At the opening of the World Day event in Tallinn, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that human rights are intended for everyone and that all countries, organisations and individuals must adhere to these values. “The people who are tied to foreign policy, development co-operation, or giving humanitarian aid in the world base their work on these principles on a daily basis, even in the most difficult situations,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.
Paet stated that Estonia supports those that are more vulnerable economically and socially. “Thereby we can help to reduce global poverty and support first and foremost the weakest social groups in developing countries—namely, women and children,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.
Foreign Minister Paet described how Estonia has helped to improve the situation of women and children in Georgia and Afghanistan. “Every bit of support that secures better health care, education, or skills and goods necessary for everyday life for women and children in developing countries is essential to development co-operation that is based on the principle of human rights,” Paet emphasised. “We have supported the activities of a counselling centre for Georgia women and helped to build athletic fields and playgrounds in IDP camps. Estonian schools have friendship schools in Afghanistan and an Estonian health care expert works in Helmand, whose initiative led to first aid trainings being organised for local women in the training centre there,” he added.
“We have also sent our police officers, border guards and experts to Afghanistan, Georgia, and the Balkan countries to support peace and human rights in those countries. It is these men and women who support the populations of developing countries in building up a society that directly strengthens the space of shared values of the European Union and Estonia,” emphasised Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.
Estonia has also aided those countries that have been struck by natural and man-made disasters. “Granting humanitarian aid is the most authentic form of solidarity between people and countries, as its immediate goal is to save human lives,” said Paet. “It is important to give humanitarian aid to all those in need regardless of faith, nationality, race, or political affiliation,” he added. This year Estonia has given humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the women and children living in Sudan and the Ivory Coast, and to the victims of domestic conflicts in Libya.
Urmas Paet: Ensuring Human Rights is the Responsibility of All Countries