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Asean countries to establish framework for cybersecurity collaboration

All 10 Asean members concur on the need for a formal cybersecurity mechanism to facilitate coordination efforts across the region, outlining cyber diplomacy, policy, and operational issues.

The 10 Asean member states have agreed on the need for a formal framework to coordinate cybersecurity efforts across the region, outlining cyber diplomacy, policy, and operational issues.

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Singapore has been tasked with creating the proposal for the framework, which then will be tabled for the Asean leaders for consideration, according to statement released by Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore (CSA). The move emerged from the third Asean Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity, held in conjunction with the Singapore International Cyber Week this week.

The Asean members concurred that a formal framework was necessary to decide on inter-related issues and recommended the mechanism be flexible and take into consideration various factors, such as economic conditions.

While Singapore worked on the proposed model, the Asean Ministerial Cybersecurity Conference would serve as the interim and non-formal platform, the members said.

The group further underscored the importance of "a rules-based cyberspace" to drive economic progress and improve living standards. It also agreed that, "in-principle", internal laws, voluntary, and non-binding norms of state behaviour, as well as practical "confidence-building" measures were essential to ensure the stability of cyberspace.

As such, the Asean group agreed to observe 11 such norms recommended in the 2015 Report of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications, in the Context of International Security. It also would focus on regional capacity-building in implementing these norms, it said.

Asean members include Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.