Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu emphasised that stronger support is needed for the UN secretary-general's call for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during a video meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism.
The meeting was initiated by France and Germany and the alliance includes more than 50 UN member states.
Reinsalu (Isamas) said the call for a global ceasefire should have a prominent and binding position in the UN Security Council. "Estonia is working to protect the most vulnerable people in regions where active conflicts are still ongoing – such as Syria or eastern Ukraine."
As of Thursday, 11 countries involved in conflicts have given a positive response to the call made by the UN secretary-general on March 23. He added that during its UN Security Council Presidency in May, Estonia would keep a particular focus on the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on peace and security.
He also said international organisations must learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the reform of healthcare systems
Reinsalu said: "The current crisis has demonstrated the importance of international cooperation for our collective health, prosperity and security. International organisations must draw conclusions from the global spread of COVID-19 and support the reform of healthcare systems. Through international cooperation, we must prevent pandemics with such an impact in the future, and learn from these events."
The foreign minister emphasised states needed to share information on exit strategies and make preparations for preventing future crises. The World Health Organization has an important responsibility in this, as it is the sole global health policy coordinator.
Digital affairs is an area that could help speed up recovery and where Estonia has a lot to offer.
"Digital economy and technology make societies more resistant to future pandemics. We must help those without technological capabilities and avoid a further deepening of the digital gap. Multilateral cooperation and organisations must also keep up with technological progress and support it," he said.
Reinsalu also presented the results of the Global Hackathon started by Estonia.
Editor: Helen Wright