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Estonian Supports Demining in Afghanistan


No. 274-E

The Foreign Ministry made a contribution to the fund for demining Afghanistan within the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stressed that Estonia wants to contribute to the demining of Afghanistan to help make the work of Estonian and other international security forces and the everyday lives of the Afghan people safer. “The demining fund supports the clearing of minefields, the destruction of mine stockpiles, assistance for victims, and mine-risk education,” said Paet. “Concrete steps are needed to move away from landmines and other remnants of war and towards a free world – so that one of our soldiers or an Afghan child would not be killed or their quality of life permanently affected by injuries,” emphasised the foreign minister.

Paet noted that by supporting the destructions of landmines, Estonia is contributing to the restoration of a safe and normal environment. “It is essential to destroy the stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines, clear mine-filled areas, and assist mine victims,” he stated.

The UN Mine Action Project was created in October 1997 to co-ordinate anti-mine activities and take steps towards demining minefields. The fund receives over 50% of its resources from voluntary donations and the remainder come from UN peacekeeping appropriations.

Estonia has contributed to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance since 1999. Its donation this year totalled 50 000 kroons. The sum was allocated from the Foreign Ministry’s budget for membership fees in international organisations.

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