As digitalisation continues to unfold at a rapid pace, diplomats find themselves facing new opportunities and challenges. What are emerging cyber threats? What norms and regulations exist in the international cyber domain and how can a diplomat effectively respond when such norms are violated? How can diplomacy contribute to fostering stronger acceptance of global cyber norms? Last December, 13 diplomats from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan delved into these issues during a four-day online Clingendael Cyber Diplomacy course.
Throughout the programme, the diplomats engaged in interactive lectures and group discussions. Participants gained insights into the international cyber threat landscape and familiarised themselves with the various threat actors operating within the cybersphere. Through hands-on assignments and a cyber crisis simulation, diplomats explored the challenging nature of cyber attribution and identified the various response strategies available to states.
The programme concluded with a fruitful panel discussion with panellists Prof. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo (vice-chair of the African Union Cyber Security Experts Group) and Simone Vuurpijl (Policy Officer at the Netherlands MFA Taskforce Cyber), who shared their insights on cyber diplomacy at the multilateral level. Their contributions allowed participants to discuss areas for increased cooperation and to explore avenues for the development of confidence-building measures and capacity-building initiatives.
Looking back at this successful training programme, Clingendael Academy is positive that the participants are now equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the ever-growing cybersphere.