Multilateralism is the key to ensuring cyber security -Ambassador Masud Bin Momen at the United Nations

New York, 29 April 2019:

The Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen said, “Multilateralism is the key to ensuring cyber security. As we all know that no single government can manage its security on its own. Our only hope for a free, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment is through multilateralism”. He was speaking  at an event ‘Cyber Security and Capacity Building’ organized by Singapore in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) on 25 April 2019 at the UNHOs.

Ambassador Masud put forward some specific suggestions for creating a strong global cyber security environment. These are, 1) The UN must continue its norm-setting role in cyber-space by utilizing  the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) platforms for defining future rules of the road, enhancing confidence among stakeholders  and building security measures. 2) The Member States must demonstrate strong political commitments to ensure a secure cyber space for our future generations. In this context, he mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged Bangladesh’s support for promoting a culture of cyber security and called for a UN High-level Conference on Cyber-security in a high level side event organized by Bangladesh on the margins of the high level segment of 73rd UNGA in September 2018. 3) In absence of a globally accepted norms structure, the principles of the UN Charter and relevant international law should apply to the cyber space. 4) The countries need meaningful global cooperation for defending cyber-attacks, creating awareness, developing reliable early-warning systems, creating capacity to coordinate across sectors including Governments and major Transnational Corporations (TNCs). 5) The countries need constant engagements for sharing best practices to tackle terrorists’ use of cyber space, attacks against critical infrastructures, cyber thefts, and sharing critical information, and data on cyber incidents. 6) The countries must build public-private partnership to tackle cyber issues.

Mentioning ICT as a key driver of Bangladesh’s sustainable development efforts led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the PR added, “We envision transforming Bangladesh into a digitally advanced middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. During the last decade, our investments in the ICT sector have paid us rich dividends. We have been able to expand access to ICTs for our people in an unimaginable pace. Taking advantage of e-governance and e-commerce, we could bring services and commodities to the doorsteps of our people. The Government has become more efficient, transparent and accountable in delivering services”.

Ambassador Masud highlighted several steps taken by Bangladesh Government to secure its hard-earn gains from the ICT sector such as building a safer ICT ecosystem, strengthening cyber resilience in financial sectors and promoting cyber-security culture across various administrative, legal and business continuums. The PR also informed about Bangladesh’s Cyber Security Strategy, National ICT Policy, Information Security Policy Guidelines and Digital Security Act. He stated that Bangladesh has a target to have at least one thousand cyber security experts by 2021 for capacity building. Ambassador Masud also enumerated several measures of Bangladesh in Cyber Security field such as establishing of Digital Forensic Laboratory and Computer Emergency Response Team.

Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Mr David Koh, Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore were participated the event among others. The event was moderated by PR of Singapore Mr Mr Burhan Gafoor.