At meetings with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative Leila Zerrougoui in New York, the Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus announced Estonia's plan to run as a candidate for chair of UNICEF in 2016 in order to contribute to standing for children's rights.
Pentus Rosimannus, Lake and Zerrougoui also discussed UNICEF's activities in protecting the rights of children and opportunities for cooperation for improving the situation of children living in countries involved in conflicts. “For Estonia, protecting the rights of the most vulnerable – children – is one of the most important areas on which we have focussed our human rights work on an international level. Children do not have the capacity or the skills to defend themselves in violent conflicts; it is our duty to improve their security,” Estonian FM said.
Estonia actively contributes to the protection of children through the Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council, and through UNICEF and development projects. According to the minister, Estonia is especially interested in improving educational opportunities for girls. “Getting an education helps to prevent many problems down the road and allows girls and women in developing societies to cope better,” she said.
Estonia has supported the activities of UNICEF since 1998. In 2014, Estonia supported UNICEF's activities with a total of 605,000 euros. This year, Estonia has contributed to the development of the general education curriculum in Georgia and has provided humanitarian aid to alleviate the situation of internally displaced persons in Ukraine totalling 360,000 euros. Estonia has also provided humanitarian aid in support of children affected by armed conflicts.
Editor: M. Oll