In 2002 Estonia continued with its development cooperation practice of targeting countries with specific forms of aid.
* Projects coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and carried out with the help of means intended for development cooperation in the reserve of the Government of the Republic. Activities of other ministries considered as development cooperation have not been reflected in this overview.
Cited below are voluntary contributions to funds totalling 3,030,000 kroons (by decision of the Government of the Republic 19.02.2002 and 10.12.2002):
- 600,000 kroons for funds related to UN human rights protection: 300,000 kroons to the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations and 300,000 kroons to the UN Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. Estonia has made payments to funds related to UN human rights protection since 1996. The objective of the fund for indigenous populations is to support the participation of their organizations and communities in working groups dealing with the different issues facing indigenous populations. The objective of the fund for the decade of indigenous people is to finance projects protecting indigenous people's rights. It is important to stress that the working groups for indigenous peoples and, tentatively, also the recently established forum for indigenous people, function by means of voluntary contributions. Making a tradition of the contributions provided in previous years has also earned Estonia the UN's recognition. The present voluntary contribution is divided into equal shares for the years 2002 and 2003.
- 600,000 kroons to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF arranges international aid for children in more than 130 countries. UNICEF is financed primarily from voluntary contributions. Estonia’s aid in 1999 was 300,000 kroons, and it was directed to the plight of children of North Caucasia. Estonia also supported the activities of UNICEF with the same amount in 2000 and 2001. Making contributions in the light of the events of September 11th is important, as the children and refugees have suffered the most in the Afghanistan crisis. The present voluntary contribution is divided into equal shares for the years 2002 and 2003.
- 300,000 kroons to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Estonia has been a member of the ICRC since acceding to the respective Geneva conventions and their additional protocol in 1993. Thus Estonia recognized the mandate of the ICRC to protect and aid civilians during armed conflicts. The monetary resources of the ICRC are strictly based on voluntary contributions. Estonia made its first contribution in 1998. The present voluntary contribution is intended for the year 2002.
- 600,000 kroons to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The purpose of the UNDP is to direct resources to developing countries with the objective of relieving the poverty of their populations and to contribute to the build-up of infrastructure. Through this voluntary contribution to the UNDP, Estonia supports plight relief for the world's developing countries. This voluntary contribution is divided into equal shares for the years 2002 and 2003.
- 300,000 kroons to the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The need for humanitarian aid in the world has increased in connection with the hostilities in Afghanistan. In handling crisis activities, OCHA has a co-ordinating role that is determinative in the effective functioning of the UN's activities. Also, Estonia has been asked to assume a more active role in OCHA's undertakings (the director general of the Rescue Service, Mati Raidma, was on a two-month monitoring mission to Turkmenistan in 2001). This voluntary contribution is intended for the year 2002.
- 600,000 kroons to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR is a UN sub-organization, whose mission is to provide refugees with food, shelter, drinking water and medical aid, and also supports the return of refugees to their homes and the building of new homes. The initial 600,000-kroon contributions by Estonia supported the UNHCR in aiding Yugoslav refugees. As the number of refugees in the world has sharply increased since the hostilities in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has considered it Estonia's obligation to help alleviate the problems of refugees. The present voluntary contribution is divided into equal shares for the years 2002 and 2003.
- 30,000 kroons to the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). UNFPA is the largest international organization concentrating on aiding populations, and it works in some 140 countries. The objective of UNFPA is to increase access to health and family planning services primarily for women and children by 2015 or earlier. In order to achieve this goal, active work is done with population issues on both the national and international levels. UNFPA's role is essential in dealing with the epidemic spread of HIV/AIDS and the large amount of deaths connected with motherhood in the developing countries. This voluntary contribution of Estonia for the year 2003 is extraordinary, considering the unexpected decrease in international contributions to UNFPA.
1,000,000 kroons were set aside for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan (by decision of the Government of the Republic 19.02.2002) in response to appeals from many international organizations, among them the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The World Trade Organization's (WTO) technical assistance fund, Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF), was supported with 110,000 kroons (Government of the Republic decision 05.03.2002). The Fund assembles all WTO technical assistance funds that hitherto have existed separately (except those intended for the least developed countries) and has been created for the developing countries and countries with transition economies.
Support for the activities of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for monitoring the democracy of elections organized in the OSCE's member states: 160,000 kroons (Government of the Republic decision 12.03.2002.
For the withdrawal of Russian Federation troops and the removal of armaments from the Republic of Moldova: 160,000 kroons to the fund created by the OSCE (Government of the Republic decision 02.04.2002). This voluntary contribution is Estonia's political token of support for Moldova's independence and for the development of democratic processes in that country.
146,700 kroons for carrying out the pilot project "Information and communications technology". Conducting information and communications technology training in the public sector. Teaching of international and Estonian experiences to officials of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan (Government of the Republic decision 30.04.2002).
