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President Ilves begins a working visit to Canada and the United States of America

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves today began a working visit to Canada to moderate a panel on digital society and democracy at the Global Progress 2016 in Montreal. From Canada, the Head of State will proceed to New York to address those gathering for the opening week of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly and take part in high-level UN meetings.

At Global Progress in Montreal, President Ilves is due to moderate a panel on digital society and democracy as an influential spokesperson on e-governance; the list of participants includes the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau; former CEO of Google and current head of Alphabet Inc., Eric Schmidt; one of the founders of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman; and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The focus of the visit to the United States of America is the opening week of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly and the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants; the Head of State will give an address to introduce the positions of Estonia at both events.

In New York, President Ilves will also take part in a joint seminar organised by Enterprise Estonia and Microsoft, "Digital Transformation in Government: Hype or Reality – The Case of Estonia", to introduce the e-story of Estonia.

At the UNICEF event "Carry Light for Children – Children in refugee and migration crises", President Ilves will take part in a discussion that will focus on child welfare and protection against the background of the refugee and migration crisis.

Within the framework of a Development Programme of Estonia, Georgia, the Republic of Korea and the UN, a fringe event on e-governance and transparent public services will take place during the opening week of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, according to last year's UN Summit, where an agreement was concluded to establish sustainable development goals for the next 15 years for all member states. The President will speak about the importance of human rights, corruption, a state based on the rule of law, good governance practice and information technology solutions as tools to contribute to sustainable development.

President Ilves will have a number of bilateral meetings within the framework of the UN high-level week.

On 18 September at 6:30 pm, at the initiative of President Ilves, a free concert for all those interested will take place at St. Francis Xavier Church (46 W 16th St, New York) to launch "The Deer's Cry", a new album by Arvo Pärt and Vox Clamantis. This will be followed by a reception by the Estonian Head of State. The purpose of the concert and high-level reception is to support the distribution of the works or Arvo Pärt among the US audience and to enhance the awareness of Estonia among musical, political and economic circles. The concert will take place in co-operation with ECM Records and is supported by the Office of the President of the Republic, the Cultural Foundation of the President of the Republic, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Consulate General in New York, Microsoft Estonia and Silberauto. Additional information about the concert is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-concertarvo-part-music-by-grammy-winning-vocal-ensemble-vox-clamantis-tickets-27144944259

The President will be accompanied during the visit by Ieva Ilves, who will take part in the programme of spouses of the heads of state participating in the UN high-level week.

The presidential couple will return to Estonia on 23 September.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department