United Nations‘ Member States have affirmed an international framework for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, consisting of the applicability of international law, a set of non-binding voluntary norms, and support for Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
The discussions on international security in cyberspace continue to advance in West Africa, as such, the ECOWAS Commission under the auspices of the G7-ECOWAS initiative on Cyber Security convened a seminar on International Security in Cyberspace in partnership with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the George C. Marshall Centre’s Program on Cyber Security Studies from 5 – 9 December 2022 in Munich, Germany as part of the implementation of the Action Plan endorsed in October 2022 by both the German government and the President of the Commission
The seminar outlined the key elements of the framework and its implementation at the regional and national levels. Focus was placed on the value of developing and implementing regional CBMs as these require engagement, effective dialogue, and cooperation among Member States as cyber security maturity levels differ. CBMs can be also a means to lower the danger of potential misunderstandings that could result from cyberspace incidents.
The seminar was attended by representatives from ECOWAS Ministries responsible for Digital Economy and ICT, Ministries of Defence, Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and ECOWAS Member States permanent missions in Geneva, New York, United Nations, and Vienna focused on international security issues.
The G7-ECOWAS initiative for Cyber Security is a joint platform for advancing Cyber Security in/within ECOWAS launched under Germany’s G7 presidency and the endorsed Action Plan (2022 – 2025) will focus on building regional cyber diplomacy, combatting cybercrime, ensuring data sovereignty, and protecting critical infrastructure.