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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights is Part of Estonia’s Identity


No. 350-E

At the European Union-Russia Civil Society Forum held in Tallinn today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the promotion and protection of human rights is a part of Estonia’s identity and foreign policy, which is aimed at strengthening security, development, and human rights in the world. “As one part of these efforts, Estonia is a candidate to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council from 2012-2015,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, Estonia feels that open communication with civil society regarding human rights is essential. He also noted that the successful start of the EU-Russian Civil Society Forum is very good for intensifying and promoting human rights co-operation. “Hopefully the open dialogue will expand understanding of the universality of human rights and will help the participants in the forum engage in successful regional co-operation,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet asserted that Estonia supports human development and improving access to education and medical aid in developing countries, focusing on the most vulnerable groups of people including women, children, and indigenous populations. “We are active contributors through donations to UN funds as well as bilateral co-operation with countries such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that when Estonia’s democratic system of government was being built up emphasis was placed on openness in governing and that more and more modern e-solutions have been taken into use with this goal in mind. “In order to achieve the optimal value of e-governance, Estonia has also worked to guarantee internet access to the entire population,” stated the foreign minister.

Additional information on the European Union-Russia Civil Society Forum:

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