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Foreign Minister Paet: Protecting Human Rights is Estonia’s Priority


No. 23-E

Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet introduced Estonia’s candidacy to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Foreign Minister Paet also gave an overview of the upcoming presentation of Estonia’s human rights review to the international public.

Paet stated that Estonia is in the running to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council from 2012 to 2015 because it would like to make more effective the protection and promotion of human rights through international channels and steps. “For Estonia, domestic advancement of human rights and our foreign policy activities complement each other,” said Paet. “In both international organisations and in our bilateral relations, Estonia will continue to grant particular attention to protection of the rights and freedom of expression of women and children,” he added.

The foreign minister said that the presentation of the human rights report describing and evaluating the situation in Estonia would take place on 2 February 2011 in Geneva. The presentation will take place within the framework of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). “Estonia embraces the directions for development in the human rights sector that were included in the report, which was approved by the government in October 2010. Matters related to topics like democracy and freedom of speech, the right to life and equal treatment, the rights of children, the battle against human trafficking, and the rights of ethnic minorities are thoroughly addressed,” Paet noted.

The UPR is part of a process that began in 2008, the goal of which is to give an overview of the support for human rights all over the world and to exchange information and experiences on the advancement of human rights. Over the course of four years, the review will cover all 192 UN countries. Currently 144 nations have already undergone a review.

The preparation of Estonia’s UPR is co-ordinated by the Foreign Ministry’s human rights division in co-operation with the Estonian representation in Geneva.

The report can be found on the homepage of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

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