The inaugural ASEAN-Australia- Cyber Policy Dialogue was held in Singapore on 18 September 2018. The Dialogue was co-chaired by Australia and Singapore, 2018 ASEAN Chair.
Recalling the Sydney Declaration of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018, in which leaders highlighted our shared commitment to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment and committed to deepening cooperation on cyber security and digital trade issues. The dialogue demonstrated the value of close discussion, cooperation and collaboration on cyber issues, and promoted greater regional capacity and awareness of cyber issues across the full spectrum of cyber affairs – from enabling the economic prosperity promised by digital trade to preventing crime and preserving peace in cyberspace.
The Dialogue agreed to priorities for regional cyber capacity building to be delivered in partnership between Australia and ASEAN member states in 2018-19, and agreed to work to coordinate these effectively including, where appropriate, through the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence and the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre. The Dialogue agreed to focus on:
- Strengthening an understanding of international law, norms and confidence building measures and how they apply in cyberspace;
- Strengthening cybercrime prevention, prosecution and cooperation;
- Building regional cyber incident prevention and response; and
- Promoting women's participation in the digital economy.
The Dialogue made progress in discussing the establishment of a Cyber Points of Contact Directory to facilitate real time communication in the event of cyber incidents of potential regional security significance. Participants called for further progress in appointing the appropriate points of contact in each ASEAN Member State.1 This simple confidence building measure will reduce the risk of conflict arising from any misunderstanding and misperception, which could lead to unwanted escalation.
Senior officials attended the Dialogue from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
1 During the 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity, held on 19 September 2018, participants expressed in principle support on the need to establish the ASEAN Directory of Cyber Points-of-Contact.