Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser on Thursday gave a speech at the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the effect of swift technological changes on implementing the UN’s sustainable development goals, and pointed out that Estonia wishes to continue sharing on an international level its experience with e-governance.
“If we wish to attain the UN’s sustainable development goals, the world cannot avoid digitalization. New technologies have to be seen as new opportunities,” the foreign minister said. “Implementing e-solutions will render governance more effective and the processes more transparent, it will increase trust in the state and make the society more inclusive,” he said, adding that using e-solutions contributes to economic growth and helps overcome geographical limits.
“Estonia believes that with the help of e-solutions, revolutionary developments in various areas of life will occur, including in education, employment, entrepreneurship and healthcare. These are crucial components from the perspective of attaining the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Mikser said. “The path traveled by Estonia shows that the benefit of rendering processes digital transcends possible risks,” he added, pointing out as positive examples the options of digitally signing documents, electronically submitting one’s tax declaration or holding e-elections.
“We have shared our e-state experience with many states and we plan to continue doing so,” Mikser said. “Just recently, Estonia launched a cooperation project with the UN Development Program seeking to share Estonia’s experience with e-governance with up to 170 states and territories,” he said. The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allotted 102,000 euros to support the project.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals were adopted with the the declaration of Sept. 25, 2015, titled “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The agenda aims to end poverty, fight climate change and inequality as well as guarantee good quality of life to all people. There are 17 goals in total which have been divided into 169 sub-targets.