Commonwealth Open Forum: Facilitating Investment in Cybersecurity as a Means of Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

21 December 2017 - A Open Forum on Other in Geneva, Switzerland


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) now serves as the foundation for the development of every modern and progressive society, allowing for integration into the global information economy. Despite the benefits and opportunities offered by ICTs, cyberspace presents several risks and challenges. Safety, security and resilience are critical for Cyberspace to deliver its potential developmental impact. The CTO is of the view that National Cybersecurity strategies provide the framework to support an all encompassing approach to protect the Cyberspace infrastructure, its content and users. It states national priorities and goals, assigns roles and responsibilities and resources. With robust cybersecurity frameworks in place, countries can better leverage the opportunities offered by ICT for socio economic development. We recognise however that implementation and budget allocation for cybersecurity activities presents a significant challenge for states. This proposed forum will therefore address how countries can allocate resources, especially financial resources for cybersecurity activities, and how such activities can contribute to the UN SDGs such as education, gender equality and innovation. The agenda would entail: 

1. Developing and implementing cybersecurity strategies with special attention on financial allocations. Resources to assist in this regard will be shared (the background paper provides more details on strategy development);
2. Discussions from speakers and participants on resource challenges and what can be done to address these. Ideas for financial assistance for strategy implementation will be shared, for instance, feasibility of creating special funds for activities such as training and participation at international events which support overarching goals of coordination and cooperation;
3. Facilitating peer arrangements where less developed countries can be paired with more advanced ones to share ideas and learn best practices based on experience;
4. Cybersecurity as an agenda item for CHOGM 2018.

Tag 1: Cybersecurity
Tag 2: Internet & ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals
Tag 3:
Name(s) of Speaker(s): 

Shola Taylor; Secretary General, CTO

Robert Collett; Head, Capacity Building, Prosperity and Cybercrime, UK FCO

Tracy Hackshaw; ICT & Digital Economy Strategist, Trinidad and Tobago

Gavin Willis, UK National Cybersecurity Centre

Name of Online Moderator: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
Background Paper: cto_igf_proposal_2017.pdf
Past IGF Participation: Yes
Report Link:
Name: Ms. Anita Sohan
Organizational Affiliation: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

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