Introduction to the the conference 2020
This year marks one hundred years since the adoption of the first Estonian Constitution, the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary and our annual Human Rights Conference was to be held for the tenth time. These are all distinguished milestones that we would like to honour. Yet this year we cannot do so in the traditional way.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will discuss hot topics in human rights and commemorate these milestones over the Internet. This will allow everyone to view the discussions when it suits them best. The discussions will be recorded in advance, and subtitles will be provided. While it will not be possible to ask questions, comments can be added to the videos, which we kindly ask everyone to do!
The topics will of course be influenced by the uniqueness of this year. There is reason to ask: is the role of extremism related to the coronavirus or not? For their part, might major states that do not care about human rights – primarily Russia – take advantage of the rise of extremist parties in democracies? And how should the United Nations behave with China now a member of its Human Rights Council? These are complicated questions that cannot be answered by politicians and analysts alone, which is why we will also discuss how these could be reflected by writers. Should literature offer solutions and recipes, or should it follow its own path and provide comfort and an opportunity to disengage for readers who are tired of politics?
These topics are not likely to lose their relevance anytime soon. And so we look forward to everyone who will follow the discussions and hope that we will be able to meet again in Tallinn already next year!