Pacific Leaders unite against rising Cyber threats


PACIFIC Island Forum Secretary General Henry Puna highlighted the escalating threat of cybercrimes to administrations during the Pacific Cyber Capacity Building Coordination Conference in Fiji.

Reflecting on discussions at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly and the Pacific Islands Summit, Puna acknowledged the opportunities presented by the digital evolution but stressed the need for specialized capacities to navigate its challenges.

Puna expressed confidence in the region’s recognition of increased support and capacity development in addressing cyber threats.

However, he said that successful partnerships must be targeted, coherent, and effective, setting the stage for the conference’s focus.

Highlighting the unfortunate reality that criminals worldwide, including in the Blue Pacific Continent, actively seek to harm innocent people, Puna asserted the collective commitment to their efforts.

Partners in the Blue Pacific, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, echoed this commitment in a joint statement delivered by Ewen McDonald.

McDonald, High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji and Special Envoy for the Pacific and Regional Affairs, outlined the partners’ dedication to supporting Pacific countries in achieving the ambitions outlined in the Pacific Island Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

Recognizing unprecedented challenges such as climate change, the lingering impacts of COVID-19, and global strategic contests, McDonald stressed the importance of shared security in the current environment.

Referring to key documents like the Boe Declaration, the Pacific Islands Forum 2050 Strategy, and the Lagatoi Declaration, McDonald highlighted a collective responsibility to address challenges in the online environment.

While acknowledging the benefits of digitalization, he cautioned that increased reliance on technology also exposes us to the amplified threat of cyber-attacks in various aspects of our lives. The statement concluded with an emphasis on the need for vigilance and cooperation to ensure a peaceful and prosperous digital future for the region.

He also said the next three days will be a vital opportunity to discuss cyber capacity building, define our priorities, and propel more collective action across the region, looking forward to listening to each other and acting together on priorities to shape our region for the better.

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