Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna, together with the Commander of the Defence League, Meelis Kiil, signed a programme “Patriotic Education for Young People”, which provides state issued guidelines and means for expanding the patriotic education of young people.
According to Minister of Defence Margus Tshakna, it is important that young people be provided with an understanding of their country at as young an age as possible, and that everyone has a critically important role to play. “A patriotic education gives young people the skills to cope in life and helps them grow into citizens who actively participate in society,” said Tsahkna.
“The programme has a grand objective – in the future, the majority of Estonian children must have the opportunity to participate for free in Defence League youth organisation summer camps and Young Eagles and Home Daughters activities, alongside the 7000 young people who currently participate. This year, expanded summer camps will be organised in Defence League units, with the goal of including 25 youth leaders, who in turn will create the opportunity for 300 new young people to participate in the works of Defence League youth organisations,” explained Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna.
In 2018, a summer camp will be organised for 1000 young people, where an additional 700 new youngsters are expected to participate alongside 300 Home Daughters and Young Eagles.
The Commander of the Defence League, Brigadier General Meelis Kiil, stated that the programme “Patriotic Education for Young People” is a broad-based part of national defence as a whole. “It is an important guarantor of the sustainability of the state, through which we are looking ahead to the future. Each of us must contribute to the growing and raising of young citizens,” stated Kiil.
The Minister of Defence added that the programme is a good opportunity for young people who wish to expand their horizons and make new friends. Also for a youth leader who is interested in personal development, finding new like-minded people, and contributing to broad-based national defence.
In addition to basic schools, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence League are calling on other institutions and companies who are looking to find interesting activities offering adventure and physical activity for their employees’ children, and to raise their children to become active and cheerful citizens, to participate in the programme.
Estonian Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna paid his condolences to the victims and their families in the wake of yesterday’s horrific attack in London and reconfirmed the strong Alliance bond between Estonia and the United Kingdom.
“An attack at the heart of London is yet another example that we are living at a worrisome period, where everybody is vulnerable”, wrote Defence Minister Tsahkna on his social media account.” “On behalf of all the defence people of Estonia I would like to offer my condolences to the victims’ families and wish a speedy recovery to all the people hurt. Our thoughts are with you.”
“Strong friendship matters most during hardships,” wrote Tsahkna. Today, the UK soldiers are already in Estonia, ready to assist us on defending our nation. By the same token, we will be good Allies to our UK friends. You can count on our unwavering support as we stand by you.”
During these weeks the UK-led 800 strong NATO enhanced forward presence battlegroup, joined by 300 French soldiers, will be arriving to Estonia.
In light of the changed security environment, the 28 NATO Allies decided last year in Warsaw to establish NATO battalion battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Estonia and the UK are tied by historic defence bonds and camaraderie, forged by the joint participation at international operations.
Täna tutvustas Eesti eriesindaja Euroopa Liidu institutsioonide juures Matti Maasikas Sarajevos kohtumistel Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina väliskaubandus- ja majandussuhete ministri, asepeaminister Mirko Sarovići, aseväliminister Josip Brkići ja välisministeeriumi Euroopa integratsiooni osakonna peadirektori Edin Dilberovićiga Eesti Euroopa Liidu Nõukogu eesistumise prioriteete.
Maasikas kinnitas, et Eesti peamine ülesanne eesistujana on hoida Euroopa Liit ühtse ja otsustusvõimelisena. Eesti prioriteedid on avatud, turvaline, digitaalne ja kaasav ning kestlik Euroopa. „Nende hulgas on valdkondi, mille edendamisele saavad kaasa aidata ka need riigid, kes on oma sihiks võtnud Euroopa Liiduga ühinemise, näiteks terrorismivastane võitlus või rändekriisi lahendamine,“ ütles Maasikas.
Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina sotsiaalmajandusliku arengu ja edasise EL-integratsiooni üks võtmeküsimusi on kõigi valitsustasandite pühendumus Euroopa Liidu reformiagenda täitmisele. Järgmine samm Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina teel Euroopa Liidu poole on vastamine mahukale küsimustikule. Kõigil kohtumistel kinnitati, et riik esitab koondvastused ELile maikuu lõpuks. Vastuste alusel koostab Euroopa Komisjon arvamuse Bosniale ja Hertsegoviinale ELi kandidaatriigi staatuse andmise kohta.
