Today 21 October, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu and Bonnie Glick, the Deputy Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a joint declaration in Tallinn on enhancing bilateral cooperation on the digital transformation in development cooperation partner countries.
According to the joint statement, Estonia and the United States plan to share the experiences and good practices from the public and the private sector on digital transformation in the framework of development cooperation. The aim is also to contribute to the development of technological solutions that support a safe and open digital society.
“Today’s agreement helps us take our already close and long cooperation with one of the world’s largest humanitarian and development cooperation organisations to a new level. Our partners agree that particularly in the age of COVID-19, digital transformation is the key to meeting sustainable development goals,” Foreign Minister Reinsalu said.
According to the foreign minister, a smart approach to development cooperation has long been central for Estonia. “We are using our capabilities for creating a safe and sustainable digital society to help partner states increase transparency and efficiency and boost business. This way, we are contributing to increased stability and prosperity in various parts of the world, which in turn benefits our security,” Reinsalu said.
According to Foreign Minister Reinsalu, the main areas of future cooperation include e-governance, improving the quality and availability of education, e-health, and supporting free media.
A second joint declaration was signed, aiming at the digital empowerment of emerging economies and including the private sector in the process.
At a meeting before the signing, cyber development cooperation and applying the innovative solutions of Estonia’s private sector in development cooperation projects was discussed.
The two sides talked at length about closer development cooperation in the partner countries of the United States, including Eastern Partnership countries and Africa. Supporting the civil society of Belarus and ensuring the freedom of speech though potential joint activities was also an important topic. Estonia recently allocated €500 000 for development cooperation projects in Belarus.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia