Estonia to organize cyber security discussion in UN Security Council on Friday

  • 2020-05-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – As part of its presidency of the UN Security Council, Estonia is organizing a virtual meeting on Friday, May 22 at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) focused on stability in cyber space, cyber norms and international law.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas will make the opening statement from a studio at the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel). The meeting is chaired by Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu from Tallinn and Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN Sven Jurgenson from New York.

"As an experienced and leading country in the cyber world, Estonia stands for the Security Council to prepare seriously for new threats. Right now is namely the time to address how to prevent conflicts in cyber space and how countries can better protect their digital infrastructure. The coronavirus crisis is accelerating the digitalization of countries, but this is exactly why it is necessary to pay special attention to the information systems of hospitals and other medical institutions. Cyber crime on the internet has not disappeared either. Together with our friends and allies, we must constantly look for ways to keep pace with various threats to ensure security," Prime Minister Juri Ratas said.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that Estonia has proven that it can stand up for the principles with which it aspired to become a member of the Security Council. "Already during the membership campaign, we promised to bring the issue of cyber security to the UN Security Council. We started in March, when we, together with the United States and the United Kingdom, brought specific cyber attacks to the official table of the Council for the first time. Raising awareness of the principles of cyber stability through an open debate in the framework of our Security Council presidency is the next important milestone in making cyber security a mainstay of foreign and security policy," Reinsalu added.

"As with other events of the Estonian presidency, there has been great interest in this meeting. We are bringing together around 60 participants from around the world -- 59 countries are currently registered, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Interpol," Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN Sven Jurgenson said.

The Security Council and other UN member states will be briefed by world-class experts -- UN Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, Senior Vice President and the Director of the Technology Policy Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies James Lewis and chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore David Koh.

The event allows for participation from all UN member states, permanent observers and non-governmental organizations. All those interested can watch the event on the Estonian Foreign Ministry's Youtube and Facebook channels, as well as on the websites of the Foreign Ministry and the Estonian representation at the UN. In addition, the meeting will be broadcast by news portals.

The meeting is co-organized with other current Security Council members -- Belgium, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia -- as well as Kenya. The event is powered by Hybridity, a safe virtual event platform developed in Estonia.