President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is flying today to the United States of America, the main issues of his working visit being cyber security and trans-Atlantic relations.
The Estonian Head of State will give a presentation at a round table, convened to discuss strategic cyber issues at the US Department of State; the participants of the round table will be top specialists in cyber security from the US government agencies and the representatives of the Estonian Information System's Authority (EISA).
The President of the Republic will meet in Washington with Howard Schmidt, Cyber Security Co-ordinator at the White House and Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, one of the architects of the international initiative "Open Government Partnership" of president of the United States of America, Barack Obama and the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff. The initiative, which has been joined by approximately fifty countries, encourages all their governments to improve openness, transparency, the involvement of citizens and the strengthening of a citizens' society in general.
"Estonia's experience shows that a state, successful in the modern sense, means freedom of speech and free journalism, supremacy of the law, control over corruption, the participation of citizens and all the other aspects that create a democracy and a state based on the rule of law," President Ilves told an audience at the opening discussion of the Open Government Partnership that took place in September of last year, during the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. "All this is opposed by a closed society, based on fear, which is not mitigated by the economic stability of some of these countries."
The Estonian Head of State will give a public presentation entitled "International Cyber Security: Challenges Faced by the Public and Private Sector" at Harvard University, Boston, and take part in a dinner, organised as a homage to one of the shapers of the foreign and security policies of the US, Henry Kissinger. President Ilves will also speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, where he will give a presentation entitled "When Small Means Big or Why You Can't Bribe a Computer".
The Estonian Head of State will participate in the "Global Europe: Game Over? " roundtable at the German Marshall Fund.
While in Washington, President Ilves will also visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the US soldiers seriously wounded in Afghanistan are treated.
In Boston the President of the Republic will meet with Estonian students studying in Harvard University and visit start-up companies GrabCAD and ZeroTurnaround, both of which have an Estonian background.
President Ilves will fly to Warsaw from the United States of America where a meeting of presidents of the Baltic States and Poland will take place at the invitation of the Polish Head of State, Bronisław Komorowski. The NATO Chicago summit and other regional security issues will be discussed at the meeting. President Ilves considers a common view regarding security challenges in the Baltic Sea region and in general to be highly important for our region – where Poland, undoubtedly, plays an important role.
President Ilves will return to Estonia on 17 April.
Ref. Office of the President
Public Relations Department
Ilves on working U.S. visit, to return via Warsaw