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Estonia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Bodies

Year after year Estonia has improved the human rights work in the UN.

Commission on the Status of Women

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a sub-commission of the UN United Nations Economic and Social Council, consisting of 45 members elected for four years. The goal of the commission is the empowerment of women and developing gender equality in the world; to do this, the commission outlines specific standards and policies. The commission’s meetings take place once a year in spring; the subject of 2013 was violence against women, the subject of the next year will be development cooperation. Estonia is a first-time member of the Commission on the Status of Women for the years 2011 – 2015.  The leader of the Estonian delegation in the year 2013 was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who held a speech on the general debate; he was the main speaker in the Estonian-Armenian secondary event on the subject of women, peace and security; L. Kanter, the department leader in the Ministry of Social Affairs took part in a panel on violence against women, she also participated in the negations of Estonia’s concluding thoughts.


The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) is the first UN agency created during the reform of the UN development aid system in the year 2010. The aim of the reform was to bring the perspective of equality further into the entire UN work and to guarantee the UN’s effective support to developing gender equality and women rights in different parts of the world. UN-Women focuses on the struggle against violence directed towards women, the role of women in ensuring peace and security, but also on increasing women’s political participation and economic empowerment. Estonia contributed actively towards the creation of the agency; Estonia’s ambassador Intelmann was one of the facilitators in reaching the agreement. During the years 2011 – 2012, Estonia was council member of the UN-Women member states, and in the year 2012, the vice-president of the council. In 2007 – 2009, Estonia was also the president of one of the predecessors of UN-Women, the consultative committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM. Today, Estonia participates in the work of the UN-Women council as an active observer.


The Estonian expert Mari Amos belongs to the supervisory committee of the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) during 2011 – 2014. Estonian expert Viktoria Tuulas is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) during 2011 – 2013. Oliver Loode, an Estonian expert on Finno-Ugric was elected to the composition of the next PFII forum in 2014 – 2016. An Estonian representative has taken part of the forum also in 2005 – 2007 and 2010 – 2011.

Last updated: 6 May 2014

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