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We need to act collaboratively to tackle the devastating consequences of cybercrime

22 March 2017

Commonwealth kinship and affinity, and the similarity of our systems of law and governance, will help in the fight against cybercrime, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said today. 

She told delegates to the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum in London that the Commonwealth provides the perfect platform where member countries could think and act together to craft templates for legislation and regulation.

“I am pleased that the next two days will be an opportunity to explore the challenges, take stock of the resources and, above all, build cooperation of stakeholders across the Commonwealth, develop a joined-up approach to cybercrime and to start crafting some practical solutions,” she said.  “Because it is only through a collaborative approach that we will be able to tackle the threats and devastating consequences of cybercrime.”

The Forum has brought together cybersecurity experts, from policy makers to regulators and implementing agencies to private sector and civil society, from across the Commonwealth. The two-day event has been organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and will propose future cooperation among member states when it comes to cybersecurity.

Secretary-General Scotland explained how that idea might work.

“This year we have launched the Commonwealth Office of Criminal and Civil Justice Reform.  It will accelerate the enactment of legislation by developing model laws and tool kits for reform,” she said. “We are currently reviewing our Commonwealth model law on computer and computer-related crimes. It has already been of use to many member countries, and we hope to disseminate the updated model to our member countries to further enable the enactment of criminal legislation in their body of laws for an effective response to cybercrime.”

Cybercrime, said the Secretary-General, was a scourge affecting many areas of economic and social life destroying and undermining the trust of citizens and businesses. Only by working together to devise tough laws and implement robust strategies could the Commonwealth provide global leadership to tackle cybercriminals and cybercrime in a coordinated and effective way, she said.

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