2 July, will address women’s rights and equality issues all over the world and implement concrete and focused programmes for improving the situation of women in developing countries. The creation of the agency was preceded by six months of intense negotiations among the UN member states led by the ambassadors of Estonia and Tunisia in order to achieve an agreement on bringing together all of the UN sub-organisations addressing the rights of women under one agency. The agency UN Women, created under the leadership of Estonia and Tunisia, will be led by former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet. </P> <P>The Executive Board is the governing body of the UN Women agency, which supports the agency on behalf of the member states and monitors the agency’s activities. Estonia was chosen largely thanks to its visible past contributions to promoting women’s rights in the work of the UN. Estonia’s membership status in the Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality (UN Women) will last until the end of 2012. From 2007-2009 Estonia was the chairman of the Consultative Committee of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which is now a part of UN Women.</P> <P>There are a total of 41 UN member states on the executive board of UN Women, through which all the regions in the world are represented.</P> <P>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR><A href=""></A><BR></P> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 15:42:51 GMT Foreign Minister Paet: Estonia Feels Quick Reaction to Emergency Situations is Important <P jQuery1285769970478="5">No. 297-E</P> <P>During his meeting in New York with UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that reacting quickly to emergency situations is important to Estonia. “We have done so this year after the disasters in Haiti in Pakistan, when we have helped to co-ordinate the delivery of aid to those who need it. There are Estonian experts working in Haiti and Pakistan right now, co-ordinating the distribution of aid,” said Foreign Minister Urmas Paet. “The construction of a field camp for 70 UN aid workers in the city of Sukkur in Pakistan was recently started with the help of some Estonian rescue experts,” Paet added. </P><P>The new UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos emphasised that co-operation with Estonian humanitarian aid co-ordinators and experts is good. “Our co-operation confirms that a contribution does not always have to be large financially in order to be effective,” said Amos.</P> <P>Foreign Minister Paet also introduced Estonia’s plans for participating in international aid activities. “With the draft of the state budget approved by the government last week, Estonia is taking an important step towards fulfilling our international responsibilities,” Paet said.</P> <P jQuery1285769970478="7">Foreign Minister Paet also met in New York with representatives of the American Jewish Committee, with whom he discussed the suspended Middle East peace process and its developments, as well as co-operation with the Jewish community in Estonia. “The Estonian Jewish community is active. The main Jewish organisation, the Estonian Jewish Community, functions in accordance with statutes that are a continuation of the Jewish cultural autonomy that was originally declared in 1926,” said Paet during the meeting. “Estonia has condemned all crimes against humanity, including the Holocaust. The Holocaust is taught in our school system, and during the past few years many Estonian teachers have had the opportunity to supplement their knowledge at courses organised by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum,” Paet noted.</P> <P>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR><A href=""></A><BR></P> Tue, 28 Sep 2010 14:19:22 GMT Foreign Minister Paet Met with His Colleagues from Georgia, Yemen and Lesotho <P>No. 298–E</P> <P jQuery1285769877009="5">Within the framework of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met in New York with Foreign Minister of Yemen Abu Bakr Abdallah al-Qirbi, Foreign Minister of Lesotho Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa, and Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze.</P><P jQuery1285769877009="7">The meetings focused on opportunities for intensifying relations with Georgia, Yemen and Lesotho. With the foreign ministers of Yemen and Lesotho, Paet discussed matters related to developing economic co-operation and appointing reciprocal honorary consuls. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that in order to augment its relations and representation, Estonia would like to consistently expand its network of honorary consuls. “Estonia’s network of foreign representations is limited, but in many nations we are represented by and our citizens are aided by our active honorary consuls. We are interested in continuing to develop our network of honorary consuls and would like to find opportunities to appoint honorary consuls in Yemen and Lesotho,” said Paet. </P> <P>Estonian honorary consuls help Estonian citizens with consular issues in their country of residence and also facilitate cultural and economic contacts. More information about Estonia’s network of honorary consuls across the globe is available here: <A title= href=""></A>.</P> <P>At the meetings with the foreign ministers of Yemen and Lesotho it was agreed to establish diplomatic relations between Estonia and Yemen and Estonia and Lesotho.</P> Tue, 28 Sep 2010 14:18:11 GMT Foreign Minister Paet in New York: Fight Against Corruption is Prerequisite for Development of Society <P>No. 296-E</P> <P>While performing at the Blouin Foundation conference in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that two requirements for effective development co-operation are a significant reduction in corruption and the establishment of good governing standards in development co-operation partner countries.</P><P>Paet stated that giving aid to developing countries will remain less effective as long as sufficient steps are not taken in those countries to fight corruption and establish good governing standards and rule of law. “The goal of international development co-operation must be to fundamentally change our partner countries, not just constantly give them humanitarian aid. Without these kinds of profound changes, the motivation of donor nations to contribute to development aid will wane, and the financial fulfilment of development aid goals will be jeopardised,” Paet stressed. </P> <P jQuery1285606457601="6">At the conference, Paet gave the example that the European Union’s giving of development aid to third countries should conform to the EU’s values and political goals more than it has before. “Inevitably a question arises as to the efficiency of development aid if, for example, a country that receives consistent financial aid from the EU acts internationally in a way that is against the EU’s principles, or if it oppresses its citizens,” he added.</P> <P>The goal of the Blouin Foundation, which was founded in 2005, is to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. This year’s conference was the fifth one organised by the foundation to act as a forum for think tanks dealing with leadership experiences, the academic world, international media, and state leaders.</P> <P>Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will meet in New York with UN Under-Secretary General and new chief of the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Valerie Amos. The focus of their meeting will be on the UN’s reaction capability in crisis situations and co-operation with donor nations. Foreign Minister Paet will also meet with representatives of the American Jewish Committee, with whom he will discuss the ongoing Middle East peace process and its developments, as well as co-operation with the Jewish community in Estonia.</P> <P>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR><A href=""></A><BR></P> Mon, 27 Sep 2010 16:54:23 GMT Estonian Foreign Minister Calls On UN to Support Women in Conflict Zones <P>No. 295-E</P> <P jQuery1285606389553="5">Foreign Minister Urmas Paet spoke at the UN General Assembly conference dedicated to conflict zones and alleviating the situations of the women in them. Speaking at the conference along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Finnish Minister Elisabet Rehn, and many other ministers, Paet emphasised that in order to improve the situation of women in conflict zones, increased attention and support will be required first.