Eesti toetab Euroopa Liidu laienemist. Maasika sõnul põhineb laienemine „Euroopa Liidu väärtuste austamisel ja rangel tingimuslikkusel ning seetõttu soovime, et riigid, kes on teinud edusamme, saaksid ka võimaluse ühinemisprotsessis edasi liikuda. Bosnialt ja Hertsegoviinalt kui tulevaselt kandidaatriigilt ootame joondumist Euroopa Liidu ühise välis- ja julgeolekupoliitika seisukohtadega, sealhulgas piiravate meetmetega.“.
Eesti ning Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina kahepoolsed suhted on head. Praegu on peatähelepanu e-valitsemise alasel koostööl. Eesti eksperdid on teinud mitmeid e-valitsemise projekte, sealhulgas e-hääletamise koolitusi ja loodame selle koostöö jätkumist. Eesti toetab ka Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina NATOga liitumise püüdlusi.
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The Minister of National Defence for Poland, Antoni Macierewicz, met with Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna; Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu, Hannes Hanso; Commander of the Defence Forces, General Riho Terras; and Commander of the Defence League, Brigadier General Meelis Kiili, during his visit to Estonia.
According to Minister of Defence Tsahkna, defence cooperation between Estonia and Poland is very practical and meaningful. “We are located within the same security space, and the basis for our cooperation is a common understanding and sense of what threatens our region,” said Minister of Defence Tshakna.
According to Tsahkna, one of the most important aspects of further cooperation between the two countries is developing independent defence capability. “We both have a very clear understanding that the countries of Europe must contribute to their own defence capability, we cannot rely exclusively on our allied relationships. Actual defence capability is comprised of independent defence capability and good allied relationships,” said Tsahkna.
The Ministers of Defence also discussed the implementation of decisions taken at the NATO Warsaw Summit, at a time when forces from the United States are already present in Poland within the framework of an increased presence by NATO, and Estonia is preparing in the coming weeks to receive a combat group under the command of the United Kingdom. Both ministers also confirmed their continued support for the goal of seeing NATO and EU Member States contribute at least 2% of GDP to national defence, which Poland and Estonia are already doing.
Estonia’s total defence is based on the family model, in which men and women, boys and girls, grandfathers and grandmothers are all included and which relies on a strong will for defence, said Minister of Defence Tsahkna today at the conference “Women, Peace and Security”.
“National defence is universal and I believe that the desire to protect Estonia does not differ between men and women. All members of society – women and men, young and old – have a very important contribution to make when it comes to ensuring peace and security,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna.
Experts from Great Britain, the United States, Norway, Italy, Israel and Estonia are participating in the Second International Conference “Women, Peace and Security”, taking place in the Riigikogu Conference Centre. The conference adheres to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the role of women in ensuring peace and security.
Women play a major role in Estonia’s national defence. There are 305 servicewomen in active service, which accounts for approximately one-tenth of all servicemen. In addition, there are 687 women working as officials and employees within the Defence Forces. Currently there are 28 women completing conscript service on a voluntary basis.
UN Resolution 1325 was adopted in 2000; Estonia joined it in 2010. As of today, a total of 63 countries with action plans have joined the resolution. The purpose of the UN resolution is to inform the international community of a gender perspective when it comes to the prevention and resolution of military conflicts.
Estonia contributes to development cooperation and humanitarian aid in the form of monetary assistance and training, in order to improve the situation of women and girls during and after military conflicts. This is done in cooperation with the UN Children’s Fund, International Red Cross, World Food Programme, and other aid organisations.
Estonia has supported Ukrainian and Syrian refugees, provided aid to women and children in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and participated in civil missions. Over the past year, a total of EUR 894,000 has been spent.
Estonia is pleased to organise the 10th anniversary of EuroDIG in Tallinn on 6-7 June.
Eestil on au olla EuroDIG 10-nda aastapäeva korraldajamaaks. Suurüritus toimub 6-7. juunil Tallinnas.