Estonian president: Pandemic has demonstrated necessity of digital solutions

  • 2020-05-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said in her remarks on Tuesday  before participants from 134 countries attending an online e-governance conference hosted by Estonia that the coronavirus pandemic has proved the necessity of digital solutions for each country and each sector, which offer relief when it comes to the movement restrictions of the period of quarantine.  

"Governments should change old rules and legislation to enable the permanent implementation of technologies that have shown to be efficient during the crisis, for instance, in remote learning, telemedicine, and remote work," Kaljulaid said, observing that it is the development after the crisis that we must focus on today.

The president of Estonia stressed that the implementation of new digital solutions must always go hand in hand with ensuring cybersecurity, in order for users' trust in digital solutions to be maintained.

Joyce Murray, Canada's minister for digital government, stressed in her presentation the need for openness and cooperation of a new level between countries to combat the pandemic. She described cooperation with Estonia and other Digital Nations as having been extremely  important for Canada to develop open source digital solutions for better informing its citizens and in offering safe online services to citizens.

The main speaker of the conference, technology trends and business innovation expert David Rowan, said that coronavirus has warranted the implementation of digital technologies on each level of society and the economy. He said that for the implementation of change we need genuine innovation, which is expressed in the the way how people and workers are treated, what is the goal of a project and how optimally the process of change is set out. It is also expressed in how we protect the people who dare to take big risks for bringing forth change.

Over 1,000 participants from 134 countries and territories are taking part in the Sixth e-Governance Conference hosted by the e-Governance Academy and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that kicked off on Monday. 

The biggest numbers of participants from outside Estonia are from Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, Georgia and Canada.

The conference that takes place online from May 18 to 21 via the online environment at egovconference.ee focuses on governments' current challenges in helping their citizens organize their lives and businesses online.

The e-Governance Conference is an annual event in international digital development cooperation. The conference has been organized by the e-Governance Academy in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2015. This year's conference is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Government, the U-LEAD with Europe program, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the City of Tallinn, Intel, Google and Microsoft.