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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/.
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.