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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on World Day: Every Child Has the Right to a Decent Life

04.06.2012

No 155-E

Today in Vabaduse Square at the opening of the World Day event, which was held for the eighth time this year, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that every child has the right to a decent and dignified life regardless of where in the world he or she is born. “Therefore children and education are one of the most important areas in Estonia’s development co-operation and humanitarian aid activities,” he said.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that children’s situation is complicated in many countries of the world, and it is the job of the international community to stand for children’s rights and improve their situation. “For example, last winter Estonia gave humanitarian aid support to a UNICEF project in Afghanistan, through which opportunities were found for over half a million Afghan students and 12 thousand teachers to continue an uninterrupted school year during the cold winter months,” said Paet.

The foreign minister added that as of this year it is possible for all Estonians to help improve the situation of children in Afghanistan. “With the support of the Foreign Ministry the NPO Mondo has established the support programme Change the World [Muuda maailma], through which donations can be made for buying school supplies for Afghan children in need,” said Paet. “We must remember that every change starts with small steps. In the end every little donation becomes part of a larger sum with which it is possible to do a lot of good.”

Paet stated that this year Estonia has, through UNICEF, given humanitarian aid to improve the situation of children in South Sudan, Chad, and the Republic of Central Africa. “Recently Estonia also carried out projects aimed at children in Eastern Partnership states,” said Paet. “Based on Estonia’s example, in May this year a traffic teaching area was opened for Georgian schoolchildren and training sessions on entrepreneurship and starting a company was carried out for students in Moldova,” Paet said as examples of development co-operation projects that are geared towards increasing children’s safety and well-being.

World Day, a family event that is taking place for the eighth time this year, has the goal of increasing awareness of development co-operation and global problems and giving an overview of the activities of the Estonian state and NGOs in these fields. The first World Day was organised on the initiative of the NPO Estonian Roundtable for Development Co-operation in 2005 and has now become an annual tradition.

Within the framework of World Day, various organisations from Estonia and abroad will introduce their activities, workshops and discussion groups will take place, opinion leaders and experts in the development co-operation field will speak, world music will be performed on the main stage, and films will be screened.

Each year the World Day event focuses on a specific subject. This year, the focus is on children living in developing countries. Every person must have an equal opportunity for a decent and dignified life regardless of where he or she is born. We can all do our part to help make this a reality.

Additional information on World Day: http://www.terveilm.net/?id=15
Additional information on Estonia’s development co-operation: http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/taxonomy/term/55

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

 

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