Qatar affirmed its commitment to contributing to global efforts to ensure that cyberspace is a means of progress and well-being, and to reduce the threats it may pose, and stressed the need to observe the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the free flow of information in an open and secure digital environment accessible to all.
This came in the statement of Qatar delivered by HE Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, during the Arria-Formula meeting of Security Council members on the responsibility and response of countries to cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. The meeting took place at the United Nations headquarters, in New York.
HE Sheikha Alya stressed that the massive acceleration in the development of information and communication technology, global digital interdependence and reliance on digital technology in various aspects of life increases the risks of the threats posed by the misuse of cyberspace, both by governmental and non-governmental actors, including terrorist and criminal groups, especially when the matter affects critical digital services and basic infrastructure, the disruption of which could lead to threatening impacts on lives, health and well-being.
She pointed out that no country is immune from these threats, which may pose a threat to regional and international peace, security and stability. She added that this is a matter that deserves attention from countries and the United Nations, highlighting in that regard the UN Secretary-General's prioritizing the enhancement of a healthy IT and communications environment.
In the context of protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, she stressed that this requires studying threats and gaps, keeping abreast of rapid technological development, and developing regional and national strategies in line with the principles of international co-operation and exchanging experiences and best practices.
She added that national strategies are important for guiding action and coordinating between stakeholders. Stakeholders, including the private sector, whose role is central to digital technology. In this regard, she drew attention to Qatar's endeavour to provide a safe and strong cyber environment at the national level, and to take vigorous measures to harness the latest technologies to maintain the security of information and infrastructure, and to develop its expertise and capabilities in areas such as preventing terrorist attacks on unauthorized targets and sports facilities.
With regard to international frameworks, she stressed that there is a need to discuss the repercussions of the misuse of cyberspace on stability and conflict prevention, and what collective efforts can be taken to promote the peaceful use of cyberspace and advanced digital technologies, and to strengthen the regional and international security environment to confront attempts to misuse these technologies.
HE Sheikha Alya stressed the need for ensuring that international law is applicable to countries' use of IT and communications, and continuing to improve the behaviour of countries in the cyberspace, in the framework of international security.
She highlighted the importance that adopting a binding international instrument for maintaining information security as well as standards, rules and principles for responsible behaviour in the use of information and communication technologies in order to reduce risks to international peace, security and stability.
HE Sheikha Alya stressed that the massive acceleration in the development of information and communication technology, global digital interdependence and reliance on digital technology in various aspects of life increases the risks of the threats posed by the misuse of cyberspace.