Approval Of The Principles Of Estonian Development Cooperation

Published: 2003-01-21

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Approval of the Principles of Estonian Development Cooperation

Passed 15.01.2003

The Riigikogu resolves:

To approve the annexed "Principles of Estonian Development


President of the Riigikogu Toomas SAVI


1. Definitions

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.

2. Introduction

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.

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