Cyberspace offers unparalleled social and economical benefits, provided its governance recognizes the interests of all stakeholders, nurtures entrepreneurship and facilitates social interactions. Guided by the Commonwealth values captured in the Charter of the Commonwealth, the CTO has carried out a project to develop the Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model that member countries could subscribe to. This initiative was launched at the 53rd Council meeting of the CTO on 9 – 10 October 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria – when ICT Ministers and the CTO Council approved this project and issued the Abuja Declaration on the proposed Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model. Following a series of regional consultations this model was presented to the Commonwealth ICT Minister’s Forum held on 3 – 4 March 2014 at Marlborough House in London, where it was adopted. The CTO proceeded to develop a Commonwealth Approach for Developing National Cybersecurity Strategies based on the Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model. This will be showcased at a series of regional and national workshops aimed to build capacity of stakeholders.
In the coming years the CTO will work with its member countries, member institutions and partner organisations to convert the Cybergovernance Model into practical actions and to implement National Cybersecurity Strategies, so that Cyberspace and ICTs of all forms are safe, secure and resilient.
The CTO’s engagement in Cybersecurity started in 2007 when two staff members took part in the High–Level Experts Group of the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda. Since then the CTO has contributed to a number of working groups and participated in various initiatives. In September 2012, Professor Unwin, Secretary-General of the CTO, was also appointed to the IMPACT International Advisory Board in September 2012. These developments reflect the CTO’s focus on this niche important area, as well as its close working relationship with the ITU. The annual Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum, organised by the CTO, has been running since 2010, building capacity and facilitating partnerships. Cybersecurity Forum 2014 was held at the BT Centre, in London on 5 – 6 March 2014.
Child Online Protection (COP) is an ITU initiative which seeks to ensure safety and security for children in online. The CTO has partnered with the ITU to implement COP in its member countries, starting with Cameroon, the Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.