Estonia will apply for a three-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council 2026-2028, President Alar Karis announced on Tuesday.
The council is a 47-member organization within the United Nations that is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.
This would be Estonia's second term.
"To change the world, we must start with ourselves and our country. In addition to the current challenges, Estonia is ready to respond to new threats such as climate change and technological challenges that have a direct impact on human rights. As a nation that knows from its own history what it means to act under the pressure of foreign power, Estonia will do its best to stand up for freedom, human dignity and human rights," Karis said at the 75th anniversary forum of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Geneva.
Estonia pledges support for human rights at UDHR75 in Geneva. Running for UN Human Rights Council 2026-2028. With our experience of oppression, Estonia stands ready to protect and promote human rights globally. #UDHR75 #HumanRights pic.twitter.com/7fL7XeTfUL— Alar Karis (@AlarKaris) December 12, 2023
He added that some changes in everyday life can erode human rights.
"Infringement of human rights cannot be justified on the grounds of security, the technology sector cannot prioritize the privacy of online communications over, for example, the protection of children's rights," the president said.
Estonia was a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2013–2015 and a non-permanent member of the UN's Security Council 2020-2021.
Editor: Helen Wright