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Estonian president emphasizes need to reform UN at General Assembly

by September 21, 2017 General

TALLINN – Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday Estonian time made a speech at the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, with participants including leaders of all world countries, in which she spoke about hotbeds of conflict, the migration crisis, cyber security and the need to reform the UN.

The president highlighted the fact that the world has become more unpredictable and said that too many countries have to suffer from unsolved conflicts. “There are many countries which have been torn apart by the tensions we saw, but could not dissipate in time to avoid the worst,” Kaljulaid said and brought events taking place in Ukraine, Georgia and Syria as an example. The president said the real effects of international conflicts, terrorism and climate change has led to the highest number of displaced people ever seen globally.

This is why it is Estonia’s wish to bring to the UN the ability to listen and understand all those, whose rights have been restricted. “Societies, in which men and women are treated equally, develop faster and equality helps eradicate poverty.” The president also emphasized that any kind of gender based violence must be combated.

Estonia in the United Nations stands for promote the use of technological solutions in facilitating development. “Moreover, this summer Estonia and Singapore launched the Group of Friends on E-Governance and Cybersecurity,” the president said.

When speaking about cyber security, the head of state said that digital change has made geography obsolete. “Attacks via cyber space know no range. This does not mean we can or should try to stop digital progress. We need to continue efforts to analyze how international law applies to the use of ICT, particularly the principle of due diligence, countermeasures, potential application of the right to self-defense and International Humanitarian Law,” the president said.

Kaljulaid said that for Estonia it is important to change the work of UN and first and foremost the Security Council more transparent and efficient. “The criticism aimed at the UN is often due to the inability of the Security Council to react to crises on time. Some permanent members are using their right to veto, which restricts the UN from fulfilling their tasks adequately. This is why one of the wishes of the Estonian candidacy for the seat of a non-permanent member of the Security Council is to improve the working methods of the Security Council and the functioning of the UN as a whole, which would help prevent and solve conflicts in the world more efficiently,” Kaljulaid said.