'Seoul framework' could make cyberspace safer, more accessible

Oct 18, 2013

Panel Discussion at the Seoul cybersecurity conference. Photo: UNDP Seoul Policy Centre

The two day Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 wrapped up today with agreement on the ‘Seoul Framework and commitments’ on cyberspace. The framework states that international law must also be applied to cyberspace.

1600 participants from almost 90 countries took part in the conference, which consisted of four plenary sessions and six panel discussions.

Experts from governments, international organizations and business discussed economic growth and development, cyber security, the social and cultural benefits of cyberspace, cybercrime, international security and capacity development for countries in cyber-related issues.

Magdy Martinez-Soliman, UNDP's Deputy Assistant Administrator and acting Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, gave a presentation on capacity development as part of a panel discussion.

“The growth of cyberspace helps close the digital divide between rich and the poor. By boosting the number of ‘digital natives’ it offers many new opportunities for advancing human development” said Mr Martinez-Soliman.

“Yet greater reliance on cyberspace introduces new risks and vulnerabilities. Countries need to develop governance capacities and individual skill sets to run and manage sophisticated technologies that run global cyberspace” he added.

The ‘Seoul Framework’ offers guidelines for governments and international organisations on coping with cybercrime and cyberwar. It highlights the importance of boosting internet access, particularly for developing countries, for education, development and to ensure freedom of information and expression.

The annual conference on cyberspace aims to establish international cyber-norms and guidelines. The Seoul conference followed previous gatherings in London and Budapest. It will likely become a bi-annual event, with the next conference set for the Netherlands in 2015.