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Diplomat: Estonia brought cybersecurity to UNSC during presidency

The Estonian and UN flags.
The Estonian and UN flags. Source: Marko Mumm / Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

During Estonia's 18 months as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) the country has sought to draw the attention of world powers to the topic of cybersecurity.

ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Sunday looked at Estonia's time on the council and what the country has achieved so far. The country's second month-long presidency ended in June.

Deputy Head of the UN Mission in Estonia Gert Auväärt said Estonia has raised its profile, gained allies and become more secure.

He said in the first year, the Estonian team tried to get to know the landscape of the Security Council, but in the second year Estonia, alongside Norway, has been in charge of the Afghanistan portfolio and was move involved with the topic of the European Union's military mission in the Mediterranean. 

The country also organized a high-level debate on cybersecurity at the end of its second UNSC presidency.

"Cybersecurity as a separate issue has never been put on the table by the Security Council. It has been referred to through various other meetings, but it is an issue we have been working on for years," Auväärt said.

He emphasized that it has been important for Estonian diplomats to pay attention to the concerns of their region, for example, what is happening in Belarus, although it is often difficult to reach tangible solutions.

"The Security Council is not a group of like-minded countries, the negotiations must take into account the different views of the various parties. However, I think that the fact that we are discussing these issues here have importance and directs attention globally to where it is needed," said Auväärt.

Additionally, he said coronavirus created many additional problems which needed solutions. These included moving high-level meetings online rather than holding them in person.

Estonia is a non-permanent member of the UNSC until December 2021, when its two-year term comes to an end.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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