Estonia proposes President Kaljulaid as the next Secretary General of the OECD

Today, Clyde Kull the Estonian Ambassador to the OECD, handed over the documents with which Estonia proposes President Kersti Kaljulaid as the Estonian candidate for the position of the Secretary General of the OECD. President Kaljulaid will give an overview of her positions and vision at a virtual event on October 5.

„In 2020, we are living the period of Great Transition. Transition from industrial to digital economy, and from fossil to clean energy. As a firm believer in multilateralism, I see OECD as an enabler for its global community of developed nations taking an active role in bringing together the best knowledge globally to help the governments cope with these changes,” Kersti Kaljulaid said.

She added that Estonia regained its independence in 1991 and with 30 years has gone through comprehensive, rapid and successful reforms, has built the first truly digital society and developed one of the best education systems in the world according to OECD. „These are the experiences I want to bring to the OECD in order to be prepared for the challenges we will face in the next decades,“ Kaljulaid said.

Talking about the challenges she would focus on as the next Secretary General of the OECD, Kaljulaid stressed the need to inspire the member states to consider the potential of digital transformation in achieving our obvious common goals: sustaining democracy, developing economy and also saving our planet: „ We need to develop some greenfield thinking for harnessing the power of digital, including rethinking the global tax co-operation from the scratch, knowing that both goods and services markets are global and driven by more and more independent workforce and striving to remove administrative restrictions from these developments. We have to analyse how the tax model of industrial era needs to gradually grow into a digital era, tax system, taking into account the need of serving globally our globally working citizens,“ Kersti Kaljulaid said.

According to the Estonian Head of State the tax river from the jobs in industry will not be there anymore: „We have to fly like bees from flower to flower to gather those taxes from citizens working in the morning in France, in the evening in UK, living half a year in Estonia and then going to Australia.“ She also emphasized the importance of a state provided digital identity as the backbone of a successful digital transformation, saying that the digital ID needs to be as common and enjoy as strong legal protection to counter falsifications as do our paper passports.

As another important topic President Kaljulaid raised the other big change: from fossils to green. „Climate change and environmental degradation is one of the things where we need to share collective responsibility. In this battle we are all on the same side and it is the only way we can win. But if we act at the right time and smartly, then we can also win economically,” she said.

“The OECD continues to be one of the most important international organisations for ensuring sustainable development, particularly now, where the OECD is providing in-depth analyses and the advice how to cope with the economic consequences of COVID-19 crisis,” underlined permanent Representative of Estonia to the OECD Clyde Kull. “Estonia is actively participating in the work of more than 180 different formats of committee work where it contributes and shares its experience in the field of e-governance, education, digitalisation and other areas. Nominating Kersti Kaljulaid as a candidate for the Secretary-General demonstrates Estonia’s ambition for an even more substantial contribution to the OECD,” he said.

IMPORTANT: President Kersti Kaljulaid will introduce her positions and vision on the development of the OECD on October 5 at noon EET in a live broadcast, which can be seen here: At the end of the broadcast there will also be a press conference, where journalists can ask questions. The presentation will be given in English.

Kersti Kaljulaid is a global leader being 5th President of the Republic of Estonia. As a firm believer in multilateralism she has spectacular experience in the fields of economy and energy as well as in public sector, European institutions and international level.

Since 2016          President of the Republic of Estonia
2004-2016          Member of the European Court of Auditors
2002-2004           CFO and CEO in Energy sector
1999-2002           Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Mr Mart Laar
1994-1999           different positions in Investment Banking and Telecom sectors

Involvement in organisations
Since 2018          co-chair of UN High-Level Steering Group „Every Woman Every Child“
2016-2019           Leading the successful Estonian campaign to UN Security Council 2020-2021
2012-2016           Chair of the Council of University of Tartu
2001-2004           Member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Genome Centre

Kersti Kaljulaid is also a member of World Bank’s Advisory Panel for the World Development Report 2021 and member of the European Council on Foreign Relations Council

She is fluent in English and French and also speaks German, Finnish, Russian

Attached to this message are:
1) A one-pager detailing the positions of President Kersti Kaljulaid
2) Motivation letter of President Kersti Kaljulaid
3) Visionary statement of President Kersti Kaljulaid

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) brings together democratic countries with open economy and respect for human rights. Estonia joined the OECD in 2010. The headquarters of the organisation are in Paris. OECD member states cooperate closely, sharing experiences and searching for answers for common problems.

Please see additional information:

Additional information:
Taavi Linnamäe
Advisor to President Kersti Kaljulaid
+ 372 5332 5653

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Communication Department
+372 637 7629 | +372 5667 5362 | Islandi väljak 1, Tallinn