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Estonia shares cyber know-how with UN members in Geneva

21. February 2020 - 20:04

Today 21 February, a seminar on cyber diplomacy, organised by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is held in Geneva. The event is aimed at UN member states and representatives of various international organisations in Geneva, and focuses on the validity of existing international law and the application of norms for responsible behaviour in cyberspace.

Estonian Ambassador at Large for Cybersecurity Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar said that considering how cyber diplomacy is becoming an almost indispensable part of foreign and security policy, it is crucial to explain developments and international discussions in the field to as large an auditorium as possible. The foreign ministries in many states have established or will establish units and positions for cyber diplomacy, however, knowledge and experience as regards cyber topics varies greatly from state to state.

“Representatives from more than 80 countries have gathered at the UN headquarters in Geneva for today’s seminar, with a particularly large number of diplomats from Africa, Asia and Latin America. This indicates the great interest of states in cyber diplomacy issues – including the application of international law in cyber space, as well as the implementation of cyber norms and confidence-building measures, and improving possibilities for development cooperation on cybersecurity,” Tiirmaa-Klaar said. “Today’s event helps us boost Estonia’s global image as an advocate for cyber issues and meet our objectives at the UN Security Council,” she added.

Presenters include experts of cyber issues from across the world, as well as representatives of international organisations and leading academic institutions, including the Council of Europe, the World Economic Forum, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the International Red Cross and the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. The perspectives of regional organisations – the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Organization of American States (OAS) – will be presented by representatives of the EU, Singapore and Uruguay. Speakers also include Estonian cyber experts from the Information System Authority.

The seminar is organised by the Cyber Diplomacy Department of the Foreign Ministry and the Estonian representation in the UN and other international organisations in Geneva. Supporters include the representations of Uruguay and Singapore in Geneva. The seminar is held ahead of the second meeting of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on 24-28 February in Geneva, where Estonia is represented by Ambassador at Large for Cybersecurity Tiirmaa-Klaar.

Additional information:
Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
+372 637 7627 / +372 5194 7045

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