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Estonia is First-Time Candidate for UN Human Rights Council


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At his meeting with head of Amnesty International's New York office Jose Louis Diaz, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that if it is chosen to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Estonia will turn a great deal of attention to the rights of women and children, gender equality, and protecting the freedom of expression. “For example, in order to advance the situation of women and children, Estonia is an active participant in the UN Entity for Gender Equality, a member and vice-president of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Population Fund,” he added. 

This is Estonia’s first candidature for the UN Human Rights Council and the elections will take place in 12 November. 

Foreign Minister Paet said that through various UN aid agencies, Estonia supports many development and humanitarian aid projects and prioritises the fight against sexual violence during long-lasting crises. “In 2012 we have supported projects in the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen,” said Paet. “In addition, our rescue board experts are on a year-long mission in a UN refugee camp in Ethiopia.”

Paet also emphasised the importance of defending the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 “Women, peace and security” in the UN’s other resolutions and decisions. “We also greatly appreciate the resolution on internet freedom approved in Geneva this year – internet freedom is a component of freedom of expression,” he added. 

At his meeting with Amnesty International, Estonia’s activity as the president of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was also discussed. The two also addressed the situation in Syria.


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