Delegation of the European Union to Somalia

Global cyber security agenda discussed in Geneva

21/02/2020 - 18:00
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On February 21, the EU Ambassador Walter Stevens presented the EU Cyber Diplomacy Toolbox at the "Cyber Diplomacy Seminar on Norms and Capacities,” which was organised by the Permanent Missions of Estonia, Uruguay and Singapore to the UN in Geneva. The seminar took place at the eve of the gathering of the UN Governmental Group of Experts on advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in Geneva, and brought together representatives of UN Member States, the private sector and academia. The discussion focused on the means of effective implementation of norms of international law and standards aimed at mitigating the increasing cyber threats

Cyber Diplomacy

The high-level panel acknowledged that cyberspace is no longer a "wild, wild west" operating in a legal vacuum. States, therefore, bear the responsibility to develop ethical and human rights-focused digital governance in compliance with international law. "Investing in cyber-resilience is important. We need to further strengthen our resilience and capacity to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks as well as to fight against cybercrime, both in the EU and in partner countries, through international cooperation and assistance in the field of cyber capacity building," highlighted Ambassador Stevens.

In light of increasing concerns over cyber peace and stability within the UN and beyond, namely those associated with the rapid development of AI, extended digital infrastructure, as well as data mining,  the panellists asserted the need for a multistakeholder cooperation amongst states, intergovernmental organisations, and NGOs in order to build cyber capacity and counter the so-called "trust deficit".
The EU Ambassador Walter Stevens identified an array of guidelines and strategies adopted at the European level with the view to foster international cooperation and build institutional capacity to fight cybercrime. Developed in 2017, the EU's Cyber Diplomacy Toolbox and its cyber-sanctions regime allows for effective cooperation in response to cyber-attacks threatening the Union or its Member States.

As a champion of cyber diplomacy and e-governance in the EU, Estonia shared its practice in standardizing existing cybersecurity regulation and ethical data management as well as building and maintaining knowledge of cyber issues and risks associated therewith. Noteworthy, the EU-funded capacity building project ‘Cyber4Dev’ helps EU Member States to share practices in developing cybercrisis response plans around the globe to protect key national sectors, such as transportation, healthcare, and banking. Finally, the panel urged for a more robust development of multistakeholder initiatives aimed at building trust and capacity in countering threats associated with cyber security.


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