</P><P>Paet emphasised that women in armed conflict zones need help with getting by in everyday life as well as with improving their opportunities and security. “During the past few years Estonia has consistently carried out projects geared towards women, and our development co-operation projects have focused on women’s opportunities to protect their rights and on increasing women’s confidence and social activeness,” said Paet, explaining how Estonia has done its part. “For example, after the 2008 war in Georgia, Estonia sent psychologists to Georgia to counsel women and children suffering from war trauma. Our recent aid projects in Afghanistan have been geared towards improving the health-related knowledge of women there, as well as education. We also emphasise politics, in which women should play a greater role,” Paet stated. </P> <P jQuery1285606389553="7">At the conference marking the 10th anniversary of UN resolution 1325, which focuses on women and their security, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the broad spectrum of violence against women that takes place in conflict zones, from physical and sexual violence to psychological abuse. Ban also called upon the nations to be focused in their endeavours and to increase their resources for aiding women in conflict zones.</P> <P>This year’s UN General Assembly is focused on the Millennium Development Goals, particularly topics related to women, peace and security. Estonia is organising an international conference dedicated to the rights of women to take place in Tallinn in November, where the focus will be on women in specific conflict areas, especially Afghanistan.</P> <P>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR><A href=""></A><BR></P> Sun, 26 Sep 2010 16:53:23 GMT Foreign Minister Paet: People in Conflict Zones Need More Aid Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who is in New York for a working visit, gave a speech in the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals. In addition to the Estonian foreign minister, others who will be speaking at the conference dedicated to the Millennium Development Goals are UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, UN Development Chief Helen Clark, and many other state leaders and ministers. <P>Paet stressed that the ability to achieve the goals set for the year 2015 and ensure stability in the world are constantly coming under more doubt, since the schedule that was agreed upon internationally is not being followed. “We must take into consideration that a third of the world’s poor live in unstable states and currently over 42 million people are displaced by conflict. Confronting our economic difficulties is necessary in order to increase the stability of the whole world,” Paet said, emphasising the significance of achieving the goals. “This is why we should focus our primary development co-operation resources on conflict zones—alleviating the situations of women, children and men who live in them and guaranteeing their human rights,” said the Estonian foreign minister.</P> <P>Paet stressed that it is well-focused resources that will help to increase educational and health care opportunities for children, as well as the availability of clean drinking water. A rise in education would, in turn, help with awareness of serious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS. “Today’s information and communications technology advancements also play a role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” Paet stressed. As an example, Paet described the development co-operation projects through which Estonia introduces its e-state and e-government projects and helps to establish similar systems in Georgia, Moldova, Afghanistan, Palestine, and many other countries.</P> <P>The Millennium Development Goals programme is the first large-scale programme aimed at reducing poverty, inequality and discrimination. More information on the goals that are to be fulfilled by the year 2015: <A title= href="" jQuery1285162680383="8"></A>.</P> <P>Estonia’s first development co-operation project began in 1998, and since then the Estonian Foreign Ministry has systematically developed its focus on and projects for development co-operation, along with its budget for development co-operation and humanitarian aid.<BR><BR>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654</P> Tue, 21 Sep 2010 13:38:14 GMT Estonia Supports Tough Monitoring of Nuclear Developments <P>Meeting with executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Tibor Toth in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia supports the work of the CTBTO in building up a verification regime for nuclear testing.</P><P>Paet stated that an effective monitoring system helps to achieve security regarding the appropriate use of nuclear energy and nuclear testing. “Uniting the restriction of nuclear arms and the ban on nuclear testing is necessary to increase the nuclear safety of the world, but it must happen alongside global security measures and monitoring systems being made more effective,” said Paet. “Building up the system will hopefully give additional security to nations that have not yet joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is essential that the international community would be provided with information on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” noted the Estonian foreign minister.</P> <P>During his meeting with Toth, Paet confirmed that Estonia as a European Union member state actively supports the role of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in restricting nuclear testing and in its monitoring work. Estonia also supports the work done to persuade countries to join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.</P> <P>The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signing in 1996. Estonia signed the agreement and it was ratified by the Riigikogu in 1999. The treaty will come into effect six months after it has been ratified by all 44 nations that possessed nuclear capability at the time of its creation.</P> <P>On Friday Paet will meet in Washington with World Bank director Robert Zoellick.<BR><BR>SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654</P> Thu, 06 May 2010 16:04:36 GMT Estonia Supports Advancing Nuclear Safety Monitoring At the Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the restriction of nuclear arms must take place alongside the formulation of security measures, so that transparency and security could be ensured in the civilian use of nuclear power as well.<P>Speaking at UN Headquarters, Paet noted that the Review Conference on Nuclear Non-Proliferation was taking place against a backdrop of positive developments in arms control in the world, but despite that we cannot allow ourselves to forget that quite a few nations have yet to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). “The renewed strategic arms reduction agreement between the United States and Russia is an important milestone for arms control that takes us a step closer to a safer world,” stated Paet. “However, we must be realists. This is why Estonia fully supports future nuclear security and the advancement of the monitoring systems that support it. Effective monitoring in nuclear testing and civilian use of nuclear energy is necessary,” said the Estonian foreign minister. </P> <P>Paet emphasised that looking into the future, there is great potential for the civilian use of nuclear energy. “The rapid growth of the use of nuclear fuel for civilian purposes deserves support for its environmental protection aspects,” said Paet. “Energy security and battling climate change continue to be important goals. Taking into account the explosively growing interest towards peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Estonia supports the establishment of a Low Enriched Uranium bank under the control of the IAEA,” he asserted.</P> <P>At the Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that began this week, the primary topics that will be addressed are practical measures for nuclear disarmament; nuclear non-proliferation, including the promoting and strengthening of safeguards; measures to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy; regional issues, such as the creation of a nuclear arms-free zone; measures to address withdrawal from the Treaty; the universality of the Treaty; and promoting disarmament education in the world.