27 September 2023

Online security tied up for region

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The Ministers for Foreign Affairs in Australia and New Zealand have announced a joint commitment to take the lead to improve cyber resilience among neighbouring nations in the Pacific region.

Australia’s Senator Marise Payne and New Zealand’s Winston Peters said the Boe Declaration, endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in September, highlighted cyber security as an emerging security challenge for the region and recognised the need to maximise the protections and opportunities for Pacific infrastructure and peoples in the digital age.

The two Ministers announced a $9 million expansion to Australia’s Cyber Cooperation Program over four years following the launch of a National Cyber Security Centre in Papua New Guinea, bringing Australia’s total allocation to cyber cooperation to $38.4 million up to 2022.

Senator Payne said the two countries would continue to work with regional partners to strengthen cybercrime prevention, prosecution and cooperation, and enhance cyber incident response capability.

Mr Peters said New Zealand was committed to lifting its capacity-building support for Pacific Island partners.

“New Zealand’s increased, re-oriented development program recognises the emerging challenges facing the Pacific, and New Zealand is committed to helping address these through its Pacific Reset,” Mr Peters said.

“New Zealand was pleased to partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to support cyber security capacity for APEC Leaders Week and beyond, and we want to continue this collaborative approach across the region,” he said.

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