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The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in Toompea Castle on Saturday morning. This is the first ever official visit of the Secretary-General of the UN to Estonia.

Ban Ki-moon recognised Estonia as a bright example where independence has been gained by non-violent means and progress has been successful. He said that the Baltic Way and singing oneself free is unique in the world riddled with conflicts, violence and death.

The guest also raised the issue of gender equality and appreciated Estonia’s contribution in drafting documents and in acceding to them.

“Gender equality should be so self-evident that we should not need to stress it every day. We too here in the Western cultural space have to change our way of thinking and overcome stagnant and outdated approaches,” Ene Ergma said.

The President of the Riigikogu said that if women discuss this issue among themselves at conferences, it will not help much to solve the problem. “Men and women have to solve these problems together and in different groups of the society. Mere academic discussion is certainly not sufficient to change the attitude.” At the meeting, Ergma also highlighted the complex issues entailed in the significant reduction of the proportion of men in the acquisition of higher education, among teachers and in medicine, as well as in connection with raising children in single-parent families.

Ergma and Ban Ki-moon also discussed the demographic problems in the globalising world. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson and Deputy Chairman Enn Eesmaa also took part in the meeting.

Photos of the meeting

The Riigikogu Press Service