</P> <P>Within the framework of the NPT Review Conference, Foreign Minister Paet will meet with executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Tibor Toth and Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.</P> <P>On Friday Paet will meet in Washington with World Bank director Robert Zoellick.</P> Wed, 05 May 2010 16:04:36 GMT Mission of Estonian Experts in Haiti to Last Until End of April <P>Due to the complicated humanitarian situation there, Estonia will soon be sending a medical worker and a mechanic to support the work of rescue teams in Haiti. According to Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the mission of the medical worker and mechanic will last until the end of April. “The mission of the Estonian logistics experts currently in Haiti will last until the middle of February,” said Paet.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P><P>Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the humanitarian situation in Haiti continues to be very complicated. “In order for the aid that has been donated and that will continue to be donated to reach those in need, the international community must have close co-operation. Helping to co-ordinate aid is the goal of the Estonian logistics experts in Haiti,” stressed Paet. “At the same time, we must make plans for the reconstruction and restoration of Haiti as well,” he added. </P> <P>The aid that has been given by Estonia thus far to alleviate the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti totals 5.5 million kroons (352 500 EUR). Three million kroons (192 300 EUR) are reaching Haiti in the form of our and other international experts, and 2.5 million (160 000 EUR) were donated through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).</P> <P>To support the aid activities of international organisations, Estonia sent two 45 m2 tents with floors, furniture and lighting to Haiti, which are needed to provide temporary living and working space for the aid workers. Estonia has also sent an IT expert and a three-member logistics team with supplies to support the activities of the international organisations in Haiti. A member of the Estonian Rescue Service was working in Haiti as part of the European Union evaluation team.</P> <P>The European Commission has promised to support long-term reconstruction work in Haiti with 3.1 billion kroons (200 million EUR). The European Commission has allocated 468 million kroons (30 million EUR) for humanitarian aid in Haiti and the member states have bilaterally donated nearly 1.44 billion kroons (92 million EUR).</P> <P>SPOKESPERSON´S OFFICE<BR>+372 637 7654<BR>+372 521 3085<BR><A href="" jQuery1265643330343="8"></A><BR></P> Sat, 06 Feb 2010 15:38:29 GMT Estonian Foreign Minister Keynote Speaker at Meeting of UN Economic and Social Concil <P><FONT class=punasuur>Estonian Foreign Minister Keynote Speaker at Meeting of UN Economic and Social Council</FONT></P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=480 border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD vAlign=top><FONT color=#000000></FONT></TD></TR> <TR> <TD><IMG height=22 alt="" src="" width=1 border=0></TD></TR> <TR> <TD class=musttava vAlign=top> <P> <P>In his opening keynote address at the high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today, 6 July, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that unfortunately health standards all over the world are far from satisfactory and there is a great deal of work to be done before health care opportunities are sufficiently competent and accessible. <BR><BR>As the representative of the vice president of ECOSOC, Paet emphasised that in order to make progress in developing world health care and fulfil the Millennium Development Goals, international co-operation must be developed both in UN organisations and among governments, intergovernmental organisations, and businesses. <BR><BR>In his speech, Paet also gave examples of signs of progress in world health care. “Although the co-operation of the World Health Organisation and other international organisations has been successful in reducing child mortality and malnourishment, and steps have been taken towards fighting tuberculosis, HIV and malaria, the situation in sub-Saharan Africa is far from satisfactory,” said Paet. “Improving the health care situation continues to be the most complicated in conflict areas and nations with high HIV infection rates,” Paet noted. <BR><BR>Paet stated that child mortality is still very high in some countries. “This is also true of infant mortality and maternal death rates. Every year half a million young women die in childbirth or during pregnancy. Ninety-nine percent of these tragic occurrences take place in developing nations and could be preventable with timely treatment,” Paet added. <BR><BR>In talking about the global financial crisis, Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that developing nations have been the hardest hit by the crisis and their health care systems have been placed under even greater pressure. “The health care system is not merely a healing instrument,” said Paet. “Functioning health care systems help with the prevention of disease and social security, which is one of the first prerequisites for economic development and productivity,” emphasised the Estonian foreign minister, saying that the global economic crisis has made the need for better health care even more apparent than before. <BR><BR>To illustrate how Estonia is doing its part, Paet spoke about the development of the health care system in Helmand Province. “Our experience in Helmand shows that even in extreme circumstances, efforts can be made that significantly improve health care opportunities for local people,” Paet said about the work of the Estonian health care expert in Afghanistan. <BR><BR>The Economic and Social Council is the UN’s primary organ for dealing with economic and social issues. The ECOSOC’s mission is to advance economic development, the protection of human rights, and international co-operation in various social areas, as well as to co-ordinate the activities of UN special agencies, programmes and funds. The Council initiates or implements studies, offers suggestions, prepares conventions and organises international conferences. The 54 members of the ECOSOC are chosen by the UN General Assembly. <BR><BR>Estonia’s membership in the ECOSOC began on 1 January 2009 and will last for three years until 31 December 2011. On 15 January 2009 Estonia was chosen as a vice-president of the ECOSOC in the UN’s main headquarters in New York. <BR><BR>Additional information about the ECOSOC meeting in Geneva can be found at <A href=""></A>. </P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:53:38 GMT Estonia Becomes Vice President of UN Economic and Social Council <P>Estonia was chosen to be a vice president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at UN Headquarters in New York on 15 January. The function of vice president will be filled by Estonia's permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann. <BR><BR>The Economic and Social Council addresses many subjects that are important to Estonia, such as development co-operation, human rights, and humanitarian issues. Membership in the ECOSOC gives Estonia an opportunity to increase its visibility in the international arena, intensify relations with developing countries, and focus on the humanitarian aid sector. Estonia will also be able to continue being active in making equal rights and the advancement of the situation of women more prominent in the UN's development activities. <BR><BR>The Economic and Social Council is the UN's primary organ for dealing with economic and social issues. The ECOSOC's mission is to advance economic development, the protection of human rights, and international co-operation in various social areas, as well as to co-ordinate the activities of UN special agencies, programmes and funds. The Council initiates or implements studies, offers suggestions, prepares conventions and organises international conferences. The 54 members of the ECOSOC are chosen by the UN General Assembly. <BR><BR>In addition to Tiina Intelmann, the other vice presidents of the ECOSOC are representatives of Malaysia, El Salvador, and Mauritania. <BR><BR>Estonia's membership in the ECOSOC began on 1 January 2009 and will last for three years until 31 December 2011. <BR><BR>Estonia has also announced its candidacy to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 and the UN Security Council in 2020. <BR><BR>Additional information about the ECOSOC can be found at <A href=""></A>.