Global Cybersecurity Forum event sees international leaders gather to drive collaborative solutions

RIYADH: Collaborations in addressing challenges and opportunities in cyberspace took center stage at a forum in Geneva organized in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s UN Mission.

The event, organised by the Global Cybersecurity Forum, was attended by more than 60 diplomats, UN representatives, and non-governmental organization officials, participating in the GCF Institute’s efforts to promote global dialogue, research, and cyberspace-related initiatives. 

During his opening speech, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Abdulmohsen Majed bin Khothaila, emphasized the GCF as a symbol of the country’s dedication to consolidating global cybersecurity endeavors.

He stated: “GCF is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s determination to unite international cybersecurity efforts and champion initiatives that advance peace, prosperity, and positive socio-economic impact for the benefit of all nations and communities.”

The gathering’s focal point was a panel discussion featuring key figures in the cybersecurity domain titled “Securing Tomorrow – the Imperative of Collaboration in Cyberspace.”

 

 

Lead participants included Yuhyun Park of the DQ Institute, Giacomo Persi-Paoli of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, Akshay Joshi of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity, and Jovan Kurbalija of the DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform.

The Geneva event marked the initiation of the “Meet GCF” series, which is planned to be hosted in various international cities throughout the year. The goal is to engage stakeholders and foster global collaboration to address crucial cybersecurity issues.

Jovan Kurbalija of the DiploFoundation emphasized the importance of partnership, stating: “The cost of not collaborating in cyberspace is more attacks, more risks, more fear, more instability.” 

He underscored the pivotal role platforms like GCF play in ensuring the benefits of cyberspace are accessible to everyone. He stressed the importance of battling for inclusion in its financial, technical, economic, and social sectors for the future.

As cybercrime continues to rise globally, with an estimated cost of $2 trillion in 2023, public, private, and non-profit leaders are seeking innovative, collaborative pathways to combat escalating threats and guarantee that cyberspace remains a facilitator of prosperity for all.

Akshay Joshi of WEF emphasized the global nature of the cybersecurity landscape, stating: “This is a global playing field, and any approach that we take to address threats needs to be global, and public and private in nature.”

The GCF 2023 Annual Meeting discussions resulted in five critical, cross-cutting priorities, including the need to enhance cyber resilience in key sectors. This led to the establishment of GCF’s Operational Technology Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. The forum also inspired a shared vision to harness cyberspace for growth while ensuring safety, sustainability, and inclusivity.

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