225,000 kroons for carrying out a project directed at the Kola Lapps, the indigenous people of the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk, Russia (Government of the Republic decision 14.05.2002). The objectives of the project are to offer the Kola Lapps training based on the Estonian experience in communications opportunities and organizational democracy (including the planning of two ecological-cultural centres and applying for financial means to construct buildings), as well as information on the sensitive handling of nature preservation and the involvement of the third sector in the project.
111,510 kroons for organizing a seminar introducing the Estonian health system and health insurance scheme to Armenian civil servants (Government of the Republic decision 06.06.2002). The objective of the seminar was to share Estonia's experience concerning the following issues: reform related to health care legislation and the restructuring of the health system, the Estonian health project and development plan for hospitals 2015, the Estonian health insurance system and its respective legislation, harmonizing health-related legislation with EU legislation. The organizers of the seminar were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs.
For covering the costs of the Ukrainian, Canadian and Baltic States' joint programme (CUBE) 95,248 kroons were allotted (Government of the Republic decision of 06.08.2002). CUBE is a 3-year programme (duration 01.10.2000-30.09.2003) whose objective is to support the development of Ukraine's public service, drawing particular attention to the training of mid-level and senior civil servants in the analysis of the economy and economic policy. The Estonian partner is the Estonian Institute of Public Administration.
For carrying out the training seminar "Building a Civic Society within the framework of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme" intended for civil servants of Yugoslavia, 152,674 kroons was contributed (Government of the Republic decision 03.09.2002). Seven officials of the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry of Yugoslavia attended the training. The objective of the training was to enhance the students’ awareness of civic society's role in Yugoslavia within the framework of the Partnership for Peace programme. Training included lectures by the Ministry of Defence, as well as study trips to the Peace Operations Centre in Paldiski, Estonia, and visits to the Baltic Defence College in Tartu. The training seminar was carried out in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence.
Establishing a computer class of eleven computers for the Joint Military Academy of Georgia: 565,000 kroons (Government of the Republic decision 24.09.2002). The computers were provided with Internet connections and the necessary software, and furniture was supplied. The project was carried out in conjunction with the Estonian Ministry of Defence.
A WTO-oriented training seminar on the subject of negotiations for Belarus civil servants: 239,160 kroons (Government of the Republic decision 15.10.2002). Eight Belarus officials attended the training. The seminar’s programme was compiled in accordance with a list of subjects presented by Belarus: measures for commercial protection, agriculture, subsidies to the industrial sector, standardization, determination of the customs values, Estonia's negotiating experiences with the WTO.
Humanitarian aid was given to the Czech Republic totalling 1,000,000 kroons (Government of the Republic decision) for the elimination of flood damages.
Estonia's development cooperation projects
Estonia is continuing this year with its active development cooperation in order to share its experiences and to help secure stability and prosperity in the world. For the year 2002 the Government of Estonia allotted 7 million kroons for development cooperation, which enabled Estonia to share its reform experiences primarily with countries in East and Southeast Europe and the South-Caucasus region: Estonia's experiences generated interest with civil servants and representatives of the private sector and the third sector in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Yugoslavia. Also, as mentioned, Estonia gave humanitarian aid through the Red Cross to Afghan refugees and to the Czech Republic for flood damages.
Last year many significant events also took place in the area of development cooperation at the international level. At the EU summit meeting on 14-15 March in Barcelona, Spain, a decision was made to increase the percentage of resources to be allotted to cooperation development for the year 2006, from the EU average of 0.33% to 0.39% of the GNP. At the UN’s International Conference on Financing for Development a week later in Monterey, Mexico, many donor countries pledged to increase their aid amounts for development cooperation, and at the UN sustainable development conference in early September in Johannesburg, South Africa, a programme was adopted for sustainable global development to fight poverty and protect the environment.
Estonia has systematically worked with development cooperation since 1998. Development cooperation as an inseparable part of Estonia's foreign policy comprises both development and humanitarian aid, and it is directed towards securing peace, prosperity and economic and social stability, and it works towards decreasing world poverty in harmony with the internationally approved principles of sustainable development. Estonia’s development co-operation policy is regulated by the document "Principles of Estonian Development Cooperation" approved by the Riigikogu 15.01.2003, according to which Estonia will observe the principles of humanitarian and development aid shaped by international organizations, primarily the UN, OECD and EU. This document defines Estonia's development co-operation as a basic outlet for sharing its reform experiences with transition economy countries interested in this subject matter, and it also defines the type of support and aid given to developing countries.
The means intended for carrying out this development cooperation were defined by the Government of the Republic decision No. 56 of 18 December 2001 "Financing the development cooperation out of the state budget in 2002", according to which seven million kroons were proposed from the Government of Estonia’s reserve for these activities.