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In an increasingly interconnected world where cyber threats know no borders, a policy dialogue on cybersecurity between the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is not just beneficial but necessary. The EU and LAC share a common approach towards a human-centric digital transformation, which provides a robust foundation for this dialogue and will further strengthen their strategic partnership.
During the EU-LAC Digital Alliance days in Colombia in November 2023, senior governmental officials and representatives of regional organisations, academia, CSOs and the private sector agreed that collaboration between LAC and EU is essential to enhance global cybersecurity, and contribute to a free, open, safe and secure cyberspace, including by improving capacities to prevent, manage and mitigate cyber-risks. The diversity of expertise of each actor is key to develop a sustained multistakeholder dialogue between the two regions and capacitate the cyber workforce in the region
Countries in both regions have valuable experience in articulating coordinated response mechanisms to cyber-attacks. Over the past years, the number of cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure in LAC has increased exponentially. Hence, the strengthening of such infrastructure is essential to ensure the reliability and sustainability of their services and data. Thus, the bi-regional dialogue can provide a platform for governments but also other relevant actors to explore avenues to strengthen national and regional cybersecurity ecosystems.
Similarly, the two regions participate to the debates in multilateral fora. Dialogues and exchanges on cyberdiplomacy between the two regions are welcomed in order to better align the two regions and promote their shared values and norms, such as responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Finally, emerging technologies pose new challenges to the cybersecurity of countries in both regions. The development of secure connectivity and the protection of critical infrastructures are key.
The Digital Alliance represents an opportunity to exchange experiences that ensure that the fruits of digitalisation are harvested in an equitable, inclusive, and secure manner, reflecting the joint commitment to a stable, democratic, and open digital environment.
The objective of the dialogue is to develop a comprehensive and action-oriented approach on cybersecurity, emphasizing the following issues:
- Workforce development: how can we address the growing demand for qualified professionals capable of securing digital systems and infrastructures against cyber threats? Discussions could address education and training, partnership with the private sector and academia, skill enhancement as well as cybersecurity awareness and global collaboration.
- Bi-regional and multistakeholder cooperation: cyber threats transcend geographic boundaries and target entities, regardless of them being public, private, from the academia or civil society. Due to the shared threat landscape, economic interconnectedness and international cooperation between LAC and the EU, discussing bi-regional cooperation to tackle such threats is essential. Additionally, multi-stakeholder cooperation is essential in fostering a collective effort to enhance global and regional cybersecurity resilience. Therefore addressing how to include all relevant stakeholders should be at the core of our discussions.
- Strengthened national and regional cyber ecosystems: a robust national and regional cybersecurity ecosystem, including relevant policy and regulatory frameworks, but also adequate resilience-building and effective response to threats are all essential components to detect, mitigate, and recover from cyber-attacks. Exchange of best practices and cooperation among stakeholders would prove beneficial for all parties involved.
- Secure connectivity, and robust infrastructure within the EU and LAC regions: given the current threat landscape, and the expanding connectivity infrastructure, the sustainability of such initiatives rely on their ability to withstand cyber-attacks. Discussion the possibility of establishing joint frameworks and cooperation in that regards would greatly contribute to both regions.
Concrete steps will be agreed on in order to advance these objectives toward the 2025 EU-CELAC Summit.
The dialogue is an invitation-only event. If you wish to participate, please e-mail us at email@example.com