Launch Global Forum on Cyber Expertise in The Hague

At the Global Conference on Cyber Space, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, together with Minister of Security & Justice Ard van der Steur and more than 42 governments, intergovernmental organizations and companies, launched the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) in The Hague.

The GFCE is a key initiative to give political momentum to global cyber capacity building, make available technical expertise as well as new funding to strengthen cyber security, help fight cybercrime, better protect our data and support e-governance. We should all benefit from the potential a free, open and secure internet has to offer. The GFCE is a pragmatic, action-oriented and flexible platform for policymakers, practitioners and experts from different countries and regions. Goal is to share experiences, identify gaps in global cyber capacities, and to complement existing efforts in capacity building.

Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs emphasizes the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach in the GFCE initiative: ‘States can’t act on their own. They will have to rely on other stakeholders. It is vital to include different stakeholders in a debate that could prove to be the next key dilemma in international security.

'The Netherlands has a lot to offer', says minister Van der Steur of Security and Justice, 'In the field of Cybersecurity and cybercrime we have good practices, tools and methods to share. Still we need to learn and improve. In the GFCE we will share our experiences and learn from participating nations and non-state actors. All will benefit from getting the knowledge and best-practices together in one platform. Cyberspace will get better with this initiative, paving the way for further international cooperation'.

Membership of the GFCE is open to all countries, intergovernmental organisations and private companies who subscribe to the Hague Declaration on the GFCE. Civil society, the technical community, think tanks and academia will also be encouraged to be involved in the GFCE, contributing to the development of best practices, sharing of knowledge and advising on capacity building efforts.

Societies need to rapidly develop their capacity to take full advantage of cyberspace and to overcome evolving challenges in this field. GFCE-members can start or join specific Initiatives under the umbrella of the GFCE for capacity and expertise building. The four focus areas of the GFCE are: cybersecurity, cybercrime, data protection and e-governance. An annual high level meeting amongst members of the GFCE will evaluate progress made and discuss and formulate requirements as well as best practices in cyber capacity building.

The Administrative Unit of the GFCE will be situated in The Hague. It will provide the necessary administrative and logistical support to GFCE members. Furthermore, it will maintain an overview of ongoing GFCE Initiatives and circulate the results of Initiatives among the GFCE members.

The city of The Hague warmly supports the establishment of the GFCE, which further strengthens the role of The Hague as a central hub for cyber organizations.