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Foreign Minister Paet: Estonia Feels Quick Reaction to Emergency Situations is Important

28.09.2010

No. 297-E

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.

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.

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.

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.

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