Estonia has put forward a bid to host the 2008 World Health Organization conference. The Cabinet last week backed a plan to approach WHO with the concept of hosting the European region conference, which would focus on the topic of health systems. Social Affairs Minister Jaak Aab said Estonia was a suitable place to hold the three-day conference, as it was considered the most successful among European transitional countries for its health system development.
Long-serving chief of Estonia's Defense Forces, Vice Admiral Tarmo Kouts, resigned last week to pursue a career in politics. Kouts tendered his resignation to President Arnold Ruutel, saying he would seek a parliamentary seat in the elections next spring. Kouts, 52, said he would like to be involved in shaping maritime affairs and security policy. He denied that his resignation was prompted by any differences with current Defense Minister Jurgen Ligi.
A monument to members of the 20th Waffen SS Division made up of Estonians who fought on the German side in World War II was unveiled in the village of Mehikoorma on the shores of Lake Peipsi on Aug. 26. An estimated 200-300 people attended the opening of the monument, which is made of black marble and measures three meters in height, Margus Narusing, chairman of the Meeksi council, told the Baltic News Service. Narusing said the monument, which stands about 100 meters from the waterfront, was dedicated to all people who fought for the independence of Estonia in WWII.
The head of a Georgian police academy arrived in Tallinn for a five-day visit during which he will schedule and organize Georgian police officers' training at the Paikuse police school. The Estonian Public Service Academy said that Rector of the Georgian Interior Ministry Police Academy Kahkaber Khizanishvili and deputy head of the ministry's personnel and logistics department, Zurab Papiashvili, will agree on the timetable for Georgian officers enrolled in the Paikuse academy. The Georgian police officers will visit the Estonian Police Board, the Paikuse police school and attend the Public Service Academy's school year opening. The first phase of Georgian officers' six-week schooling took place last spring at Paikuse.