IGF 2018 WS #437
Commonwealth Cyber Capacity Building Workshop


Sub-theme description: Cybersecurity capacity building

Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 1: Robert Collett, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Gisa Fuatai Purcell, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Kerry-Ann Barrett, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Panel - 60 Min


The speakers proposed for the session have varying backgrounds and expertise. While not all confirmed speakers have been provided, there will be a mix of speakers who have worked on delivering capacity building projects such as the CTO, OAS and UK Government. It is also intended to have speakers from within government or civil society of at least one member state, ideally a small island or less developed country, which has been a recipient of assistance. This will allow participants to understand capacity building perspectives from different sides and generate discussions on how both implementers and beneficiaries can enhance their relationships and effectively improve cybersecurity within the Commonwealth.


The strength of the Commonwealth lies in its diversity. The Commonwealth comprises 53 nations from developed to less developed, 30 small states and a population of over 60% below the age of 30. The workshop proposes to have a speakers from varying backgrounds and geographic locations, while also attracting participants from a mix of sectors, including government, industry, academia, IGOs and civil society throughout the Commonwealth. The CTO has worked extensively in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, while the OAS has a long history of engagement and capacity building within the Americas.

The session will aims to share both the work being done by implementers of capacity building projects, providing experiences, challenges, lessons learnt and recommendations as well and having the same perspectives from beneficiaries of specific assistance projects. Recognizing that there are several other regional bodies within the Commonwealth that also work on capacity building and serving Commonwealth countries, the workshop will also aim to highlight how cooperation and coordination is done in this context.
The goal of these presentations and discussions will be to further improve coordination of capacity building and to discuss achievable measures for improving information sharing on such work within the Commonwealth community, as well as strengthening the participation of stakeholders within countries on being involved in capacity building work. The agenda will:
- Provide an overview of the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration, particularly as it is recognised some stakeholders from outside of government may not be familiar with its content and purpose
- Share details of projects being done in support of the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration by various implementers
- Share experiences of countries who have been beneficiaries of capacity building projects
- Allow for a stocktaking of work being done in fulfilment of the Declaration by countries and identify priorities and challenges
- Identify recommendations on improving the delivery of capacity building projects
It is proposed that there be no more than 30 minutes allocated to speakers on the panel so as to allow at least 30 minutes of discussions.

We intend to allocate at least half of the time to discussions as contributions from the audience are seen as critical to the workshop’s success. Speakers will set the scene and share practical experiences from their own work which will be followed by questions and comments from the audience. The intention of the session and what the anticipated achievements are will be made clear to participants to allow them to frame contributions and questions accordingly.

In April 2018, Commonwealth Heads of Government adopted a Commonwealth Cyber Declaration which signifies the largest inter-governmental commitment on strengthening cybersecurity. Cyberspace has had a positive influence on economic and social development within the Commonwealth and provides a platform for expressing the diversity and our rich culture. The Declaration has a strong focus on capacity building and commits to:
• A cyberspace that supports economic and social development and rights online
• Build the foundations of an effective national cybersecurity response
• Promote stability in cyberspace through international cooperation
While there is recognition of the role cybersecurity plays in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, there is also recognition that Commonwealth countries, especially developing, less developed and small island developing states face severe challenges in building capacity on cybersecurity and implementing the necessary policy, legal and technical frameworks required to exploit the benefits of cyberspace in a secure, open and free environment. For this reason, the Declaration provides a plan for implementation which welcomes existing support of organisations such as the CTO; encourages member countries to undertake voluntary national cybersecurity capacity reviews by 2020 to understand the current level of cybersecurity capabilities and identify priority needs for capacity building; and to work with relevant international organisations, the private sector, and academic institutions to increase cooperation and build capacity through knowledge transfer, awareness raising, access to good practice and by investing in targeted capacity building efforts, including in law enforcement and criminal justice.
The workshop therefore builds on the momentum of the CHOGM 2018 and seeks to enhance cooperation and capacity building within the Commonwealth in fulfilment of the Cyber Declaration. It links the IGF to the Commonwealth commitments by providing multi-stakeholder dialogue on how to enhance cybersecurity capacity building. The workshop will also serve to measure progress of the Declaration’s implementation and develop ways to improve this moving forward.

Online Participation

We recognise that many persons who are interested in the IGF and unable to physically participate. In this regard, online participation is seen as a critical factor in ensuring diverse participation and contributions. We will ensure that online participants are able to ask questions and share their views with participants in the room, voiced by the online moderator. In the case that not all views can be shared, these will be noted for the report and for consideration in going forward, and there can be arrangements to respond to questions directly, after the session has ended.