Representatives of more than 60 countries today attended a global video conference jointly organised by the foreign ministries of Estonia and Singapore, focusing on digitalisation in response to COVID-19. The conference included a presentation of a global digital declaration, which aims at supporting global digitalisation to cope with crises more efficiently and prevent an increase of digital divides. The declaration is open to more participants.
The objective of the digital declaration is to highlight strategic areas that are vulnerable to crises but can be reinforced by digitalisation. The declaration emphasises crucial areas where digital cooperation is particularly important, such as secure internet access, protecting human rights in cyberspace, citizen-oriented e-governance and digital solutions in the health and education sectors, as well as improving people’s digital skills.
According to Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, successful digitalisation requires robust multilateral cooperation, and he called on all countries to join the declaration. “I am glad that representatives of so many countries attended the conference. We must work together to overcome the crisis in all regions of the world and make sure that citizen-oriented and secure digital services are equally available everywhere. Both Estonia and Singapore can share their good experiences with creating secure services and building a successful digital state,” Reinsalu said.
He emphasised that the key factor in building Estonia’s digital state has been a successful cooperation between the public and private sectors and we would like to share this experience with other countries.
Estonia and Singapore are remarkably experienced digital states and excellent cooperation partners. Both countries are co-coordinators of the UN Group of Friends on e-Governance and Cybersecurity. Estonia will next organise a global business conference with the United Arab Emirates on stopping the global spread of the coronavirus by digital means.
In addition to the Estonian foreign minister, the conference also included statements from the Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina J. Mohammed, Director of the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Doreen Bogdan-Martin and Director General of Smart Africa Lacina Koné. The conference is moderated by the co-founder of Estonia’s e-Governance Academy Linnar Viik and national statements can be watched live on the Foreign Ministry’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Find out more about the digital declaration: https://vm.ee/en/close-digital-divides-digital-response-covid-19
Gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmPaUthp (photos by Marko Mumm)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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