HRC 48 – Item 4: General Debate – Statement by Estonia to be delivered by H.E.Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi – 27 September 2021

Madame President,

The human rights situation in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Tigray region of Ethiopia, Burundi, Syria, Central African Republic, Belarus and Russia remains of grave concern.

The HRC must keep developments in Myanmar high on the agenda and maintain international pressure on the military regime. Attacks by the security forces against medical personnel and facilities are unacceptable and deepening the public health crisis. We continue to urge Myanmar to fully cooperate with the UN human rights mechanisms.

The swift and concrete action is needed to prevent the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and to ensure the protection of human rights of all Afghans. We urge the Taliban’s interim government to immediately fulfil the promises it has made regarding the composition of the government and the unrestricted access to education for woman and girls.

The actions of the autocratic regime in Belarus are an example of how domestic crises has begun to turn into regional instability. Ryanair’s passenger planes’ forced landing in the spring was followed by the next step – the instrumentalisation of migrants and refugees, the exploitation of their vulnerability for political motives and the organizing of their flow across the EU’s external borders by the Belarusian authorities.

The recent general elections in Russia were once again an evidence to the decline of democracy and human rights. The election results were based on the scenario prescribed by the authorities. The abandonment and ridicule of the principles of democracy and human rights by the Russian authorities must be the focus of the international community.

I thank you.