Exhorting the importance of cyber-security in the international diplomatic discourse, Minister of Law, and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that India is very keen to promote cyber-diplomacy as part of its diplomatic initiatives. For this, he added, the subject of cyber-diplomacy will be a key issue at the upcoming Global Conference on Cyber Space being held here on November 23 and 24.
“Diplomacy is a very over-arching concept, which requires security, strategic imperative among other things. Cyber-diplomacy is emerging as a big component of international diplomatic discourse and India’s quest for greater emphasis on cyber-diplomacy is to create meaningful engagement and also promote the case for digital inclusion,” Prasad told reporters.
The Global Conference on Cyber Space or GCCS is expected to 2,000 delegates, including around 700 foreign delegates, with many more expected to log in through videoconferencing and webinar. Besides global leaders and IT Ministers of various countries, prominent faces of India Inc including Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal are also expected to be present at the event. Ministers from a host of countries including France, Russia, Japan, Israel, the UK are amongst the speakers at the conference.
“The overall goals of GCCS 2017 are to promote the importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy, to defend status quo of an open interoperable and unregimented cyberspace, to create political commitment for capacity building initiatives to address the digital divide…,” a government statement said. Apart from this, Prasad said, there will be a ministerial session at the conference that would be attended by the finance minister and state IT ministers. The Global Conference on Cyber Space was first held in London in 2012, with editions in Budapest, Seoul, and Hague that followed.
Apart from cyber-diplomacy, cyber security is also expected to be one of the focus areas of the conference, “especially as the central government is in the process of setting up separate sector specific emergency response centres to ensure cyber security and strengthen technology infrastructure”. However, when asked if representatives from the financial services sector – one of the industries most sensitive to cyber attacks – Prasad said that they could attend as delegates as the conference was primarily focused on technology.