</P> <P>Spokesperson's Office <BR>+372 637 7654 <BR>+372 521 3085 <BR><A href=""></A></P> <P><BR><BR>&nbsp;</P> Mon, 19 Jan 2009 08:00:57 GMT Paet and UN Secretary-General Discuss Gaza, Georgia, Fight against Piracy <P>At his meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on the evening of Monday, 12 January, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed hope that after the approval of the UN Security Council resolution on 8 January it will be possible for Gaza to establish a truce so that civilian deaths will end. <BR><BR>In addition to the situation in Gaza, Paet also discussed developments in Georgia, Afghanistan, Somalia and Congo, as well as Estonia's activities within the framework of the UN with the UN Secretary-General in New York. <BR><BR>At the meeting, Ban Ki-Moon stated that he was going on a six-day visit to the Middle East, during which he would visit eight nations with the goal of quickly achieving a lasting truce in Gaza. He said that after achieving a truce, it will be essential to focus on building up Gaza and establishing unity among the Palestinians, which would allow the peace process to move forward. <BR><BR>Paet also stated that the primary goals are guaranteeing the safety of civilians and that humanitarian aid has access to Gaza. “Estonia has given a million kroons' worth of aid for helping to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. A truce would allow for border crossings to be opened and the peace process to continue,” he said. <BR><BR>The UN Secretary-General affirmed the importance of Estonia's activities in helping Georgian reforms. Foreign Minister Paet said it is essential for the mandate of the UNOMIG (United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia), which ends in the middle of February, to be extended, because the Georgian security situation still requires the presence of international organisations. “The focus must be on building Georgia up after the war and increasing security, so that the nation could continue to make democratic reforms,” Paet asserted. <BR><BR>The issue of pirates in Somalia was also addressed at the meeting. Paet stated that the UN Security Council's decision that allows the international community to fight against pirates both in Somali waters and on the mainland is essential for limiting piracy. “Unfortunately, even some Estonian residents have been in the hands of pirates. Combating piracy in co-operation with the European Union and other nations is very important for Estonia,” he emphasised. </P> <P><IMG alt="Urmas Paet and Ban Ki-moon" src=" ja ki-moon.JPG" width=452 border=0><BR><BR>Ban Ki-moon stated that resolving Somalia's domestic political crisis also plays a major role in getting Somali piracy under control, as it would allow for the creation of a unified government. <BR><BR>Ban Ki-moon and Paet both emphasised the UN's role in supporting civil society and improving the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The UN Secretary-General stated that the UN is expanding its activity in Afghanistan little by little, steadily reaching out into more provinces. <BR><BR>Paet asserted that Afghanistan is an essential development co-operation partner for Estonia, and Estonia is interested in the expansion of the UN mission's activities to the southern regions of Afghanistan. “The presence of the UN mission in all regions of Afghanistan would improve the co-ordination of development activities and political communication,” he added. <BR><BR>Spokesperson's Office <BR>+372 637 7654 <BR>+372 521 3085 <BR><A href=""></A></P> <P><BR><BR>&nbsp;</P> Tue, 13 Jan 2009 09:27:38 GMT Estonia Became Member of UN Economic and Social Council <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=480 border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD vAlign=top><FONT color=#000000></FONT></TD></TR> <TR> <TD><IMG height=22 alt="" src="" width=1 border=0></TD></TR> <TR> <TD class=musttava vAlign=top> <P>Estonia was chosen to be a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the first time at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, 22 October. Estonia’s membership in ECOSOC will begin on 1 January 2009 and last for three years, until 31 December 2011. <BR><BR>The Economic and Social Council addresses many issues that are important to Estonia, such as development co-operation, human rights, and humanitarian issues. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia can focus on humanitarian topics in ECOSOC, maintaining and enhancing our humanitarian aid reputation. “Our membership will also give Estonia a chance to increase its visibility in the international arena, intensify relations with developing countries, and continue being actively involved in advancing equal rights and the situation of women through UN development activities,” said the foreign minister. <BR><BR>The Economic and Social Council is the principal organ in the UN dealing with economic and social issues. ECOSOC is responsible for advancing economic development, human rights protection, and international co-operation in various social fields and to co-ordinate the activities of UN special agencies, programmes, and funds. The Council has the power to make or initiate studies, make recommendations, prepare conventions, and organise international conferences. ECOSOC’s 54 member states are chosen by the UN General Assembly. <BR><BR>Estonia has also submitted its candidacy to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 and a member of the UN Security Council in 2020. <BR><BR>More information about ECOSOC can be found at: <A href=""></A><A href=""></A></P> <DIV>SPOKESPERSON´S OFFICE <BR>+372 637 7654 <BR>+372 52 13 085 <BR> <SCRIPT type=text/javascript>document.write('<' + 'a href="' + 'ma' + 'i' + 'lt' + unescape('%6f') + ':pressitalitus' + unescape(unescape('%25%34%30')) + '' + '">pressitalitus' + unescape(unescape('%25%34%30')) + '</a>');</SCRIPT> <A href=""></A><NOSCRIPT>pressitalitus -[ätt]-</NOSCRIPT></DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> Fri, 24 Oct 2008 18:33:52 GMT High-Level Meeting on AIDS to take place in New York on 10-11 June <P>The High-Level Meeting on the comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realising the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, adopted by the member states of the UN General Assembly, will take place in New York on 10-11 June 2008. <BR><BR>On&nbsp;6 November 2007, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Sgrjan Kerim nominated Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN, and Ambassador Samuel Outlule, Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN, the co-facilitators of the preparatory process of the meeting. <BR><BR>Estonia is represented at the 10-11 June meeting by Ms. Maret Maripuu, Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia.</P> <P>Additional information on the High-Level Meeting is available at the web site of the President of the General Assembly at <A href="" target=_blank></A></P> <P>UNAIDS web page at <A href="" target=_blank></A> </P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 04 Jun 2008 08:06:42 GMT Estonia contributed to making the election process of the UN Secretary-General more open Today, 13 October, the UN General Assembly appointed Antonio Guterres the Secretary-General of the UN for the next five years. The new Secretary-General will take over on 1 January next year.<br>&nbsp;<br>Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN, Ambassador Sven Jürgenson, was pleased that the current election process of the UN Secretary-General was much more open than elections in the past. “Estonia contributed to it by actively cooperating with like-minded countries,” Ambassador Jürgenson emphasized. “For the first time in the history of the UN, all candidates to the Secretary-General position were known beforehand, information on the candidates was shared with the member states and it was possible to get an overview of the candidate’s views at the public meetings,” Jürgenson said.