Distinguished representatives of governments and
Partners from civil society and private sector,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank Mongolia for organizing the Caucus of
Democracy meeting enforcing the linkage between the rule of law and democracy.
Following the High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law yesterday, we now must
build on the practical steps to implement the agreed Declaration and the
pledges made by the States.
The world experiences a turbulent time of state
transitions. Not always the goal of those processes - a more opened and
democratic society - has been achieved. With this in mind, allow me to salute
Mongolia for its initiative to launch a project on the most important aspects
of democracy – the peoples rights, willingness and skills to implement their
own basic right – or simlpy said – the democracy education.
Democracy education is a prerogative to be able to use
the mechanisms and tools the democracy offers. But most importantly the
democracy education should be put in practice. I am proud to say that Estonia
has unique experience on building its democracy, rule of law, market economy
and inclusive society for more than twenty years now after we re-gained our
independence peacefully in 1991.
Today, the information revolution has assisted
Estonia successfully and rapidly transform into a rule of law based democratic
society. Estonia was the first country where people can cast their votes also
online in parliamentary and municipal elections. Just a few months ago we
conducted our census for the first time to a large extent online. This year
over ninety percent of taxpayers in Estonia filed annual income tax returns via
the Internet. The E-government, E-school, E-medical prescriptions and E-parking
are examples of Estonian innovation in the field of citizen-friendly public
services. They increase transparency and help prevent corruption. And they
reduce costs. Therefore, Estonia wishes to share its E-governance skills and to
continue to facilitate exchanges with partners worldwide. Allow me to name a
couple of the projects from the Estonian portfolio which could serve as
inspiration for the innovation: for example the Tech Camp, and the cooperation
with Skype and Garage48, all aimed to incubate an innovative ideas into a
A year ago Estonia signed up to the Open Government
Partnership, along with 42 other countries. This multilateral initiative aims
to take concrete steps to institute a new model of governance, to maximize the
potential of new technologies and to tackle corruption while being an effective
tool promoting e-democracy and creating accelerating modalities to enhance the
rule of law, and throgh that also the democracy.
As the co-chairman of the Leaders Engaged in New
Democracies (LEND) initiative together with the USA, Estonia has distributed
its knowledge and lessons learned to our partners in transition. A special
emphasis has been put to the technological toolbox, to enhance the
inclusiveness of the civic society. Also, as a practical step, Estonia
supported the establishment of and contributed to the UN Democracy Fund and
pledges to continue so in the future.
Finally, let me say that Estonia is willing to
continue with all of that also as an active member in the UN Human Rights
Council during 2013-2015.