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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has underscored the need for a permanent cyber capacity building mechanism under the UN, particularly in bridging the gap between developing and developed countries, to promote trust and cooperation among states.

“International cooperation in the area of capacity building on an equal footing is a key measure for a safe, secure, stable and peaceful Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) environment,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the Global Roundtable on ICT Security Capacity Building.

“We support the idea of a permanent capacity building mechanism under the UN, as well as a dedicated funding mechanism to support capacity building projects in developing countries,” the Pakistani envoy added.

The session was presided over by Singapore’s UN Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, who heads the Open-ended Working Group on the Security of and the use of ICTs.

Cybersecurity capacity building is aimed at equipping individuals and organizations with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to protect themselves and their digital assets.

“We are particularly concerned at the frequency of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure”, Ambassador Akram said, pointing out that Pakistan has been a particularly long-standing victim of its other threat — disinformation.

Noting ICT technologies’ vast positive potential, the Pakistani envoy said and also highlighted their negative side — expansion of the domains of conflict, saying, “Cyber warfare has emerged as a new domain of warfare.”

As such, Ambassador Akram said, “It is urgent to address key emerging trends of malicious activities in cyberspace both by states and non-state actors.”

But, he said, the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace was not sufficient to address the multifaceted legal challenges arising from ICT threats.

Therefore, Ambassador Akram called for a legally binding international instrument, specifically tailored to the unique attributes of ICT, and to provide a regulatory framework that creates stability and safety in cyberspace.

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