Kaljulaid in US: President meets with UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President Kersti Kaljulaid in New York on Thursday. 1 November 2018. Source: Office of the President

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on Thursday to discuss topics related to global security, including cyber-security and climate change.

"The effects of climate change threaten the survival of entire countries and peoples," Kaljulaid said to Guterres according to an Office of the President press release.

According to the president, in the climate context, it is important to discuss not just the adoption of green energy but also energy efficiency, as the latter is also a means of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere.

Kaljulaid also talked about a number of projects Estonia has underway worldwide, both bilaterally and in cooperation with the UN, that are helping developing countries find the right digital solutions for them, including the building of digital registries in the Caribbean and Oceania as well as the development of digital states in Africa and Asia.

"As Estonia is helping a number of countries develop digital states and societies, we also feel responsible for ensuring that there are recognised rules in the world that would help ensure cyber-security," she stressed, adding that this is one reason why Estonia is running for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

The two leaders also discussed reforms initiated by Guterres, as well as how to make the UN's activities more transparent, efficient as well as more easily quantifiable. Kaljulaid said that as co-chair of the movement for Every Woman Every Child (EWEC), one of her objectives is to find better ways of measuring existing activities in order to ensure that projects supporting children's and women's health are more effective and rely on the right data.

Busy working visit to the US

Earler this week, she met in Detroit with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the role of communities and local governments in society, the global economy as well as Estonia's digital society. They also discussed cooperation between civil society and innovative solutions that local governments can use in the sphere of transport and sustainable development.

While in Detroit, Kaljulaid also gave a presentation at the City Lab innovation conference, where the future challenges of towns worldwide were discussed and experiences relating to resolving problems were shared. Her presentation involved a question-and-answer (Q&A) session on the subject of Estonian digital society.

In New York, the Estonian president met with Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Åsa Regnér. She also met with ambassadors of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) to discuss potential cooperation in the digital field as well as introduce Estonia's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council..

The Estonian president is also scheduled to give a speech at Columbia University and visit the New York Estonian School.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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