President Kaljulaid's UN speech: Cybersecurity and climate change key areas

Kersti Kaljulaid at the United Nations, wearing a dress depicting Antarctica, which she says is a global thermostat that regulates the earth's climate, keeping it habitable. Source: Office of the President of the Estonian Republic.

In her speech to the UN General Assembly Wednesday, President Kersti Kaljulaid said that Estonia takes responsibility for the protection of cyberspace, and that climate change remains the worlds greatest existential challenge.

The president said that her country took on the responsibility of the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council due to a sense of duty, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

"We care about nations that depend on the multilateral, justice-based cooperation that the UN represents," the president said.

"We care, because we know that true harmony of humanity, which has not yet been achieved, depends on our capacity to be compassionate about the fate of others," she continued.

Estonia also intends to strive for better application of international law in cyberspace, during the two-year UN Security Council stint, the president also said.

"Our sovereignty is facing new threats related to cybercrime, and cyberspace as a new military arena. As Estonia contributes globally to efforts which will lead to e-government-based developmental leaps, we also have a responsibility to protect cyberspace," she said.

On the issue of climate change, the president noted that its effects would not be universally felt round the globe, with some areas more vulnerable than others, though nowhere will be completely immune, making the need for shared responsibility even greater.

"Climate change will continue to be the greatest existential challenge facing the world. In this light, it is disturbing to see that we are still channeling trillions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry," she said.

The president also stressed Estonia's support for reform of the UN, and noted the significance of her dress, which depicted Antarctica, in a tweet.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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