Can the UN bring peace to cyberspace?



Marietje Schaake, former member of EU Parliament and international policy director of the Cyber Policy Center at Stanford University, discusses the role of cyberspace and the urgency to protect it in UNGA In 60 Seconds.

Protecting people in cyberspace is of vital importance for the United Nations. Secretary General Guterres has said that cyber is shaping history, but that we also risk that it's slipping away from us. What does that mean, exactly?

Well if you ask me, technology has shaped history. But more than anything, it's shaping the future. And I see a unique and urgent role for the United Nations in making sure that the public interest is defended. Anything from governing for public health, for public safety, and of course, for peace in cyberspace.

Now the question is, how has the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated some of these questions? 

And I think the world over, people are much more aware of how much we rely on a well-functioning internet, and on connectivity to work, to go to school, to access culture, and to really understand what is happening with the pandemic and in politics or entertainment.

So, questions of who decides the rules of the road, who governs these information flows, and how do we retain trust in the digital world have only become more urgent. So, I hope that during the UN General Assembly and the UN week, there will be a lot of attention on cyberspace, the public interest, peace, and trust




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