A joint commitment to partner with Pacific Island countries to improve their collective cyber resilience was announce by the New Zealand and Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs.
According to a recent release, both New Zealand and Australia reaffirm their commitment to work with Pacific Island countries.
This partnership will support an open, free and secure internet that drives economic growth, protects national security and promotes international stability.
The Boe Declaration, which was endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in September, highlighted cyber security as an emerging security challenge for the region.
The Boe Declaration, also known as Biketawa Plus, is a new strategy to address the threats being faced by the Pacific today and will face tomorrow.
It also recognised the need to maximise the protections and opportunities for Pacific infrastructure and people in the digital age.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced a A$ 9 million expansion to Australia’s Cyber Cooperation Program over four years.
This is following the launch of a National Cyber Security Centre in Papua New Guinea, bringing the total investment of Australia in cyber cooperation to A$ 38.4 million to 2022.
The National Cyber Security Centre will enable Papua New Guinea to benefit from advanced communications technology at the same time protecting its critical ICT infrastructures from incidents.
Australia will continue to work with regional partners in order to strengthen cybercrime prevention, prosecution and cooperation as well as enhance the cyber incident response capability.
New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt. Hon Winston Peters MP underscored that New Zealand was committed to lifting its capacity-building support for Pacific Island partners.
The increased and re-oriented development program of New Zealand recognises the emerging challenges that are faced by the Pacific.
The country is committed to providing help in addressing these through its Pacific Reset.
New Zealand was pleased to partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to support cyber security capacity for APEC Leaders Week, and beyond, and would want to continue this collaborative approach across the region.
CERT NZ will work closely with the cyber security teams across the region to build resilience and cyber awareness as part of the engagement that New Zealand will deliver.
This work will support the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON), which was launched in Brisbane on 30 April 2018 with 14 foundation member countries from the Pacific.
PaCSON is a network of government-designated cyber security incident response officials from across the Pacific.
This empowers them to share threat information, tools, techniques and ideas, in order to enhance their collective capacity to respond to operational cyber threats.