Report – Panel Discussion on “Cyber Technologies and Responsible State Behaviour: Achieving Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”

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The Arms Control and Disarmament Centre (ACDC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad organised a webinar on “Cyber Technologies and Responsible State Behaviour: Achieving Peace, Security and Sustainable Development” on June 29, 2021. The eminent speakers included Brig. Mohammad Yasin, Senior Advisor SDPI, Dr Tughral Yamin, Associate Dean CIPS, NUST and Dr Khashif Kifayat, Dean Computer Sciences, Air University Islamabad.

Introductory Remarks by Malik Qasim Mustafa, Director ACDC-ISSI

Malik Qasim Mustafa said that the use of cyber technologies or commonly known as computers, cell phones and other devices which are connected with the internet have been working as “agents of change,” for decades. These technologies have transformed our lives and providing us with endless possibilities to transform our future. The ongoing pandemic has made us realised that how these cyber technologies are playing an important role in connecting us and how they can bring social, economic and political change to our lives. According to a recent World Economic Forum report, there are around 300 technologies that can directly support 70 per cent of the 17 sustainable development goals and almost 80 per cent of these technologies are internet dependent. However, it is important to note that access to such technologies and their use sometimes creates complex challenges.

He noted that as the frequency and lethality of malicious cyber activities have increased manifold, cyber technologies are going to change state behaviour in major ways. The world is already witnessing a growing competition between major players to dominate each other in cyberspace. There is a likelihood that this growing use of cyber technologies would affect individuals and states and peace, security and development. In this regard, states should ensure the protection of cyberspace from cyber threats and cyberwarfare to safeguard their social, economic and national security interests. For that purpose, it is important to raise awareness, design cybersecurity culture, develop cyberspace norms and design legal regimes at the national, regional and global levels for regulating cyber technologies to achieve peace, security and development.

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