<br>&nbsp;<br>As a member of the ACT Group (Accountability, Coherence, Transparency), Estonia together with Costa Rica has for two years been actively leading the process of making the election of the UN Secretary-General more transparent and inclusive. The group has 24 other members in addition to Estonia. The aim of the ACT is to make the decision making and working methods of the UN Security Council more trustworthy, transparent and more efficient and to give member states an opportunity to actively participate in the process.<br>&nbsp;<br>According to Ambassador Jürgenson, Estonia continues to work towards making the work of the UN even more open. “After the new Secretary General has taken over, we wish to continue towards more opportunities for the member states to participate in the UN processes, while in general, making the whole organisation more open, inclusive and efficient,” Jürgenson emphasized.<br>&nbsp;<br>The resolution appointing the new UN Secretary General is also historic. While all previous Secretaries-General have been appointed by approving a resolution the Security Council has submitted to the General Assembly, then this time, the General Assembly drafted the resolution, based on the proposal of the Security Council. It was approved by acclamation. <br>&nbsp;<br>The draft resolution can be found at:;&nbsp; <br>&nbsp;<br>The next UN Secretary-General on today’s appointment:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Additional information:<br>&nbsp;<br>Mariann Sudakov<br>Communication Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs<br>(+372) 521 6821<br><br> <br> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 22:27:40 GMT Reinart: selecting UN Secretary-General should be more open, without the option of reappointment after the first term of office Estonia in collaboration with Costa Rica, Finland and the UN Elders organised a side event of the UN General Assembly yesterday, focusing on selecting the next Secretary-General for the organisation.<br><br>Estonia was represented by Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary Väino Reinart, who pointed out the achievements that have been made this past year to make the selection of Secretary-General more transparent. “UN member states, international community, civil society and media have put pressure on the UN so that after 70 years of secrecy, those outside the Security Council could also have an overview of the selection,” Reinart noted. “Currently everyone has an overview of the nine candidates for the position of Secretary-General. Public hearings with them also took place for the first time,” he said.<br><br><br>According to Reinart, the more open process unfortunately does not reflect from the attitude of the Security Council as they do not inform other UN members of the results. “The Security Council has to change with time as well and become more open, “he said.<br><br><br>Reinart also emphasized that the Secretary-General has to be independent in filling high-level UN positions. “Estonia supports removing the option of reappointment after first term to guarantee Secretary-General’s independence and to avoid the period of re-selection campaign,” he said.<br><br><br>In addition to Undersecretary Reinart, the President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis, the Foreign Minister of Finland Timo Soini and representatives of the UN Elders, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and former PM of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, spoke at the event.<br><br><br>Estonia, together with Costa Rica, Finland and 25 other countries, belongs to the UN Security Council working methods ACT (Accountability, Coherence, Transparency Group) Group. The initiative, launched by Switzerland, is to make the UN Security Council’s decision-making and operational mechanisms more reliable, transparent and effective and give the member states an opportunity to be actively engaged in the process. In the past two years, Estonia, as the member of the ACT leading the issue of transparency, has been actively engaged in making the selection process of the UN Secretary-General more open.<br><br>A new UN Secretary-General will take office on 1 January 2017. The selection process will probably end in October.<br><br>&nbsp;<br>Additional information:<br>Communication Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs<br>(+372) 5667 5362<br> <br> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:22:34 GMT President Ilves: the promotion of digital society among the European Union eastern European partners is one focus of development co-operation for Estonia "The implementation of information technology solutions may contribute to the development of democracy and economy. Estonia focuses on information technology assistance to the eastern European partners of the European Union and has established good co-operation with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova," said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at a fringe event dedicated to e-governance and transparent public services, which was jointly organised by Estonia, Georgia, the Republic of Korea and the UN Development Programme within the opening week of the 71st UN General Assembly.<br><br>President Ilves spoke about the importance of human rights, corruption, a state based on the rule of law and good governance practice as well as information technology solutions for the purpose of achieving sustainable solutions. Prime Minister of the Republic of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and a representative of the UN Development Programme, Helen Clark, also gave a presentation at the event.<br><br>"Estonia's experiences have shown that political commitment is the basis for building up a successful digital society. This should primarily be expressed in legislative support and represent a part of the general strengthening of a state based on the rule of law and democratic society," stated President Ilves. According to the President, e-governance solutions will contribute to the implementation of necessary reforms in the European Union's eastern European partners.<br><br>The Estonian Head of State also admitted that digital policy is not merely about technology, as technology alone will not solve all the development problems in any given country; it is only effective when combined with other necessary reforms.<br><br>According to President Ilves, Estonia is consistently sharing its experiences in implementing information technology for the common good of the development of open society and the economy.<br><br>"For example, our e-Governance Academy has led e-governance, e-democracy, national cyber security and open information society projects in more than 50 countries. Estonian government authorities have co-operated with dozens of countries, and the same is true of our enterprises," said President Ilves.<br><br>The meeting was inspired by last year's UN summit, where the sustainable development goals for the next 15 years were established; there are 17 goals, in total, and two of them are directly related to the development of information society.<br><br><br><i>Office of the President<br>Public Relations Department</i><br><br> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 18:02:29 GMT President Ilves encouraged support for migration agreements with migration pressure countries of departure at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants "The migration crisis concerns a variety of spheres in many countries and affects security, stability and development in several regions all over the world. Co-operation between affected countries is something that will help vulnerable people escape from war and terror, political or social persecution, poverty and hunger," said the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, yesterday in New York, at the plenary meeting of the UN migration summit.<br><br>The heads of state and leaders of government passed a political declaration at the summit to confirm their shared responsibility for the more effective management of global migration and in helping refugees and migrants.<br><br>Representatives of approximately 60 countries, including, for example, the presidents of Finland, Latvia, Egypt, Mexico, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Georgia; the prime ministers of Denmark, Japan and Canada and the ministers of foreign affairs of several countries took part in the summit.