President Kersti Kaljulaid was in New Zealand late this week, meeting with that country's prime minister amongst others, and discussing areas the two countries have in common.
Speaking in Auckland, Ms Kaljulaid said that the two nations enjoy several options in cooperation and exchange of experiences in the e-governance sphere as well as in statistics gathering and the burgeoning digital society.
"Estonia and New Zealand share similar values and are making active preparations for future challenges, ranging from digital society and artificial intellect to climate change," said the president at a meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (Labour).
Cyber security issues
"New Zealand has actively run for the Security Council of the UN on seven occasions, the last time in 2015-2016, when the aim was to highlight climate change as a security issue. Estonia, being a digital society, is interested in bringing cyber security issues into focus for the Security Council, and during this process we highly value the assistance provided to us by New Zealand in establishing relations with the island states of the region," she went on to say, after the meeting.
Following the meeting, Ms Kaljulaid gifted Prime Minister Ardern two Lotte and Bruno dolls, taken from a popular Estonian children's cartoon, saying: "I know that you recently had a daughter. Lotte sets a good example for Estonian girls, as she has never heard that, for example, girls should not equal to boys in karate, inventing machines or making a trip to the Moon''.
Ms Ardern, who became prime minister a year ago, gave birth to her first child, a girl, in June, becoming the first New Zealand premier to have a child whilst in office.
Kaljulaid in US next
Kersti Kaljulaid also met Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy in the country's capital, Wellington, to discuss the role of New Zealand's role in combatting climate change as well as experiences Estonia has gained in building up a digital society.
Ms Kaljulaid also met with the Minister of Digital Services of New Zealand, Megan Woods, to discuss co-operation between the two countries in the digital sphere, as well as diplomatic representatives of the Pacific island countries, introducing the goals of Estonia's candidacy to the UN Security Council, on Thursday.
President Kaljulaid will be visiting the US next and is to give a presentation at the Global Cities Summit City Lab in Detroit, Michigan. She will also be meeting with former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, plus the ambassadors of the Francophone countries and the African Union, in New York City. She will also give a presentation at Columbia University and visit the New York Estonian School.
Editor: Andrew Whyte