Estonia advocates responsibility, a key premise for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are vital to drive economic growth, eradicate poverty and preserve the environment all over the world.
Estonia is fully committed to achieve the SDGs as we consider them an effective set of tools for paving the way towards sustained economic growth, preserved environment, human development, justice, peace and security. Taking this commitment seriously, Estonia was among the first countries to present our Voluntary National Review on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals during the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2016.
Estonia has considerable experience in advancing sustainable development. Already in 1995 we adopted the Sustainable Development Act, which set the basis for sustainable development and national long-term planning. Our Parliament adopted the National Sustainable Development Strategy, which sets goals in the fields of culture, economics, society and the environment. The Estonian Sustainable Development Commission was formed in 1996. In 2016 the Commission launched an analysis of the Estonian sustainable development strategy in the light of 2030 Agenda and global trends.
Estonia believes that ICT has great potential in addressing these challenges and accelerating achievements in all of the 17 SDGs. Estonia is ready to contribute to fostering innovative technological solutions that help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. As a pioneer in the adoption of e-solutions, Estonia has proven that innovative use of ICT contributes to improving economic development, good governance, transparency, resource efficiency and human development. Therefore, we are convinced that the benefits from science, technology and innovation (STI) should be used for implementing the SDGs.
Achieving the 2030 Agenda universally requires solidarity. As a responsible member of the international community, Estonia is committed to supporting other countries. We have gradually increased our Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the years. Not long ago, Estonia itself was a recipient country of ODA. The new five-year Strategy for Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid is based on international development agreements, e.g. the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as the development policy decisions and guidelines of the European Union.
Our development cooperation focuses on supporting democracy, advancing peace and stability, introducing good governance practices, guaranteeing human rights, improving the lives of women and children, and promoting economic growth. We have also contributed to the quality of education, development of health care and climate change issues. Estonia contributes 4 million euros for the financing of international climate cooperation. Estonia also promotes more extensive application of ICTs, and we have carried out projects in over 60 countries for introducing e-governance solutions. For example, we have funded a project aiming to provide and improve satellite internet connectivity in remote and vulnerable areas of the Pacific for Small Island Developing States. In May 2017, Estonian e-Governance Academy together with the ACP1 Secretariat hosted an e-Governance Conference in Tallinn with over 400 participants from around 110 countries, among them around 10 IT Ministers from African and Caribbean countries.
International organisations are indispensable for reducing global poverty, ensuring stability and observing human rights. Through voluntary contributions, Estonia regularly supports the operations of several United Nations agencies, such as the UN Development Program (UNDP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, and the UN Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of World`s Indigenous People.