<br><br>President Ilves welcomed the UN initiative that brought heads of state and leaders of government together for the first time in history to discuss refugee and migration related problems at such a high level under the UN umbrella and in a common key.<br><br>"This will provide us with better opportunities to focus on gaps in global solutions to such a highly important issue," stated the Estonian Head of State.<br><br>According to the President, it is important for us to deal with the reasons for conflicts, violence and extreme poverty in the countries of departure for migration.<br><br>"The new partnership with third countries, as initiated by the European Union, is a step in the right direction. We do believe that migration treaties with countries of departure for migration pressure, which consider mutual interests, will ultimately contribute to a peaceful solution to problems and improve the political, social and economic situation of the populations of many countries," said President Ilves, in defining the position of Estonia.<br><br>He emphasised in his address that countries need to make even greater efforts to protect children who are forced to escape from their homelands.<br><br>"Today, there are almost 50 million child refugees and migrants in the world. The number of child refugees has almost doubled in only 10 years and will continue to grow. Such a shocking statistical fact requires us to employ the most efficient measures. It is our duty to make the voices of children audible within the migration turmoil and help them to stand on solid ground, offer protection, health care and education – in essence, a normal life," stated President Ilves.<br><br>Estonia is paying special attention to the complicated situation of child refugees and migrants and is attempting to strengthen the protection and integration of such children in Europe, including in the sphere of education, health care, social and legal assistance services, and in the promotion of anti-discrimination and xenophobia measures.<br><br>The declaration adopted by heads of state and governments yesterday includes four major components: reasons and challenges of migration flows; willingness of countries to share the burden stemming from global migration; principles and obligations with respect to all refugees, incl. migrants; obligations with respect to migrants only and follow-up activities.<br><br>According to the UN, there were a total of 244 million refugees in the world in 2015, including approximately 40 million internal refugees and 20 million migrants. The total number of refugees has increased within 15 years by approximately 70 million people or by 40%. 104 million of today's refugees (43%) are born in Asia, 62 million (25%) in Europe. Africa ranks fifth in the list of places of origin for migration (34 million or 14%).<br><br>In 2015, 1,255,600 people applied for international protection from the European Union. Within the first eight months of 2016, 304,993 refugees have sought refuge in Europe. Within the framework of the European migration programme, Estonia has today received 60 refugees, incl. 49 refugees relocated from Greece and 11 refugees relocated from Turkey.<br><br><br>Office of the President<br>Public Relations Department Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:38:26 GMT Undersecretary Reinart to the UN: we have a duty to protect refugee children Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs Väino Reinart reaffirmed at the UN General Assembly’s high-level summit on migration that Estonia is committed to contribute into solving the migration crisis, with focus on refugee children.<br><br>“Several years ago the refugees arriving by boats from the Middle-East and Africa were a concern for just a few European countries. Today it is an urgent issue for the entire world,” Reinart said. He added that Estonia is determined to do its part in finding a long-term solution for the migration crisis. “It is important that we remain unified both in Europe and the world,” he emphasized.<br><br>Reinart stressed that child refugees need special attention. “There are around 50 million child refugees in flight from violence and insecurity. This number has increased 77% compared to five years ago,” Reinart said. “Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in the migration crisis and it is our duty to protect them from dangers of the crisis, e.g. human trafficking and xenophobia. We have to remember that child refugees also need attention after arriving to target country – they need access to education, health care and social protection, “ Undersecretary emphasized.<br><br>Heads of state and governments also adopted a political declaration during yesterday’s summit on migration that acknowledges a shared responsibility to manage large movements of refugees and migrants in a better manner. According to Reinart it demonstrates continuing need for cooperation and consensus in solving the migration crisis.<br><br>Additional information:<br>Sandra Kamilova<br>Communication Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs<br>(+372) 5667 5362<br> <br> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:38:26 GMT Estonia reaffirmed its continuing support for embattled civil society organisations at the Lifeline Assistance Fund meeting Director General of Foreign Ministry’s Political Department Paul Teesalu with his US colleague Virginia Bennett chaired a meeting of the Donor Steering Committee of the Lifeline Assistance Fund. The meeting took place at the Permanent Mission on Estonia in New York as part of the opening week of the 71st UN General Assembly. Fund’s work in supporting CSOs was discussed during the meeting.<br><br>Teesalu expressed regret that in many parts of the world, civil society is still under attack. “The work of human rights activists is worth appreciation. I am glad that the initiative of Lifeline has created additional opportunities for CSOs that are under pressure,” the Director General said. Organisations receive support from the Fund e.g. in the field of legal representation, training and international cooperation.<br><br><br>More than thousand civil society activists and organisations from almost one hundred countries have received support in the 5 years since the Fund was created. Estonia has been a supporter of the fund since it was founded and has supported its activities in our development cooperation partner countries with 120 000 euros.<br><br>The aim of Lifeline is to help CSOs active in difficult political conditions and people working for them, offering them additional protection from state persecution. Lifeline was launched in 2010 as an initiative of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.<br><br>Additional information:<br>Sandra Kamilova<br>Communication Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs<br>(+372) 5667 5362<br><br><br> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:36:29 GMT President Ilves in New York: Estonia is investing in education for refugees President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor spoke yesterday within the framework of the opening of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York at an event called "Carry Light for Children". The Estonian President stressed that the focus of Estonian state aid is to provide education to refugees.<br><br>In his opening remarks, President Ilves said that all of us must contribute to making it possible for refugees and their children to live a full life. "Therefore, along with protecting the rights of children, it is especially important to give them an education. By ensuring that refugees receive an education, we are ensuring that they have a more secure future," said the Estonian Head of State.<br><br>President Ilves stated that Estonia is systematically investing in education for refugees through state aid. "For example, computer classes were provided with Estonian state aid to a refugee camp in Jordan and the children there have been given computer training. Continued education is also ensured for refugee children who have resettled in Estonia," he added.