Commonwealth takes strong stance against cybercrime with landmark declaration

Friday, April 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Commonwealth countries have unanimously committed to take action on cybersecurity between now and 2020 with a landmark declaration at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London earlier today.

The 53 leaders agreed to work closely together to evaluate and strengthen their cybersecurity frameworks and response mechanisms.

The declaration is the world's largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cybersecurity cooperation.

It followed an announcement by the United Kingdom government to pledge up to 15 million to help Commonwealth countries strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities and “tackle criminal groups and hostile state actors who pose a global threat to security, including in the UK”.

With the Internet increasingly central to global commerce, the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration sets out a shared vision of cyberspace in areas such as economic and social development, and online rights.

The declaration is also an important step for Commonwealth small states, which account for 31 of the Commonwealth's 53 member countries. By promoting digital inclusion and a safer cyberspace, it sets out practical steps that will enable them to advance their economic and social development.

It also marks a continuation of Commonwealth work in this area, including that of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI), as well as the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). In collaboration with the CTO and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associations, the Commonwealth Secretariat will provide technical assistance to countries on cybercrime and cybersecurity capacity building.

This will help to enhance incident-response capabilities, create effective laws for cyberspace, and strengthen law enforcement responses.

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