March 23rd, 2017

Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum calls for more international collaboration in the fight against cybercrime

LONDON, 23 March 2017 – The secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC and the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Shola Taylor have called for greater bilateral and multilateral collaboration between countries in the fight against cybercrime.

The two Commonwealth leaders were addressing senior representatives from international and regional organisations, governments, industry and civil society at the opening of the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum 2017, taking place in London, UK on 22 – 24 March to discuss challenges and solutions in the implementation of national cybersecurity strategies.

The annual forum was launched in 2010 by the CTO to raise awareness of growing online criminality in its various forms, affecting people, organisations and increasingly also countries’ key national information infrastructure.

Among participating organisations at this year’s event are the the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the Council of Europe, European Commission, the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise, Internet Watch Foundation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) and GSMA. Private sector participation includes BT, Facebook, Microsoft, and Vodafone.

“When it comes to cybersecurity, we are only as strong as our weakest link,” said Mr Taylor. “The CTO is committed to assisting our members in developing and implementing their national cybersecurity strategies for the benefit, not only of their national ICT sectors, but also the international community. The Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum is another strand to the CTO’s work in enhancing cybersecurity and protecting cyberspace.”

Shola Taylor, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

“The Internet has the power to transform lives,” said Secretary-General Scotland. “Abuses of this technology can just as easily devastate lives and I am pleased that this conference provides an opportunity to build cooperation among stakeholders from across the Commonwealth to develop a joined-up approach to tackling cybercrime.”

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat

The Commonwealth, built on consensus and mutual support, is an ideal platform on which to build international cooperation on cybersecurity. The CTO plays a leading role in enhancing cybersecurity across the Commonwealth through development of its Commonwealth Approach for Developing National Cybersecurity Strategies and its practical assistance to Commonwealth countries in putting these strategies in place. The Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum brings together ICT ministers, senior executives and policymakers to hear about the latest developments in the field and build both capacity and partnerships to tackle the cybersecurity challenges of today and tomorrow.

“ICT networks play an essential ‘enabling function’ in the operation of our knowledge-driven modern economies,” Dr Chaesub Lee, Director, Standardisation Bureau, ITU, told the conference. “The security of this critical infrastructure is of utmost importance – trusted ICT infrastructure is the foundation of ICT reliability.”

“The CTO’s annual conference provides an important platform to discuss the threats to cyberspace and develop plans to tackle them,” said Les Anderson, Vice-President of Cyber, BT Security. “BT is pleased to take a central role in this international effort.”

“Goodwill and collaboration play a strong role in the multi-stakeholder model ICANN uses for policy development,” said Chris Disspain, Board Member, ICANN. “This conference will provide the opportunity for collaboration on cybersecurity in the drive to move from discussing cybersecurity policy to action.”

The Forum will continue until Friday, examining issues such as privacy and data protection, cross border cooperation in cybersecurity, cyberspace and extremism and cyber standards.

For more information, please contact Emma Killick at e.killick@cto.int or +44 20 8600 3813.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. More information about us here.