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“Action Line C5 (Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs) – National Cybersecurity Strategies for Sustainable Development”

Event Synopsis: Building and ensuring trust in cyberspace is top of mind for global leaders, and reinforcing collaboration among the various stakeholders is key to achieving all of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in September 2015. In particular, universal and affordable access to ICTs was recognized as pivotal for bringing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda forward. Increased ICT uptake and Internet connectivity, however, is not sufficient, let alone sustainable, if the underlying infrastructure and the devices connected to it are not safe and secure.

The WSIS Outcome Review Process, which culminated in the adoption of the “Outcome document of the High-Level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society” in December 2015, reiterated the importance of Building Confidence and Security in the use of ICTs. It further recognized the challenges that countries, in particular developing countries, face in building confidence and security and called for renewed focus in capacity building and awareness raising among users of ICTs, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable.

This session brought together various stakeholders to discuss how comprehensive national cybersecurity strategies at an early connectivity stage are an essential first step for a successful transition to a safe and sustainable digital ecosystem, and what the role of the different players within a country should and can be in that process.

Formal remarks as given by Melissa Hathaway, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies