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Collaborating on international rules for digital technologies

The event venue

The event venue, © Thomas Trutschel/ photothek.de

12.11.2019 - Article

The Alliance for Multilateralism’s event at the 2019 Paris Peace Forum focuses on new technologies and examines how we should deal with the challenges and issues that new, digital technologies pose for politics and societies worldwide.

Building new networks

For Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves LeDrian concerted action is the answer. Only by working together can we guarantee security in cyberspace and contain the threats engendered by digitalisation. The Alliance meeting on innovative partnerships for digital governance therefore looked specifically at the question of how state actors, civil society and industry could work together to draw up international rules on new technologies.

At the start of the event, Maas stressed the importance of networks for cooperation in this area:

Our main task – but not our only task – in the sphere of digital technology is to form new networks, namely those that go beyond the national level.

Security in cyberspace

Foreign Minister Maas opening the Digital Governance event
Foreign Minister Maas opening the Digital Governance event© Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de

How can the people responsible for cyber‑attacks be identified? How can we make it clear that criminal activities and malicious actions in cyberspace will not go unpunished? These and other questions are addressed by initiatives such as the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace launched a year ago by the Alliance for Multilateralism. The participants at the Peace Forum discussed what is necessary to implement the recommendations made in Paris worldwide.

Combating disinformation

How can disinformation campaigns be effectively counteracted? How can we stop people from manipulating elections through social networks? In Paris, Foreign Minister Maas and fellow panellists discussed how international cooperation could bolster states’ efforts to fight disinformation whilst at the same time protecting and promoting freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. One example is the declaration on the International Partnership for Information and Democracy, adopted by the Alliance for Multilateralism in New York this September. This opposes the manipulative use of fake news to undermine democracy.

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