Estonia urges UN Member States to cooperate against cyber crimes
The international community should step up its efforts to defeat cyber crime, starting by acceding to an international convention on the issue and eventually building to the development of a globally negotiated and comprehensive law of cyberspace, Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves told the General Assembly tonight.
Mr. Ilves said his country’s experience in April and May this year in coping with an extensive cyber attack highlighted both the dangers faced and the value of cooperation.
“Cyber attacks are a clear example of contemporary asymmetrical threats to security,” he said at the annual high-level debate. “They make it possible to paralyze a society, with limited means, and at a distance. In the future, cyber attacks may in the hands of criminals or terrorists become a considerably more widespread and dangerous weapon than they are at present.”
The President said the threat posed by cyber attacks was often underestimated because they have so far not resulted in the loss of any lives and many attacks are not publicized for security reasons.
He called for cyber crimes to be defined internationally and generally condemned in the way that terrorism or human trafficking is denounced.
“Fighting against cyber warfare is in the interests of us all without exception,” Mr. Ilves said, calling on all countries to accede to the Convention on Cyber Crime of the Council of Europe. The pact is also open for accession to non-members of the Council of Europe.
The President welcomed the launch of the Global Cybersecurity Agenda of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and said the UN should serve as the “neutral and legitimate forum” for the eventual creation of a globally negotiated and comprehensive law of cyberspace.
Meanwhile, in his address, the President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Branko Crvenkovski, emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and voiced support for international efforts to resolve the status of Kosovo, a Serbian province that has been under UN administration since 1999.
The issue should be dealt with “within a reasonable timeframe, in the best interests of the stability in the region and its Euro-Atlantic perspective,” he said.
At the same time, he said his country does not agree “with the recently mentioned idea of partition of Kosovo along ethnic lines, since this may provoke serious negative implications for the entire region.”
He added that the demarcation of his country’s northern border with Kosovo “according to a predefined procedure and agenda” remains a priority for the Government.