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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Standing For Internet Freedom is Essential Part of Estonia Foreign Policy

29.02.2012

No. 48–E

During the discussion on internet freedom held within the framework of the regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the protection of human rights and promotion of democracy are among Estonia’s foreign policy priorities. “As the internet is a unique and powerful tool, it is essential that freedom of speech and expression exist in the cyber environment as well,” Paet noted. 

The foreign minister stated that there are many countries in the world that restrict internet access. “Estonia feels it is important for the internet to be freely accessible all over the world. If we become a member of the UN Human Rights Council, we want to address this issue on the international level,” he stated. The foreign minister added that solutions to make the internet more accessible are not always complicated and expensive. “Supporting the creation of access points that are independent of various restrictions is one simple example,” he said.

The foreign minister also noted that Estonia remains interested in sharing its experiences with using information and communications technology. “The e-voting, e-governance, and e-health services we utilise in Estonia have made governance more transparent and different social services more accessible to the people. For this reason, we would also like to share our experiences with others,” he said.

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