Estonia was chosen to be the vice president of the UN Entity for Gender Equality (UN Women) for the year 2012.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that promoting and protecting human rights is an important part of Estonia’s foreign policy. “Internationally we have concentrated our attention specifically on protecting the rights of women and children as well as the rights of indigenous peoples,” said Paet.
UN Women addresses women’s rights and equality issues all over the world and implements concrete programmes for improving the situation of women in developing countries. “Estonia feels it is important to continue working so that the agency can fulfil all the expectations that have been placed on it. It is essential to support the activities of UN Women, therefore we have allocated 25 000 euros to support the agency in 2012,” he added.
Paet also noted that improving the situation of women in many countries cannot fall solely on the shoulders of the agency. “Therefore we hope that UN Women can create a greater focus on gender equality and women’s rights in the UN’s activities in general,” he stated.
UN Women was created in 2011 and there are 41 countries in the agency’s executive board. In 2012 the president of the UN Women executive board is South Korea and the vice presidents are Spain, Estonia, Nigeria, and Peru. Executive board meetings take place three times a year.