Statement by Estonia at UNSC Women, Peace and Security open debate

Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 7 March

 Statement by the Republic of Estonia, delivered by Ms Hanna Vseviov, Deputy Minister for Social Affairs


Madame/Mr. President,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. Please allow me to add few lines in my national capacity.

Estonia welcomes the Security Council’s debate on Women, Peace and Security and remains fully committed to stand firm in advancing women’s rights, security and leadership.

Madame/Mr President,

On the eve of International Women’s day, I´m afraid, we have to admit, that despite some progress, we are still unable to always protect the women’s rights in violent conflicts as we were not able yet to decisively advance equality across the globe.

For more than a year, Ukrainians have been enduring unthinkable horrors of Russian war of aggression. 40% of the Ukrainian population, mostly women and children, are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Those who remain in Ukraine, are at the mercy of Russian soldiers and mercenaries who use sexual and physical violence, exploitation and abuse against civilians as a war tactic. While their mothers are being killed or raped, thousands of Ukrainian children are being held in filtration camps, deported to Russia and/or are subjected to forceful adoptions. We call upon the international community to do everything possible and more to support Ukraine and Ukrainian victims of the aggression.

In spite of this grim background, the launch by Ukraine of an updated national Women, Peace and Security Action Plan to ensure full equal and meaningful participation of women in every aspect of society, deserves recognition.

Unfortunately, every single day, thousands of women across the globe have to fight for their fundamental human rights indeed. In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s actions aim to gradually erase Afghan women from public life, depriving them of education and healthcare. In Democratic Republic of Congo, conflict-related sexual violence continues to affect countless number of women and children, who are in desperate need of our support. Brave women of Iran, who despite of the harsh consequences, have been at the forefront of protests demanding basic rights and dignity, should be paid respect and should be supported.

However, today the EU imposed sanctions on nine persons responsible of committing sexual violence and other violations of women’s rights. Among them are two Russian commanders for their deeds in Ukraine. We have to make perpetrators always accountable, as justice provides a glimmer of hope to the victims, while impunity would only lead to new crimes and violations.

Madame/Mr President,

In conclusion: Estonia affirms its efforts to advance the role of women and girls and implement the resolution 1325. We will continue to support UN Women, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund and the offices of the Secretary General’s Special Representatives on Sexual Violence and Children Affected by Armed Conflicts in their activities.

I thank you!

Photo: UN