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Promoting a collective approach to combat cyber threats in the Commonwealth

Cyberspace is transforming the global community by driving economic growth, connecting people, and providing new ways to communicate and co-operate with one another.

However, the growth and increasing reliance on cyberspace needs to be matched by global efforts to keep it secure. When a cyberattack occurs, often at great speed and frequently unnoticed, it requires multiple responses and prevention measures beyond conventional military approaches.

Parliamentarians have a responsibility and mandate to ensure national security is in place as elected/nominated representatives and at the core of their work is a responsibility to legislate, ensure policy oversight, budget approval as well as constituency engagement. They are therefore uniquely positioned to influence the shape and content of their respective national cybersecurity strategies.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Project

This project is funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and run by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Phase one of the project consists of three regional workshops, hosted in collaboration with partner organisations in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. CPA UK oversaw the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop, hosted by the Queensland Parliament in Brisbane, Australia between 25-28 July 2016. OAS oversaw the Caribbean Regional Workshop, which took place in Washington DC on 17-20 October 2016.

The Africa Project

The Commonwealth Secretariat, alongside the Parliament of Namibia, will oversee the African workshop, which will bring together parliamentarians from Commonwealth African countries.

The workshop will examine cybersecurity within the context of the Africa region and is designed to allow participants to share experiences and case studies, benefit from discussions on issues relevant to their countries and constituencies, and network with parliamentarians and representatives from NGOs and the private sector in neighbouring countries.

The project will encourage parliamentarians, ministers and senior officials to:

  • Help nations develop and implement robust cybercrime legislation;
  • Support the delivery and implementation of National Cybersecurity Strategies;
  • Promote the adoption of robust cybersecurity standards around the world;
  • Strengthen the application of international law and norms of behaviour.

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