120th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
11 May 2010, Strasbourg
Statement by Mr. Marten Kokk
Secretary of State, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to commend, like many previous speakers, our Secretary General for the dedication and determination he has shown after taking office. He has literally put the wheel in motion. The fight against fragmentation, achieving higher political visibility and following sound financial strategy - these are the key elements of the Secretary General’s program. Let me assure you of Estonia’s full support and cooperation in this endeavour.
I will limit myself to some of the most imperative topics for Estonia, such as Court reform, conflict in Georgia, and cyber security.
Estonia welcomes the “Interlaken Declaration” and the efforts made by the outgoing Swiss presidency to reach an agreement on the reform mandate of the European Court of Human Rights.
To secure more effective implementation of the Court’s judgements Estonia plans to follow the call for the secondment of national lawyers to the Court’s registry. We have already taken steps at home to improve the public knowledge on how and when to apply to the Court. For instance, the application guidelines, as well as translations of the Court’s judgments and decisions relating directly to Estonia are now available on our foreign ministry’s website. We support the idea of providing better information about the Human Rights Convention system through different human rights institutions as well as the creation of a supplementary filtering mechanism that would minimise the back-log of Court applications.
Let me come to another important item on today’s agenda, the unresolved conflict in Georgia. Considering the Council of Europe’s specific role in Georgia, we all agree on the importance of addressing the human rights problems on the ground. However, humanitarian actions cannot replace the political responsibility of the member states involved in the conflict. These two member states and their governments have to fulfill all their obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe. First of all we are speaking of the commitments that are related to the August 2008 war and to the six-point peace plan. We deem it important that the status of the compliance with the commitments will be continuously reflected in the relevant Reports of the Secretary General.
To stress the importance of the future-oriented topics in our agenda, I have the pleasure to acknowledge the strategic document of the Secretary General, “Priorities for 2011”. It declares internet security and fighting cyber crime, based on the Cyber Crime convention, as one of the priority areas under the rule of law. Estonia, being politically engaged in strengthening cyber security, has made several financial donations to support this approach and the related excellent “Project on Cyber Crime”. We also reiterate our call for all states that have not yet done so to join and ratify the Council of Europe’s Cyber Crime convention, which is becoming a truly universal instrument.
In conclusion, allow me to thank You and the entire Swiss chairmanship team for your substantial and effective work, and to wish Minister Milošoski and his team every success in the coming six months