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The President of the Republic delivered a speech at the World Conference on Women

Today President Arnold Rüütel addressed the Beijing World Conference on Women as a guest of honour during its opening session and visited the Forbidden City and the X-ray inspection technology company NUCTECH.

In the morning the President of the Republic of Estonia delivered a speech at the Memorial Conference of the 10th Anniversary of the Fourth World Congress on Women held in Beijing in 1995 (Beijing + 10). In his speech President Rüütel dwelled upon international efforts to avoid discrimination of women, giving examples from Estonian practices. The Estonian head of the state, while addressing the audience of several thousand listeners from different countries of the world, explained our parental benefit system and our gender equality legislation as well as our activities in fighting against human trafficking.

While speaking about violence against women, the President of the Republic of Estonia said that this is a global, political and social problem concerning all the countries in the world and that one has to fight against it both at the state, regional and international levels.

"Different states and nations have joined the UN in order to find common solutions to the problems facing the mankind and take global challenges. Promotion of women's rights can be successful only in case it is possible to unite an open and cooperative dialogue, a sincere will and real efforts," stressed President Rüütel.

The opening session of the conference was also addressed by the President of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao, who touched the issue of women's rights in the context of millennium goals, but his main focus was laid on the activities of China in implementing the ideas of the Beijing Declaration in the framework of peaceful development.

The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, one of the best-known women in the world politics, recalled her mother, the first woman premier in the world - Sirimavo Bandaranaike. The head of the sate of Sri Lanka stressed that the task of women is to govern the society together with men in the spirit of shared partnership in each of the fields of life. She also dwelled upon the efforts taken by Sri Lanka in protecting the rights of women and children.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour forwarded the message of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the conference.

The opening session of the conference was chaired by Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Wu Yi, who governs the economic life in China and is the most powerful woman in politics in China. The conference will be held from August 29 to September 1 and is a follow-up event of the Fourth World Congress on Women held in Beijing in 1995. This congress was a breakthrough event in acknowledging and defending women's rights in the international context, and where, under the auspices of the UN, 189 states adopted the Beijing Declaration and an action plan to promote gender equality.

The President of the Republic of Estonia was accompanied at the conference by Ambassador Mait Martinson, Minister of Internal Affairs Kalle Laanet, Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo, State Secretary Heiki Loot, Chairman of the Riigikogu (Parliament) Committee on External Affairs Enn Eesmaa, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand, Director General of the Citizenship and Migration Board Mari Pedak, private operators Anne Samlik and Aune Past as well as other members of the Estonian delegation.

In the afternoon President Rüütel visited the Forbidden City, the one-time imperial palace complex located in the centre of Beijing. Afterwards the Estonian head of the state visited the technology company Qing Hua Tong Fang (NUCTECH), which owns around 60 per cent of the x-ray inspection technology market in the world. With the present yearly turnover of more than 1 billion USD, the company is an offspring of the leading technical university in China - the Tsinghua University. NUCTECH is developing, producing and maintaining various x-ray inspection systems for the customs inspection, medical devices and other purposes throughout the world.

Minister of Economy and Communications Edgar Savisaar met today with the Minister of Communications of the People's Republic of China Zhang Chunxian and Vice-Minister of Railways Hu Yadong to discuss mainly the issues of economic cooperation between Estonia and China in the field of transit activities.

In the evening Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the People's Republic of China Mait Martinson held a reception at the Kempinski Hotel in honour of the President of the Republic of Estonia. Afterwards President Rüütel participated at the banquet of the world conference on women, where a special performance was given by the artists of the Chinese Opera and Dance Theatre.

Herewith President Rüütel concluded the state visit to the People's Republic of China.
The head of the state will return to Estonia on Tuesday evening.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 29, 2005

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