Panel Discussion: “Cyber Security – Uncharted waters for the UN”

Jun 4, 2013

Panel Discussion: “Cyber Security – Uncharted waters for the UN”

Thursday, 6 June 2013, 1.00 - 2.45pm, at the German House

News reports on cyber security have become regular reading for us all. In contrast, cyber issues are rarely discussed within the United Nations. It almost seems as if cyberspace doesn't exist for the UN. These are uncharted waters for the UN despite the fact that maintaining security of cyberspace is emerging as a significant challenge for the international community.

There is growing concern regarding the wide range of potential cyber attacks and their potentially devastating consequences. Rapidly advancing technological capabilities have given rise to mounting risks of escalation and miscalculation.

In the military arena of the past, policies of deterrence, classic non-proliferation strategies and export controls have prevented major destructive escalations. These instruments, however, have been applied to traditional instruments of war and wellestablished scenarios of warfare. Those were based on the use of weapons and arms that were real, not virtual. Although the virtual theater of war and its actors may be invisible to most of us, the impact on the military operations involved may be very real and extend well beyond a purely military dimension.

Securing cyberspace therefore raises a new spectrum of questions for the international community:

· How could conflicts in cyberspace potentially escalate?

· What are likely scenarios?

· How can misinterpretations be avoided?

· What kind of counterstrategies are available?

· Is there clarity about the applicable international rules and norms?

· What should be the role for the UN?

· Should there be one at all?

The Panelists:

· James Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.,

· Cherian Samuel, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi,

· Sandro Gaycken, Freie Universität, Berlin.

The panel will be moderated by Colum Lynch, veteran UN correspondent of the Washington Post and a blogging contributor to Foreign Policy.

The event is organized in collaboration with the EastWest Institute and directed at a broader UN public. It intends to offer a space for dialogue, involving Member States, UN agencies and NGOs.

Space is limited and reservations are required. If you like to attend, please send an e-mail to pol-s5-vn[at]

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