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The 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which focused on human rights, ended in Geneva today. Special attention was devoted to the situation in Syria. The Assembly adopted a resolution that calls upon all parties to the conflict in Syria to cooperate in order to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and bring an end to this war.

Head of the Estonian delegation Mrs Helmen Kütt said in her speech at the plenary assembly that although the situation in Syria was really worrying, it was also necessary to pay attention to systematic violations of human rights in Crimea and East Ukraine. Kütt also touched upon the issue of women’s rights. She noted that it was an important part of human rights, and that “the equal involvement of women at all levels and in all areas is a key to a better, fairer, and less violent world.” Kütt emphasised that, in the protection of human rights, the parliaments must work in close partnership with civil society organisations and international advocacy groups. In her speech, the head of Estonian delegation also briefly spoke about cyber issues. She stressed the importance of protecting human rights also online.

Member of the Estonian delegation to the IPU Mr Toomas Kivimägi made a speech at the sitting of the e-elections and e-parliament section. Kivimägi exchanged experience with his colleagues from France, Canada, Sweden and Israel, and was asked several questions about the organisation of Estonian e-elections. Kivimägi said that one of the great advantages of online elections was convenience for voters, and also the possibility to cut expenses, but in his opinion, an even more important aspect of e-elections was that they attracted more people – more young people – to vote at the elections.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is the oldest and largest organisation of parliaments in the world. It was established in 1889, and it has 171 member states from the entire world.

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal,
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