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President Kaljulaid spoke at the UN about the world's conflict areas and Estonia's capacity to contribute to world security

President Kaljulaid spoke at the UN about the world's conflict areas and Estonia's capacity to contribute to world security
President Kaljulaid at the at the annual opening session of the United Nations General Assembly
© Eleri Ever

20.09.2017

President of the Republic, Kersti Kaljulaid, gave an address in New York early this morning Estonian time at the annual opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. The President's speech focused on conflict areas, the migration crisis, cyber security and the need to reform the United Nations.

The President drew attention to the fact that the world is becoming more and more unpredictable, and there are too many states in the world suffering from unresolved conflicts. "There are many countries that have been torn apart by tensions that we were aware of, but could not extinguish in time to avoid the worst," said President Kaljulaid in her address, using as examples the situations in Ukraine, Georgia and Syria. According to the Head of State, the real effects of international conflicts, terrorism and climate change have led to the highest number of displaced people ever seen globally.

For these very reasons, Estonia wishes to bring to the United Nations the skills to give a voice to and recognise all of those with restricted rights. "Societies where men and women are treated equally show faster development, and gender equality also helps to reduce poverty." The President also emphasised that it is crucial to eliminate any form of gender-based violence.

In the United Nations, Estonia will also help promote the use of technological solutions to facilitate development. "For this very reason, Estonia and Singapore recently launched the Group of Friends of e-Governance and cyber security," said the President. When speaking about cyber security, the Head of State said that geography has become obsolete in the digital world. "Attacks via cyberspace know no range or borders. This does not mean we can or should try to stop digital progress. We need to continue efforts to analyse how international law applies to cyber space."

According to the President, it is important for Estonia to make the work of the United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council, more transparent and efficient. "Criticism of the United Nations often results from the inability of the Security Council to respond timely to crises. Some permanent members exercise their veto right, which prevents the UN from adequately fulfilling its functions." Therefore, one of the visions of Estonia in applying for membership of the Security Council is to improve the working methods of the Security Council to facilitate more effective prevention and settlement of global conflicts.

The full text of the address by the President is available from here.