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Estonia to launch second bid for UN Human Rights Council seat


February 27, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

Estonia will kick off its campaign to become a temporary member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the second time on Tuesday in Geneva.

"After successfully completing its first membership in the UNHRC in 2013-2015 and in the Security Council in 2020-2021, Estonia has decided to run for the UNHRC again, this time for the 2026-2028 period," said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Bretty Sarapuu.

This afternoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) will make a speech at the 55th session of the UNHRC in Geneva and lay out Estonia's priorities.

Sarapuu said the focus will be on three main areas: children's rights, human rights in the digital space, and media freedom.

"Of course, if elected, we will continue to stand up for other values and principles that are important to Estonia, such as gender equality, women's rights, the fight against impunity, and the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of the development of new technologies. These priorities are also in line with the objectives of Estonia's 2030 foreign policy development plan. In addition, support for Ukraine remains a constant theme," she said.

"Our membership in the Human Rights Council would strengthen Estonia's image as a country that cares about human rights and upholds international norms. As a member, we would have greater influence and decision-making power in shaping an international values space that suits us, our allies, and those who are like-minded. We are ready to take more responsibility for promoting our values. Respect for human rights is an essential element of a healthy, inclusive, and democratic society," Sarapuu continued.

Additional funds are not needed for the campaign, she said.

The UNHCR, established in 2006, is tasked with strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. Members are elected by secret ballots for two-year terms.



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