<br><br>The Estonian Mission to the UN was one of the main organisers of the event. Sven Jürgenson, Estonia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, is President of the UNICEF Executive Board for 2016. Estonia was elected President of the Bureau of the UNICEF Executive Board for 2016, where one of its priorities is to organise events in cooperation with UNICEF, the Council of Europe and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.<br><br>In addition to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ewan McGregor, the other speakers included: Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF; Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Isabella Lövin, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation; Tedros Adhanom, Foreign Minister of Ethiopia; Gerd Müller, German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development; Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources; Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration; along with two refugee girls. An exhibition about the Zaatar refugee camp in Jordan was also opened during the event.<br><br>According to UN statistics, there were a total of 244 million refugees in the world in 2015. In the last 15 years, the number of refugees has increased proportionally faster than the world's population (by 70 million or 40%). One in eight refugees is a child. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in the refugee and migration crisis.<br><br>Today, 19 September, the first Summit for Refugees and Migrants will take place in New York under the auspices of the UN Secretary General. In the course of the summit, the heads of state and government leaders will pass a final political resolution affirming joint responsibility for improving the management of global migration and assisting refugees and migrants.<br><br><br><i>Office of the President<br>Public Relations Department</i> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:15:26 GMT INVITATION "Next Secretary-General: Transformed Process, Transforming the UN?" <div align="left"><div align="left">Invitation by Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland – members of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group (ACT) and The Elders with the participation of<br><br><b>President of Costa Rica His Excellency Luis Guillermo Solís</b><br><b>Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland His Excellency Timo Soini<br>Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia His Excellency Väino Reinart<br></b><b>Member of The Elders His Excellency Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland</b><br><b>Deputy Chair of The Elders Her Excellency Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway </b><br></div><br>a high-level event on <br><br><b>NEXT SECRETARY GENERAL: TRANSFORMED PROCESS, TRANSFORMING THE UN?</b><br><br>Moderated by Mr Richard Gowan, European Council on Foreign Relations and the NYU Center for International Cooperation <br><br><b>Wednesday, 21 September 2016, from 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm<br>Conference Room 3, UNHQ</b><br></div><br>With the Security Council’s deliberations on finding Mr Ban Ki-moon’s successor at an advanced stage, the time is ripe to consider the qualities that the next Secretary-General will need to take the UN forward in the coming years, and whether changes to this year’s process have improved the prospects of a strong leader being chosen for the job.&nbsp; This high-level meeting will discuss the effectiveness to date of efforts to increase transparency and inclusivity in the process and the key challenges that the next Secretary-General will face during his or her term in office.<br><br>After the keynote presentations, interventions are welcome by guests attending the high-level event. The guest list includes heads and members of high-level delegations, permanent missions, representatives of NGOs as well as the media.<br><br><b>About ACT and The Elders</b><br>ACT is a cross-regional group of states working to improve the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency of the UN Security Council. ACT has 25 Member States: Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Uruguay.<br><br>The Elders is an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. Their proposals on ways to strengthen the UN, including through changes in the selection process and term of the Secretary-General, can be found <a href=";utm_campaign=SEP2016-Invite-ACT%20SG%20Event%20New%20York&amp;utm_content=SEP2016-Invite-ACT%20SG%20Event%20New%20York+CID_2bfbe5d7137c9aa31720e8c580a59948&amp;utm_source=Campaign%20monitor&amp;utm_term=here">here</a>.<br><br><b>RSVP</b>: Please contact Ms. Annina Barbosa at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, by email: or by telephone at: +1 (212) 821-0269<br><br><a href="/static/files/029/concept_note_for_act_sg_event_sept_21_2016.docx">Concept note for the event</a>&nbsp; <br><a href="/static/files/"></a> <div class="img"> <a href="" target="_blank"><img style="padding:5px;border:0" src="" /></a></div> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 20:52:08 GMT INVITATION "Carry Light for Children" <div align="center">We have the pleasure to invite you to a High-Level Event on <b>18 September 2016</b>, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm at Danny Kaye Visitor Center, UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York.<br><br>Hosts: <b>Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves</b>, the President of the Republic of Estonia, <b>Mr. Anthony Lake</b>, the Executive Director of UNICEF, <b>Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland</b>, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and <b>Ms. Caryl M. Stern</b>, the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. <br><br>***<br>The Carry Light for Children event will bring together political leaders, Heads of State, UN principals, goodwill ambassadors, youth speakers and civil society representatives to raise awareness about the plight of children during flight and migration. The event will showcase photographic testimony from refugee children who – under a UNICEF partnership with ABC – have documented their own lives in Zaatari Camp in Jordan. <br><br>The High-Level Event will be followed by a candle-lit vigil at 7.00pm at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza<br><br>Arrival time for the High-Level Event is 5.00 pm<br><br>RSVP:;</div> <div class="img"> <a href="" target="_blank"><img style="padding:5px;border:0" src="" /></a></div> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:24:43 GMT Foreign Minister Kaljurand at the meeting of cyber experts: Estonia has a right and obligation to set an example in the field of ICT Yesterday, 29 August Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand took part in a high level UN cyber experts meeting as a governmental expert in New York where they discussed the opportunities of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the context of international law and security. During the meeting Kaljurand emphasized the role of Estonia and other countries in sharing their experiences in the ICT field.<br><br>“At the time when cyber-attacks are on the rise, the states that are successful in ICT have an advantage and responsibility in ensuring cyber security through coordinated collaboration both on the national and international level,” Kaljurand said. She confirmed that it is important for Estonia to guarantee national cyber security and to have international collaboration in the cyber security field.<br><br>According to Kaljurand it is important to keep in mind that the international law applies in cyber space too. “Still, questions raised over applying it should be discussed, specified and agreed on. Estonia can set and example how countries apply international norms and international law in the ICT field. It is the right and obligation of Estonia,” Foreign Minister said.<br><br>Kaljurand has been Estonian expert in the UN Group of Governmental Experts since 2014. The tasks of the cyber expert group are to investigate the dangers of cyber space and how to apply international law in the ICT field and to advise countries on how to develop new norms and make cooperation more efficient.