On February 7-8, 2024 Kyiv hosted the first Kyiv International Cyber Resilience Forum 2024: "Resilience At The Cyberwar". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine was one of the co-organizers of the Forum.
The event was initiated by the National Coordination Centre for Cybersecurity (NCCC) under the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine and the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF Global).
The Forum was supported by the US Department of State and co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Cyber Unit Technologies and the Institute for Cyber Warfare Research (ICWR) were the technology partners.
The official opening among others was held by Anton Demokhin, Deputy Foreign Minister. In his speech, he thanked partners for their constant, unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and noted that «the recently established Tallinn Mechanism and IT-Coalition will valuably support the resilience efforts. These initiatives are the result of dedicated work by partner countries, the Ukrainian President and the government, and the international diplomatic efforts of foreign affairs institutions».
The Deputy Foreign Minister stressed the need for responsible behaviour by states in cyberspace and joint efforts to combat cyberattacks that cross borders, target critical infrastructure, steal sensitive data and manipulate public opinion worldwide. The diplomat also noted that «the MFA of Ukraine takes active part in the consolidation of international efforts aimed at countering Russia's ongoing armed aggression against Ukraine and threat to the whole democratic world with shared values and principles». The MFA is making every effort to support authorities of Ukraine in the field of cybersecurity and digitalization, and to promote mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign partners.
On the sidelines of the conference, Anton Demokhin met with cyber ambassadors from partner countries to discuss algorithms of interaction and promotion of the Tallinn Mechanism initiative. The meeting helped to synchronize the positions of the parties ahead of the official meeting in The Hague on February 13-14.
The Ukrainian side particularly noted the contribution of the foreign partners, who are also the ideological drivers of the international initiative of the Tallinn Mechanism, to the conference - the Statement of the Members of the Tallinn Mechanism for the Conference, which became a kind of open manifesto of the idea and results of the international event.
During the Cyber Forum, the Deputy Foreign Minister held a panel discussion on "Cyber diplomacy - synchronizing national interests with the global cyberspace and digital policy agenda", with participation of George Dubynskyi, Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Nathaniel Fick, Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, U. S. State Department, Tanel Sepp, Ambassador-at-Large for Cyber Diplomacy, MFA of Estonia, Tadeusz Chomicki, Ambassador-at-Large for Cybersecurity and Technology, MFA of Poland, and Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security and Defence Policy, European External Action Service.
During the discussion, the interlocutors agreed that the regulation of cyberspace should be fairly guided by joint diplomatic efforts through a complex network of intergovernmental relations established and developed by diplomats: "The interconnectedness of our world makes us all vulnerable, and our response must be collective."
According to Anton Demokhin, «In cyberspace, we are all equally reachable and at risk, with no physical geography constraints, just cyber -resilience, -capacities and -defence. And diplomatic work. Cyber threats will continue to evolve, demanding constant vigilance and development of capacities», the Deputy Foreign Minister said.
Forum participants reaffirmed their commitment to a united front against cyber aggression and stressed that the security of their countries' national interests depends on Ukraine's resilience.
Overall, this is the first time in recent years that such a large-scale cybersecurity event has been held in Ukraine. It brought together government and business representatives, the cyber community, technology companies and leading industry experts to discuss cybersecurity.
The Kyiv International Cybersecurity Forum is planned to be held annually, creating the basis for the development of a platform where best practices can be shared and joint strategies and measures to counter cyber threats can be discussed.