The foreign ministers of Estonia and India discussed UN Security Council membership and cyber cooperation on Wednesday at a meeting in New Dehli.
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu and his Indian counterpart Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar discussed Estonia's principles for its membership in the UN Security Council in 2021 and 2022, India's campaign for elected membership, and opportunities for even closer bilateral relations.
Reinsalu said: "It makes no difference whether you are a small state or the world's largest democratic country, international law and common rules of the game are the foundation of global economy and social stability,"
He shared his impressions from Estonia's busy first weeks as an elected member of the UN Security Council and assured that Estonia was serious about its commitment to protect the rules-based order and alleviate human suffering.
Reinsalu added that Estonia was looking forward to a chance to cooperate on these issues with India in the Security Council as early as next year. India is running for an elected membership in the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 period.
The ministers also discussed reforming the UN. "The UN must move with the times and become more transparent. It is important for the selection of permanent members of the Security Council to reflect today's world," Reinsalu said, referring to India's ambition of becoming a permanent member of the Security Council in the future.
The second half of the meeting focused on how to enhance economic cooperation. "The Estonian entrepreneurs exporting to India are varied and active. It is important to make sure our business diplomacy offers them the best help on such a large market," the foreign minister said. He added that Estonia was happy that, thanks to the e-residency programme, Indian entrepreneurs have started more than 450 companies in Estonia.
Digital and cyber issues were given particular attention. "The fact that a country with one of the largest number of internet and technology users in the world is interested in cooperating with Estonia on cybersecurity and e-governance is a great credit to Estonia and our entrepreneurs," Reinsalu said.
He expressed hope that the memorandums on cyber cooperation and e-governance and emerging digital technologies signed in August 2019 during the visit of the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu would provide new opportunities for both countries.
On the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi, Foreign Minister Reinsalu also met with his counterparts from India and Iran, as well as from Uzbekistan and the Maldives, and with the national security adviser of Afghanistan.
Editor: Helen Wright