6th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity

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The Hon Andrew Hastie MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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Ella Kenny 0437 702 111

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7 October 2021

THE HON ANDREW HASTIE MP, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR DEFENCE: Thank you Madame Chair, Excellencies, good afternoon, my name is Andrew Hastie, I am the Assistant Minister for Defence in the Australian Government and I’m joining you from Perth Western Australia.

I would like to thank Singapore for hosting this important event and I appreciate the opportunity to address the Ministers present today, thank you all for your time.

We cannot underestimate the importance of meetings like this one – all of us coming together to discuss the issues facing our region and I would like to thank Ministers and officials for your engagement and your interest in driving forward this important agenda.

ASEAN continues to be a key partner with Australia in working to uphold an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful cyberspace; to drive economic growth and reduce risks to international peace and stability; and to provide a foundation of trust and confidence for government, business, academia, and civil society to share ideas, collaborate and innovate.

Australia looks to ASEAN as a natural partner in these efforts and in ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in how cyberspace is governed – in the spirit of inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and consensus.

As we have experienced during the pandemic, many parts of our lives – be it our economies, or our education systems, our workplaces - have migrated online

It is vital that all nations work together to make cyberspace a safe and peaceful place for our citizens, and that together we uphold the principal of responsible action in cyberspace.

In 2021 my colleague - the Minister for Foreign Affairs - launched Australia’s International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy setting out our goal for a safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific and world, enabled by cyberspace and critical technology.

Our strategy is based on three key pillars of values, security, and prosperity, this framework guides Australia's practical international engagement across cyber and critical technology issues.

Australia welcomes the universal affirmation of the framework of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

The 2021 Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the inaugural Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on cyber, both reaffirmed existing international law and agreed norms apply to state behaviour in cyberspace and we welcome Ambassador Gafoor’s vision for the next iteration of these discussions.

Australia commends ASEAN on their continued global leadership as the first regional body to endorse the 11 norms  of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

Australia is grateful for the opportunity to work with ASEAN and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on furthering implementation of these UN norms in our region, and we look forward to working together with ASEAN member states to further promote these issues in UN discussions and other multilateral fora.

I also welcome the strong progress made by ASEAN’s Member states to build confidence and reduce the risk of conflict in cyberspace, especially through regional forums like the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Australia is eager to take forward – with co-chairs from Indonesia, Russia and the Republic of Korea-  the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Intersessional Meeting (ISM) on Information Communication Technologies Security on cyber security confidence building measures.

This is a vital forum to build confidence and trust across our region and between our countries.

We especially thank ASEAN for its support for Australia’s co-chair role, and on Indonesia and Australia’s proposal to hold an ARF workshop on implementing the 11 norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

We support the ASEAN 2025 Vision, which commits to realising a rules-based community and principles of international law governing the peaceful conduct of relations between states.

Since 2017 Australia has increased our funding for cyber related capacity building and cooperation programs from $4m to just under $100m reflecting the growing importance of action this area.

We welcome future opportunities to deliver regional cyber capacity building, and confidence building measures to support the ASEAN 2025 Vision.

Thank you again to our host today, Singapore for holding this event, and thank you to all of the Ministers and officials present for your attention today.


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