UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Estonia underlined Wednesday the use of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) to drive development and the importance of international law to preserve Internet freedom while protecting citizens from cyber crime.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves made the remarks while addressing the General Debate of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, which entered its second day here Wednesday.
"The main driver of sustainable development is inclusive and responsible policies in economics," he said.
Modern ICT solutions are a key enabler to foster such growth, leading to better governance, access to public services, job creation, transparency, accountability and civil society participation, he said.
He noted that cyber security and internet freedom "are intrinsically linked and in no way incompatible."
"Freedom of opinion and expression -- online or off -- is a cornerstone of every democracy and constitutes a fundamental human right," Ilves said, adding the UN Group of Government Experts affirmed that international law is essential in promoting an "open, secure and accessible cyberspace."
Meanwhile, the president joined scores of world leaders and high-level government officials at UN Headquarters in New York who will, over the next five days, present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance.
Delegations are focusing on a global development agenda for the period following 2015, the deadline for achieving the eight anti- poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"The targets should leave no one behind and be applicable and achievable in every country," Ilves said, stressing the importance of women and girls as main drivers of development.
He also noted the importance of education, decent job opportunities and essential health services, to the agenda, as well as the inclusion of topics particularly relevant to people with disabilities who have been "one of the most excluded segments of our societies."
Turning to the crisis in Syria, Ilves said the use of chemical weapons is "unacceptable under any circumstances and requires complete and unreserved condemnation," and urged the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN Security Council to move forward to destroy and verify the weapons.
A UN fact-finding team, after collecting and analyzing samples from the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, confirmed that the chemical weapons were used on Aug. 21 in the Syrian conflict. However, the UN inspectors did not disclose who used them.
Syria submitted the declaration over the weekend to the OPCW, the implementation and compliance arm of the Chemical Weapons Convention.