UNHQ: PM seeks strong political resolve for secure cyberspace

25 Sep 2018, 23:10

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File Photo

New York: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the world community to demonstrate its strong political resolve to create a secure and accessible cyberspace for the future generations as the risks from its misuse can be serious for international peace.

‘We must demonstrate our strong political resolve to create a secure, stable, peaceful, inclusive and accessible cyber space for our future generations,’ she said.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing at a ‘High-level Side-Event on Cyber Security and International Cooperation’ held at the UN headquarters.

Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN and UN Office on Disarmament Affairs jointly organised the event.

Sheikh Hasina said international cooperation in capacity building for cyber security must be given the priority.

‘Development partners should consider this to be part of their internationally agreed commitments. In Bangladesh, we’re working on building a complete cyber security eco-system,’ she said.

Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh Parliament has recently enacted the Digital Security Act.

A Cyber Security Incident Response Team is in place, which cooperates with other countries, she said adding that a digital forensic laboratory has been set up for training purposes. A process is underway to set up a National Cyber Security Agency.

‘We hope to keep learning from the experiences of other friendly countries,’ she said.

The Prime Minister said the cyberspace has no physical borders and States’ capacity for securing it is far from even.

She went on saying, ‘In an inter-connected world, the weaker links can cause disruption for others. Cyber security should thus become a concern for all, and not just a select few.’

The PM also mentioned that identifying the actual source of wrongful activity remains a challenge.

Developing countries should have access to technologies and information to detect such sources and the UN can play a critical role in making the digital world safer, she said.

‘The work on norm-setting in information security should continue. The mechanisms used so far should be made more inclusive. Developing countries should be given a chance to voice their concerns. The Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament recognises that,’ Hasina said.

The Prime Minister said states should promote the use of non-offensive means to prevent and counter harmful cyber activity.

The question of rights and freedoms in cyberspace needs to be duly addressed, and the role of the private sector and civil society must be factored in, she added.

Hasina mentioned that the norms and principles for responsible State behaviour in cyber space should receive unconditional support. ‘The principles of the UN Charter and relevant international law should apply to the cyberspace.’

She mentioned that the States should also prevent their territory from being used for wrongful acts against other nations’ interest.

Hasina said Bangladesh takes these commitments seriously. ‘We expect others to do the same.’

The Prime Minister said some states are even working on using ICT for military purposes. ‘Terrorists and violent extremists are using it to spread their toxic narratives. The risks from misuse of ICT can be serious for international peace and security.’

UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu, Singaporean Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Estonian Deputy Foreign Minister Paul Teesalu and Ambassador-in-charge of Cyber Policy of Japan Masato Otaka also spoke in the High-Level Side Event on Cyber Security and International Cooperation.