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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Met With UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson


No 82-E

When meeting with UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at UN Headquarters in New York today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that as a strong supporter of rule of law, Estonia feels it is very important for a state to work for the good of its people and to promote and protect their opportunities. “Co-operating with the International Criminal Court to avoid impunity is essential – it is a requirement for the court to have the authority to guarantee order and justice,” Paet noted. “Promises to develop rule of law must be accompanied by actual actions. Estonia’s promises to join the amendments to the Rome Statue written by the International Criminal Court and ratify the optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which addresses children in armed conflicts, will very soon be fulfilled,” he added.

The foreign minister stated that through both bilateral and multilateral co-operation, Estonia passes along its experiences and lessons in implementing good governance, transparent governance, and e-governance. “We are prepared to advise the UN on increasing e-governance abilities as well,” Paet stated. “We also support reflecting on the nature of democracy in the UN.”

According to Paet, Estonia strongly supports the principle of responsibility to protect (R2P). “The International Criminal Court has an important role in implementing this principle, which includes halting and preventing genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. We would like for it to primarily be a pre-emptive and preventative  measure,” said Paet. “As a member, Estonia is dedicated in the UN Human Rights Council to emphasising the responsibility to protect the principle, as the likelihood of crimes against humanity occurring is greater when human rights violations are already taking place,” he added.

At their meeting, Paet and Eliasson also talked about the situation in Syria, where a million people have already been registered as refugees. “It is tragic that the UN Security Council has been unable to reach a consensus on putting pressure on the Syrian regime, as the crisis is affecting the entire region,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. “Estonia has supported Switzerland’s initiative to call on the UN Security Council to authorise the International Criminal Court to investigate Syria’s crimes,” he noted.

In talking about developments in Mali, Paet commended the UN for its well-timed attentiveness to Mali and the wider Sahel region. “We will soon make a donation to the UN Trust Fund for Mine Clearance in Mali. In December of last year Estonia supported UNICEF’s education project in Mali,” he added.

At their meeting, Paet confirmed Estonia’s support for reforming the UN development system. “Under the leadership of the Estonian and Tunisian UN ambassadors, the resolution to reform the UN development system was approved in 2010. Our goal is to reduce the disunity of the UN development system in the future as well,” Paet noted.


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