Monday 5 February 2024

(l-r) Col. Andrew Dopeke, Mr. Oala Moi, Mr. Fred Sarufa, and Ms. Anna Mokono.

A Papua New Guinea delegation joins the final session of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime in New York. This international effort aims to create a comprehensive legal framework for combating cybercrime, a growing threat with significant implications for PNG’s development and national security.

The UN Member States were joined by UN General Assembly-approved multistakeholder participants from around the world, drawn from non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector, as ICT issues are not the sole domain of governments.

PNG is represented by a four-member delegation led by the Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Papua New Guinea to the United Nations in New York, Mr Fred Sarufa, who is Acting Head of Mission, accompanied by the PNG Permanent Mission staff.

The PNG Department of Information and Communications Technology as the lead ICT Agency for Digital Transformation was join by Mr. Oala Moi, Principal Legal Counsel of DICT, to provide technical expertise to the PNG delegation, in terms of PNG’s ICT policies and legal landscape.

PNG’s participation aligns with Strategic Priority Area 8 of the Marape-Rosso Government’s Medium Term Development Plan, emphasizing the importance of digital government and cybersecurity for national progress.

The proposed UN Cybercrime Convention, if adopted, will enhance international cooperation and provide technical assistance to developing countries like PNG, strengthening their capacity to combat cyber threats.

This convention offers an alternative to the Budapest Convention, currently the only existing international cybercrime agreement. PNG must carefully assess both options to determine the best fit for the country’s needs.

Ratifying the UN convention could necessitate revising PNG’s existing Cybercrime Code Act 2016, ensuring alignment with international standards.

Effective implementation will require collaboration between DICT, the National Information & Communications Technology Authority, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The concluding session aims to finalize the draft convention by February 9th, paving the way for its potential adoption by the UN General Assembly later this year.

PNG’s engagement in these negotiations demonstrates its commitment to addressing cybercrime challenges and contributing to a safer digital environment for all.

[Read media release:]

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