Since 1991, when it became independent of the USSR, Estonia, with almost lightning speed, has broken records upon records.  It became a member of the European Union and NATO, both of which it joined in 2004.  After a cyber-attack by Russia, NATO opened a Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence in 2008 in Tallinn. When Estonia assumed the rotating presidency of the EU in 2017, it used its leadership position to promote digitalization within the EU; and in 2018 it signed an agreement with the UNDP to promote digitalization in the developing countries.  Now on January 1, 2020, after a successful 14 yearlong campaign started in 2004, Estonia will for the first time assume a seat on the UN Security Council for a two-year term (2020 – 2021).

The 2020 Capstone team will have two tasks. One task is to build on the excellent work of the 2018 and 2019 Capstone teams by assisting Estonia to further develop and deepen a common platform and voice of issues, goals and objectives (whether economic, cultural, political, environmental, trade, cyber, sports or arts), for small nations to pursue, implement (practical) and advance, including the establishment of supporting associations and institutions for small states. This task will be the subject of the Capstone team’s final report. As part of this, the 2020 Capstone team would also conduct a series of research briefings, as may be needed from time to time, for Estonia that provide guidance to Estonia as one of the small state representatives on the UN Security Council. The topics will be selected to correspond to current issues and will be grounded in the context of developing and furthering a small-state voice in response to global and international challenges.