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Marina Kaljurand leaves Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Prior to her run as presidential candidate in 2016, Marina Kaljurand served as Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prior to her run as presidential candidate in 2016, Marina Kaljurand served as Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and 2016 presidential candidate Marina Kaljurand terminated her employment relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the end of 2017.

"My employment relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ended on Dec. 31, 2017," Kaljurand told BNS. "I will continue to chair the international cybersecurity commission."

According to Kaljurand, she gives lectures on practical diplomacy and international cybersecurity in Estonia and abroad. "In Estonia, I am involved in issues I hold dear — young people, women, integration and foreign policy," she said. "I receive invitations to give presentations in many places — schools, organizations, and institutions. I accept as many invitations as I can, and therefore I travel a lot in Estonia."

The former diplomat also said that she joined the Women's Voluntary Defence Organization (Naiskodukaitse) last June, and was currently undergoing volunteer training in national defense as we well as preparing for the large-scale defense exercise Hedgehog 2018 to be held in the spring.

Kaljurand has been serving as chairwoman of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC), the deputy chairs of which are Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005-2009 and one of the authors of the USA PATRIOT Act, and former Deputy National Security Adviser of India Latha Reddy.

The commission comprises 26 prominent commissioners representing a wide range of geographic regions as well as government, industry, technical and civil society stakeholders with legitimacy to speak on different aspects of cyberspace.

The establishment of the commission was initiated by two independent think-thanks — the Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and the EastWest Institute (EWI).  

The GCSC was launched by Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders on the fringes of the 2017 Munich Security Conference last February.

Commenting on speculation that a new political party could be established in Estonia in time for the next Riigikogu elections in March 2019, Kaljurand last November denied rumors that she may be the figurehead chosen by the founders of the new party.

"I have the political ambition neither to establish a new political party nor to be a member of a new party," Kaljurand said in her response to a question from BNS on the subject.

She said that most of her time was taken up by leading the international commission on cybersecurity.

By far the most popular candidate for president of Estonia ahead of the 2016 presidential elections according to poll results, Kaljurand failed to make the second round of the election of the president in the parliament after the Reform Party decided to throw its entire weight behind party honorary chairman Siim Kallas. Kaljurand was first nominated for president by people belonging to the Reform Party leadership.

Following the elections, Kaljurand returned to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a part-time adviser on cyber security.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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