International cooperation is a fundamental precondition of technology-enabled development and an essential component of the African Union’s 2063 vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa. As cybersecurity has moved up in the agendas of global and regional multilateral organisations, the United Nations have increasingly become a venue for states to debate the use of digital, cyber and technology policies, while pursuing their interests and defending their values.
However, cybersecurity—and the digital, social and economic development which it underpins—are ultimately of global concern. Amid the competition for influence in cyberspace, there is a need to ensure the legitimacy and value of multilateral institutions as arbiters and opportunities for meaningful cooperation and exchange. States and regions also need to work together towards building shared strategic visions, and explore new avenues for collaboration to address the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
The working breakfast began with opening remarks from Ambassador Cheikh Niang, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale, the permanent representative of Morocco to the United Nations and current chair of the Africa Group, followed by some words from the head of the political section at the EU delegation to the UN, Natalie Tolstoi. After welcome remarks, a panel moderated by Patryk Pawlak featured representatives from the Netherlands, Germany, Senegal and the African Union.