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On 10 February 2014, Daniel Stauffacher, President of the ICT4Peace Foundation was invited to make a presentation at the United Nations Office in Geneva on the topic of Preventing Cyber Conflict. Michael Moller, Under-Secretary General and acting Director General of the UN in Geneva, introduced the UNIDIR meeting  with an outlook on the strategic balance and the need for increased cyber stability.

Daniel Stauffacher, in his presentation (download the original Powerpoint presentation here), analysed  the recent steps on the diplomatic front undertaken by the States to address the emerging risks of Cyber Conflict through inter alia by: The UN Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber Issues (UN GGE), the Working Group on Confidence Building Measures CBMs) of  the OSCE in Vienna,  the work at the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), or the London – Budapest – Seoul- The Hague Conference Process on Cyberspace, and last but not least, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Review Process (Action Line 5 - Geneva Plan of Action).

While he applauded the recent results, he suggested that these processes were overall still at a nascent stage and moving in a slow and uncoordinated fashion, with different fora for different areas in the security value chain. He underlined the need for the discussions to be more practical besides political, and to include all regions of the world, especially developing countries as well as business, civil society and academia. In particular, the private sector, which runs a substantial part of the critical infrastructure (Transport, Energy, Finance etc.) needs to be more involved in developing practical and sustainable solutions for an open, trustworthy, safe and secure cyberspace.

In line with the roadmap of work developed by the UN GGE he underlined the need to accelerate the work on understanding which existing international norms of responsible state behaviour would apply to the cyberspace and where the gaps are. ICT4Peace launched a project at the Seoul Conference, that would support processes such as the 2014 UN GGE and the preparation of Hague Conference on the Cyberspace in 2015. He then described the work, that the Swiss Government and ICT4Peace have done in 2013 regarding a better understanding and developing examples of possible Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) for the Cyberspace. This work was also undertaken to, inter alia, support the ongoing work at the UN GGE 2014/2015 and especially of the OSCE Working Group on TCBMs under the Swiss OSCE 2014 Presidency.

Concluding his presentation, he presented a list of the various critical political, diplomatic and technical processes and projects, that are ongoing or new, and which need to be continued, to be strengthened and integrated at the national, regional and global level during 2014 and beyond.