Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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Qatar stresses need for binding global law to preserve information security

Qatar stresses need for binding global
law to preserve information security

New York
Qatar has underlined the need for a binding international instrument to preserve information security, and standards and norms in the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in order to reduce risks to international peace, security and stability. It also stressed that international law -- in particular, the Charter of the United Nations -- be applied to the use of ICTs by states.
Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN HE Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al Thani said this at the first substantive session of the ‘Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security’, at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
“Qatar has taken measures to harness the latest technologies at the legislative, regulatory and executive levels to preserve information security. The country has adopted a comprehensive approach, guided by relevant international initiatives and taking into account the security of information assets and the security of individuals who use them,” she said.
She pointed out that Qatar National Cyber Security Strategy is concerned with protecting vital information infrastructure, addressing and recovering from cyber attacks, establishing a legal and regulatory framework to enable safe and vital cyberspace, and promoting a culture of cybersecurity to promote the safe and appropriate use of cyberspace.
Qatar has established the National Cyber Security Committee and the Qatar Computer Emergency Response Team (Q-CERT) under the Ministry of Transport and Communications to work with government agencies, public and private sector organisations and citizens to ensure the monitoring and containment of electronic threats and hazards, training and awareness, she said.
She noted the significant advances in modern information and communication technologies, which contributed to the well-being and sustainable development. She pointed out that this accelerated progress creates at the same time gaps in the field of ICTs security and challenges extending to various sectors such as international security.
In this context, Sheikha Alya pointed to the “hostile acts” suffered by the State of Qatar, describing them as illegitimate acts by government agencies from other countries aimed at disseminating false information, and endangering national and regional security.
She called for the need to continue assessing the potential threats and challenges associated with modern technology in the field of information security, including terrorist threats. She stressed the importance of examining possible measures and strategies at different levels to address these threats and enhance the security of ICTs systems.
The ambassador underscored the need to develop national cybersecurity strategies that are compatible with the principles of international cooperation and include the protection of vital information infrastructures, the formation of cyber crime response teams and the development of coherent international legal frameworks. She called for the development of curricula for capacity-building and awareness-raising, in particular programmes to raise awareness of children and young people about safety on the Internet.
At the end of the statement, she stated that Qatar coordinates and cooperates at the regional and international levels in matters related to information security.
Sheikha Alya highlighted Qatar’s keenness to work at the international level and supports the relevant initiatives, especially under the UN umbrella, as Qatar participated in the meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security in 2010.
She also pointed to a high-level session organised by Qatar in September 2018 on the impact of cyber attacks on international relations and security, which witnessed participation of governments and the private sector and contributed to shedding light on the issue of information security and serious cyber attacks and their implications.