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The Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS)  of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore has invited Daniel Stauffacher of ICT4Peace to participate in an international workshop on "Confidence Building Measures and Norms for Cybersecurity and the Future of Internet Governance" on 3-4 July 2014 in Singapore.

In a panel discussion on efforts of International Organisations and NGOs in Developing CBMs, Daniel was asked to talk about the Role of Civil Society in Furthering CBMs. His intervention can be summarised as follows:

"The uncertainty in the international environment provoked by important geo-political shifts has added to the sense of complexity and mistrust surrounding discussions and debates on ‘cyberspace’ and the uses of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for attaining political, military or economic advantage. This reality has undermined confidence and trust between states, and between states and citizens.

Civil society participation (whether direct or indirect) in the development of national cybersecurity strategies or in regional and international CBM processes has been minimal, if anything, despite the fact that civil society organisations, as well as business and academia, are fundamental to resolving many of the core technical problems inherent in the ICT environment on the one hand, and many of the insecurities inherent in inter and intra-state relations on the other.

Despite these challenges, 2013 saw important breakthroughs in this regard. First, the UN GGE Report formally acknowledged the role of civil society in the area of building cooperation for a peaceful, secure, resilient, and open ICT environment; and the role of civil society (as well as that of the private sector) in supporting government efforts in developing and implementing CBMs and exchanging information.  And while the 2013 OSCE PC Decision on an Initial Set of CBMs to Reduce the Risks of Conflict Stemming from the Use of ICTs does not make any mention of a role for civil society, the norm of involving civil society in CBM processes is well ingrained in the OSCE’s working culture.

Daniel then discussed, what role  civil society (and business) play in furthering cybersecurity-related CBMs, particularly given these breakthroughs? A range of options were set in the presentation under three over-lapping rubrics i) Transparency and Accountability; ii) Participation; and iii) Deepening the Knowledge Base. The examples drew from a range of ICT4 Peace’s own experiences in the area of CBM development and implementation, and from other policy areas where civil society has made important CBM-related contributions."

Daniel Stauffacher’s presentation can be found here.

Also on the panel were Ms. Zhang Jing from the Office of Cyber Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who spoke about the recent report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Cybersecurity and Ben Baseley-Walker of UNIDIR, Geneva, gave a  multilateral perspective on Cyber CBM's.