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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Was Named White Ribbon Ambassador

03.12.2013

Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet is the leading figure of the White Ribbon campaign promoted by the European Institute for Gender Equality, which recently opened in Vilnius. The White Ribbon campaign is the world’s largest initiative that involves men and boys in combating violence against women.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, nobody should be silent or apathetic about violence against women. “For the situation to improve, men must not only admit to the problem but be ready to act to combat it,” he said.

Paet added that it is a sad fact that violence against women is often used as a weapon of war in military conflicts. “Developed countries, including Estonia, can contribute to improving the situation in many ways. For example, we can encourage international organisations such as UN Women, which is the UN agency that promotes women’s rights, as well as the International Criminal Court to be even more active in their activities to ensure women’s rights,” noted the foreign minister.

In the period 2009-2013, Estonia has contributed more than 1.2 million Euros from its international development cooperation resources in order to ensure the rights of women around the world, including Belarus, Georgia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Yemen, Moldova, Central African Republic, Democratic republic of Congo, South Sudan, and many others. “Estonia will definitely continue to contribute to aid women through international development cooperation,” added Paet. 

The role of women in ensuring peace and security is dealt with in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 from the year 2000, which is also one of the foundations for international cooperation in this area. The resolution, which was accepted more than ten years ago, was the first Security Council resolution which acknowledged the suffering that is caused by the disproportional impact that armed conflicts have on women and children. With the resolution, the council set the objective that the international community must systematically take into account the gender aspect during conflict management.

The European Institute for Gender Equality is a European Union agency which supports the EU and its Member States in their efforts to promote gender equality, to fight discrimination based on sex and to raise awareness about gender equality issues.

More info about the White Ribbon campaign: http://eige.europa.eu/content/white-ribbon.

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