Estonia's first ambassador at large for human rights and migration Minna-Liina Lind has started work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lind said the creation of the position is a clear sign of the need to respond to global developments.
She said the state-sponsored violence in Belarus was an example of how a lack of democracy over a long period of time has affected the fundamental rights of the people and their possibilities to express their discontent.
"I have been involved with UN topics for years. Among other things, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann and I led the foundation of the UN gender equality entity UN Women in 2010 in New York, and its success stories include achievements in fighting violence against women," Lind said.
She added that advancing human rights in both international organisations as well as through bilateral and development cooperation was an important instrument for ensuring security and stability.
Lind has worked at the ministry since 2004 and UN topics both in the Policy Department of the ministry and at Estonia's mission to the UN. She was in charge of Estonia's campaign for UN Security Council membership between 2014 and 2018.
Many countries, including Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, have special envoys for human rights, and last week, Denmark appointed a special representative for migration.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said her appointment shows Estonia's determination to participate actively in various international human rights associations.
Last year, Estonia was among the founders of the Media Freedom Coalition initiated by the United Kingdom and the International Religious Freedom Alliance established by the United States.
He added the appointment of the new envoy highlighted migration topics to present Estonia's positions on the regulation of migration issues, and improved international cooperation towards preventing irregular migration and organising migration issues in a way that would ensure the discretion of states.
A warm welcome to our first-ever Ambassador at Large for Human Rights, @MinnaLiinaLind ????— Estonian MFA ???????? (@MFAestonia) September 18, 2020
We are seeing #humanrights under threat across the ????, and COVID-19 has only intensified pressure.
We look forward to deepening cooperation with other #humanrights ambassadors in Europe. pic.twitter.com/DXMDGnyCJQ
Editor: Helen Wright