Approval of the Principles of Estonian Development Cooperation
The Riigikogu resolves:
To approve the annexed "Principles of Estonian Development
President of the Riigikogu Toomas SAVI
PRINCIPLES OF ESTONIAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION
The following definitions are used in
the principles of development cooperation:
Development cooperation -
cooperation including development assistance and humanitarian aid;
Development assistance -
financial and other material assistance, as well as technical assistance
rendered to the recipient;
Humanitarian aid -
financial and other material assistance to other countries to alleviate the
effects of natural or man-made disasters;
Donor - a country
which is providing development assistance and humanitarian aid to another
Recipient - a developing
country or a transition economy receiving development assistance and
humanitarian aid from another country or an international organisation;
Developing country - a
country so classified by the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
Transition economy - a
country so classified by the UN and the OECD;
Bilateral development cooperation -
development assistance and humanitarian aid granted by a donor to a recipient;
development cooperation - development assistance and
humanitarian aid granted to a recipient through an international organisation.
Estonia has systematically engaged in development
cooperation since 1998. The experience obtained during that period and the
developments in the international environment have created the need for the
principles of development cooperation approved by the Riigikogu in 1999 to be
The principles of development
cooperation are based on international rules and good practice and take account
of changes in the global political and socio-economic landscape, the process of
Estonia's accession to the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation (NATO) and further national rearrangements ensuing therefrom.
Estonia's economic development and its
integration into international organisations has placed on us the
responsibility of increasing our contribution to securing global well-being in
accordance with our own increasing opportunities and with international
This document sets out the principles of
Estonian development cooperation and the ways in which they are to be
accomplished. The document should be renewed following any changes in the
situation and on the basis of the experience gained, with the involvement of
our partners who are participating in development cooperation.
3. Principles of Estonian development cooperation
As an integral part of Estonian foreign
policy, development cooperation is directed towards ensuring peace, democracy,
the observance of human rights, economic and social stability and the
eradication of poverty in the world in accordance with internationally approved
principles of sustainable development. Estonia observes the UN Millennium
Declaration adopted in 2000 and the principles for humanitarian and development
aid established by international organisations, primarily by the UN, the OECD
and the EU.
Estonia’s development cooperation
is implemented in partnership with the recipient, on the basis of mutual
interest. Distinctions can be drawn between four aspects in Estonia's
participation in international development cooperation.
a) Moral aspect - during the last
decade, Estonia has developed rapidly with the support of international donors
and it is our moral responsibility, as it is that of every other successful
country, to provide similar support for countries less developed than
b) Political aspect - development
cooperation helps to improve relations with donors and recipients and assists
in achieving foreign policy goals.
c) Economic aspect - the strengthening
of the economy of the recipients widens the circle of potential trade partners
for Estonia and strengthens international economic development.
d) Cultural aspect - development cooperation helps the Estonian state and Estonian
culture to present itself and fosters ties with other indigenous and kindred
peoples in order to contribute to their development.
4. Implementation of development cooperation
The implementation of the principles of
Estonian development cooperation is organised by the Ministry of Foreign
Estonia is engaged in development
cooperation through bilateral development cooperation projects, international
organisations and development cooperation partners.
Civil society organisations play an
important role in Estonian development cooperation by participating in policy
formulation, preparing and implementing concrete projects and presenting the
subject matter to the Estonian population. In addition to civil associations,
the partners in Estonian development cooperation may include private businesses
and other volunteers whose background, relevant preparedness and achievements
meet the requirements for development cooperation projects.
Estonia focuses on fields where it is
possible to help and support both developing countries and transition economies
by sharing our experience of reform.
Estonia supports the amended cooperation
strategy adopted by the OECD in 1996 which provides for a new type of
partnership as a basis for cooperation, in which developing countries take the
responsibility for their own development. In bilateral cooperation, Estonia has
a continuous dialogue with its partners in order to understand their needs and
to participate successfully in the implementation process. Estonia participates
in joint programmes organised by donors and cooperates with recipient
4.1. Bilateral development cooperation
The grant of development aid by Estonia
within the framework of bilateral development cooperation is focused on fields
where we have experience of reform and where we are able to create added value,
for instance the use of information and communication technologies, democratic
and market economy reforms, and the harmonisation of legislation with the
requirements of international organisations.
Estonian bilateral development
cooperation is primarily directed towards regions where processes similar to
the reforms Estonia has already completed lie ahead or are in progress. An
important role has been assigned to development cooperation oriented towards
other indigenous and kindred peoples.
4.2. Multilateral development cooperation
Multilateral development cooperation is
particularly important in fighting against such regional and global problems as
environmental pollution and the spread of disease. By participating in
multilateral development cooperation, Estonia can obtain up-to-date information
and have a say in the decision-making process at an international level. There
is close cooperation with the UN agencies, the EU, the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD). Estonia implements multilateral development cooperation
primarily through these organisations, with which it has long-term ties and
shares similar priorities.
4.3. Humanitarian aid
In recent decades, the world has faced
an increasing number of both natural and man-made catastrophes which have
prompted a growing need for closer international cooperation to alleviate the
consequences of disasters and to avoid new ones being caused. Depending
on the urgency with which humanitarian aid is to be supplied, Estonia
cooperates with international organisations and, where possible, directly with
the affected areas.
Estonia participates in international
rescue work pursuant to the Rescue Act and grants crisis aid pursuant to the
Emergency Preparedness Act.
5. Domestic awareness raising
An important part of implementing
development cooperation is providing relevant information to the Estonian
public. Awareness in Estonian society of the diversity, causes and various
consequences of global problems is the key to successful development
cooperation. Awareness-raising activities increase the solidarity of society
and general preparedness to attain the goals of development cooperation, as
well as enhancing the readiness of partners to cooperate and to take collective
responsibility. Domestic awareness-raising activities are carried out through
civil associations, educational and cultural institutions and the media.
6. Financing of development cooperation
In order to implement development
cooperation, resources will be allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
the state budget and the volume of these resources will increase in accordance
with Estonia's economic development and international trends.