Resolution on Honouring of obligations and commitments by Estonia (excerpts), 1997


The second problematic area relates to the treatment of the “non-historic” Russian-speaking minority, which has given rise to some concern in the last three years, especially as far as the granting of residence permits and citizenship (and the language test that has to be passed in order obtain the latter) are concerned


8. The Assembly thus urges the Estonian authorities to:

  • [..];
  • 8.2. seek to integrate those members of the “non-historic” Russian-speaking minority, who so wish, by improving the teaching of Estonian as a foreign language in public schools and universities, and in adult education by offering language courses free of charge or at a reduced rate to applicants for Estonian citizenship (especially in Russian-speaking areas);
  • 8.3. amend the 1993 Law on Education so as to allow the continued functioning of the Russian language state-funded secondary schools as long as there is a sufficient demand by parents;
  • [..].

9. Considering that the most important obligations and commitments have been honoured by Estonia, the Assembly has decided to close the monitoring procedure opened on 29 May 1995 under Order No. 508. It resolves to continue to follow developments, in particular with regard to the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers, the “non-historic” Russian-speaking minority, as well as conditions of custody and detention and the abolition of the death penalty.

Document data: 30.01.1997. Resolution 1117 (1997) Link:

Situation of human rights in Estonia and Latvia, 1992

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that all member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all and to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in this field,

Being convinced that respect for human rights is an inalienable component of maintaining and promoting good-neighbourly relations between States,

Taking into account the complaint of alleged violations of human rights with respect to the Russian-speaking population in Estonia and Latvia,

Noting the conclusions and recommendations made by the United Nations fact-finding mission that visited Riga in October 1992 at the invitation of the Government of Latvia,

1. Notes with concern the existence of certain problems which involve large groups of population in Estonia and Latvia;

2. Welcomes the cooperation that the Government of Latvia has extended to the United Nations fact-finding mission;

3. Also welcomes the invitation of the Government of Estonia to receive a similar United Nations fact-finding mission and its intention to extend to it its cooperation;

4. Calls upon the States concerned to intensify their efforts on the bilateral level aimed at resolving concerns with regard to the situation of the Russian-speaking population on the basis of generally accepted norms of international law in the field of human rights;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to keep Member States informed of the progress in the field of human rights in Estonia and Latvia and to report to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session under the item entitled “Situation of human rights in Estonia and Latvia”.

Document data: resolution 47/115 , 16.12.1992. Link: