Inaugural Global Roundtable on ICT Security Capacity Building: Recap and Key Highlights

16 May 2024
Inaugural Global Roundtable on ICT Security Capacity Building: Recap and Key Highlights

“Peace and security in the physical world demand new approaches to peace and security in the digital world. Your Roundtable highlights this vital link.” 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

The Global Roundtable on ICT Capacity Building, held on 10 May 2024, brought together high-level representatives, experts and stakeholders to advance global capacity-building efforts in cyber resilience.

The event opened with welcome remarks by UN Secretary-General António Guterres (below), ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, and Singapore Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo. The roundtable, convened by H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore, and Chair of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies, featured a signature panel moderated by UNIDIR Director Robin Geiss.

Signature Panel

The signature panel, “Building Cyber Resilience for Sustainable Development by Bridging the Global Capacity Gap,” emphasized the urgent need for action due to the rapidly evolving international threat landscape. Director Geiss stated, “We are here today because we recognize that no single entity, no single nation, can shoulder the burden of securing the ICT domain alone. It is a challenge that transcends borders and also sectors and disciplines, requiring an inclusive, coordinated response.”

More than 50 States took the floor, highlighting the crucial role of capacity-building in enhancing the resilience and ICT security of States. They discussed the fast pace of digital transformation and its significant impact on security and development, underscoring the importance of developing the resources, skills, policies and institutions necessary for a safe and secure ICT environment, which is fundamental to achieving sustainable digital development.

Speakers noted the rising threats from cybercrime and the increasing sophistication of these threats, which pose significant risks to national security, organizational integrity and the global economy. There was a shared emphasis on the necessity for continuous and inclusive global dialogue and cooperation to address these cybersecurity challenges. The importance of partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagements was a recurring theme, with several speakers highlighting the gender gap in cybersecurity and the broader need for inclusive policies that address diverse needs and vulnerabilities in the digital space.

Breakout Groups

The breakout groups facilitated substantive and practical discussions on action-oriented measures that States, international organizations and stakeholders should adopt to enhance capacity-building initiatives.

The first breakout group focused on developing national cyber strategies and regulatory acts and improving governance structures. The second group concentrated on the development of operational and technical capacities, widening the talent pipeline and fostering partnerships. UNIDIR colleagues served as moderators and rapporteurs for both sessions.

UNIDIR has been organizing cyber capacity-building initiatives for several years, including briefings to UN Member States on various topics of norms and international law, as well as carrying out scenario-based exercises to reinforce learning.

UNIDIR’s work in the domain was highlighted by Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, who noted that “UNIDIR, given its vast expertise in this domain, is an indispensable partner for the work of the (cyber) OEWG.”

H.E. Mr. Nathaniel C. Fick, US Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, added, “Working towards the Programme of Action, we see an opportunity for the OEWG to endorse a list of foundational cyber capabilities that States need in order to implement the framework. UNIDIR’s report on unpacking cyber capacity needs provides important guidance on this topic.”


The Global Roundtable was a dynamic and impactful event, bringing together experts and stakeholders from around the world to advance cyber resilience and sustainable development through enhanced capacity-building efforts. The discussions and insights shared at the event underscored the importance of a unified, collaborative approach to tackling cybersecurity challenges and building a secure digital future for all. UNIDIR will issue a summary report following the inaugural roundtable on ICT capacity building.


More information:

Roundtable recording (part 1):

Roundtable recording (part 2):

UNIDIR report: Unpacking Cyber Capacity-Building Needs: Part I. Mapping the Foundational Cyber Capabilities