In Islamabad Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Marcel de Vink spoke on February 26 at the Pakistan Cyberspace Conference. ‘All stakeholders involved, i.e. government, the private and civil sector, have a joint responsibility to ensure that the internet remains safe and free. Only on the basis of an informed debate can we organise an open, secure and robust cyber domain. In Pakistan and in the world at large. This discussion impacts all of us and not just the experts.’
Topic of today
With this the Ambassador opened the first Pakistan Cyberspace Conference, held in the Marriott in Islamabad on February 26. He added: ‘Cyber is the key emerging topic of today. And what is true for the rest of the world is true for Pakistan as Pakistan is part of the global society and therefore it is also important to discuss these themes here.’
Ambassador De Vink explained: ‘The internet is creating extraordinary opportunities for economic growth and social development and has become a vital part of all societies around the world. It is hoped that the event will generate discussion and debate on the issues of global cyber governance, and cyber security because the trust of its users depends on their confidence that what is done online is safe, secure and protected by the same rule of law that applies offline. Security presumes governance, one way or another.’
He added: ‘Governments need to be thoughtful when framing policies. They have to make sure that citizens rights and freedoms are also guaranteed and looked after. Freedom of expression is the first among them.’
The event is organised by digital rights group Bytes For All, Pakistan in collaboration with the Citizen Lab (University of Toronto), Global Partners Digital, the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan and the Netherlands Embassy in Islamabad.
Conference in The Hague
The Netherlands Ambassador announced that on 16-17 April 2015 the Netherlands will host the fourth Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) in The Hague on this very theme and that he hoped that Pakistan will also send a delegation to this important conference.
The Pakistan Cyberspace conference is an important event preparing for the Conference in The Hague. The Netherlands has therefore been supportive of the initiative and contributed also financially.