<br><br><br>Photos:<br><br>Additional information:<br>Sandra Kamilova<br>Communication Department, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs<br>(+372) 5667 5362<br> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:30:46 GMT Public-Private Cooperation to Support Cybersecurity: Building a culture of trust in ICTs across the Information Society <div align="center">Luncheon side event on the occasion of <br>the convening of the Group of Government Experts <br><br><b>The Permanent Mission of Estonia to the United Nations<br>The Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations</b><br>and<br><b>21st Century Fox, AT&amp;T, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Verisign</b><br><br>&nbsp;are pleased to invite you to an<br><br>Informal Discussion and Information Sharing Session on<br><b>Public-Private Cooperation to Support Cybersecurity:<br>Building a culture of trust in ICTs across the Information Society<br><br></b>Key note address by <b>Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand</b> and <br>addresses by the representatives of <b>Mexican National Digital Strategy, Microsoft, Google, AT&amp;T, and Verisign&nbsp; <br><br></b>Monday, 29 August 2016, from 1:15 – 3 p.m.<br>Conference room 8 (United Nations Headquarters)<br><br>Please RSVP: Ms. Helen Rits (Permanent Mission of Estonia to the United Nations)<br>Email:<br>Tel:&nbsp; 1 646 514 0080<br>*Light lunch will be provided from 1:00pm<br></div><br><i>Information and communications technologies (ICTs) have a crucial role to play in enabling economic and social development, and are increasingly embedded in the fabric of our societies. The spread and use of these valuable technologies is not without certain risks, both to international peace and security as well as to the individual users of the technologies. The convening of the United Nations Group of Government Experts (GGE) in August 2016 will help continue the work of addressing these security concerns and ensuring the benefits of the use of ICTs continue to be felt among all societies.<br><br>In the 2015 report of the GGE, consensus was reached on norms, confidence-building measure, and principles as necessary tools to help guide the actions of States regarding their use of ICTs and to promote international security. As stated by the Secretary General of the United Nations in the forward to the 2015 report, “All States have a stake in making cyberspace more secure. Our efforts in this realm must uphold the global commitment to foster an open, safe, and peaceful Internet.” <br><br>The private sector remains an important contributor to international cybersecurity. As noted in the 2015 report, “While States have a primary responsibility for maintaining a secure and peaceful ICT environment, effective international cooperation would benefit from identifying mechanisms for the participation, as appropriate, of the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations.” The panel will seek to discuss the variety of ways that the private sector is currently participating alongside States on cybersecurity issues, and to explore new avenues for collaboration in favor of a secure and peaceful Internet that enables sustainable development.<br><br>The purpose of this session will be to bring together a diverse group of GGE delegates, Member States’ missions, and other stakeholder groups to discuss how policies and perspectives on public-private cooperation in cybersecurity can foster development and build trust in the Internet. Discussion will focus on how governments and business have been working together to foster security in ICTs, and ensure that benefits from the Information Society are maximized. The session will also consider the UNGA’s role and how these issues can be usefully considered within the context of the GGE’s 2016-2017 work.</i><br><br><br><br><br> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:46:03 GMT Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand thanked providers of humanitarian aid on World Humanitarian Day Thu, 18 Aug 2016 21:16:05 GMT Estonia presented its national voluntary review on the implementation of the Agenda 2030 at the High Level Political Forum <p>Estonia was one of the first 22 countries to present a voluntary national review this year. This review was presented by the Minister of Interior Mr Hanno Pevkur on July 20 at the High level Political Forum. The review was compiled by the Estonian Sustainable Development Commission and follows standard reporting guidelines. </p> <p>The Estonian Sustainable Development Act was adopted in 1995. The Estonian Sustainable Development Strategy was adopted in 2005. The latter is one of the main horizontal strategies applied by the government in designing strategic development plans.&nbsp; </p> <p>The Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals is monitored through an agreed and regularly reviewed set of indicators spanning all development topics. </p> <p>The Estonian coordination mechanism for sustainable development involves NGOs from all relevant spheres. The government Office Strategy Unit is responsible for central government issues pertaining to implementation and monitoring. </p> <p>Initial actions connected to the 2030 agenda were taken during the compiling process of the national voluntary review. In autumn 2016, an analysis will be given regarding the renewal of the national sustainable development strategy and its implementation mechanisms. </p> <p>Of the 231 sustainable development indicators included in the initially review from the statistics office, only 14% are measurable at this time. A new list of indicators will be composed in cooperation with an inter-ministerial working group </p> <p>Innovative tech solutions and general awareness building are major components of Estonia’s sustainable development strategy. </p> <p>Gap analysis of Estonia’s policy measures showed that actions are being taken toward achieving all 17 SDGs. </p> <p>Estonia’s strengths include biodiversity, high shares of renewable energy in the heating sector, easy access to public services through e-service, and high quality accessible education.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Estonia’s challenges include achieving productivity growth, increasing efficiency in energy and resources, lowering per-capita CO2 emissions, improving low income living standards, and closing the gender pay gap. </p> <p>The first conference introducing Agenda 2030 to the wider public occurred in November 2015. The ministers of Environment and Foreign Affairs, along with representatives from companies and civil society, explained the goals and strategies for implementation. </p> <p>Estonia is also supporting sustainable development abroad. The new strategy for Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid 2016-2020 is based on general international development agreements. Efforts are focused on supporting democracy, advancing peace and stability, introducing good governance practices, guaranteeing human rights, improving the lives of women and children and promoting economic growth. </p> <p>Contributions have also been made toward quality of education, development of health care and climate change issues, </p> <p>Across all areas, Estonia promotes greater application of information and communication technologies in the framework of development cooperation. &nbsp;</p> <p>Links to our national reviews summary and the Minister’s speech presenting the review respectively: </p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href=""></a> </p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="/statements_articles/aid-1229"></a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 21:56:58 GMT Mon, 02 May 2016 23:37:55 GMT President of Estonia is speaking at the conference "Digital Technologies and Development" at Columbia University, April 13, 2016 Mon, 04 Apr 2016 18:42:06 GMT Estonia was elected President of the Bureau of the UNICEF Executive Board for 2016 Wed, 13 Jan 2016 19:29:43 GMT Visit of the Foreign Affairs Committee to the UN headquarters focuses on human rights and migration issues Thu, 03 Dec 2015 22:25:35 GMT President Ilves at the Summit on Sustainable Development: we can’t achieve sustainable development at the expense of human rights Sun, 27 Sep 2015 17:00:49 GMT President Ilves at high-level UN discussion: the implementation of better policies by countries themselves are the pre-requisites for digital development Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:43:11 GMT Address by the President of the Republic of Estonia at the General Debate of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, 29 September 2015 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:09:41 GMT