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German diplomat selected to chair UN group of experts on cybersecurity

30.08.2016 - Article

The new United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on international and cybersecurity has selected German diplomat Karsten Geier, to serve as its chair.

The German diplomat Karsten Geier was elected Chair
The German diplomat Karsten Geier was elected Chair© AA

The new United Nations United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security has selected the German diplomat Karsten Geier to serve as its chair. Geier is currently Head of the International Cyber Policy Coordination Staff at the Federal Foreign Office.

Identify potential for improving security in the cyber domain

The group’s mandate is to study existing and potential threats to international peace and security stemming from the use of information and communications technology. The 25 experts who have been nominated by their respective governments are expected to present a report and recommendations to the UN Secretary-General next summer. Their discussions will focus on international law, as well as on developing norms, rules and principles for responsible state behaviour. They will also explore potential confidence, security and capacity-building measures for the cyber domain.

Information and communications technology is becoming an ever more indispensable driver of economic, scientific, social, and political development. At the same time, more and more states are developing military cyber capabilities. In some regions, a cyber arms race is under way, and cyber capabilities have repeatedly been employed in international conflicts. This makes it all the more important to exchange views on this issue at the international level and to come to an agreement on common rules that regulate activities in the cyber domain.

Selection of Geier reflects Germany’s strong commitment to the UN

Assumption of the chairmanship of this group by the German diplomat Geier reflects Germany’s strong commitment to the United Nations. It is a key aim of German foreign policy to strengthen the UN and thereby to contribute to international peace and security – online as well as offline.

Karsten Geier currently serves as Head of the International Cyber Policy Coordination Staff at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. He is a career diplomat who has been posted to Germany’s missions to the United Nations and the European Union, as well as to the German embassies in Croatia, Serbia and the United States.

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