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Berlin OSCE Cyber conference looks to reduce the risk of conflict stemming from Information and Communication Technologies

21.01.2016 - Article

How to continue enhancing confidence between OSCE participating States and prevent possible cyber-related tensions was the focus of a conference organized by Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship.

State Secretary Markus Ederer at the opening of the conference
State Secretary Markus Ederer at the opening of the conference© Federal Foreign Office

How to continue enhancing confidence between OSCE participating States and prevent possible cyber-related tensions was the focus of a conference organized on 20 January by Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

A renewed focus on confidence-building measures (CBMs) with the aim of building trust among States and overcoming speculation, doubt, and ambiguity is a priority of Germany’s Chairmanship this year.

German State Secretary Markus Ederer, launching the conference as keynote speaker, said:

Information and Communication Technologies offer great opportunities but they also hold much potential for insecurity, for conflict, and for the disruption of our lives. As OSCE Chair, we wish to deepen and widen the existing valuable work of the OSCE to mitigate these risks.

The event brought together 150 representatives of government, the private sector, academia and civil society from over 40 countries to discuss how to build on the first set of CBMs adopted in 2013 on reducing the risk of conflict stemming from the use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Noting that the conference’s title - Three Dimensions of Information and Telecommunication Technology - refers to the OSCE’s comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach to security, State Secretary Ederer said:

Cyber security is not limited to the physical security of networks or questions of law enforcement on the web. There is more beyond the political-military dimension of security. For example, the OSCE’s cyber activities can and should provide added value to its participating States when it comes to promoting economic growth and human welfare through Information and Communication Technologies.

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