DFAT formally launch the Cyber ASEAN in Indonesia

(Jakarta, Indonesia, March 27, 2024). Pacific Forum in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has launched Cyber ASEAN: Advancing Cyber Resiliency and Capacity in Southeast Asia in Indonesia. The event launch marks the completion of the Cyber ASEAN Framework resulting from a series of multistakeholder consultations held in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam from 2022 to 2023.

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During his opening remarks, Pacific Forum’s Director of Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies Mark Manantan emphasized the importance of returning to Southeast Asia to share the project’s key outcomes and findings, especially among the intended users of the Cyber ASEAN Framework. Mr. Manantan has expressed gratitude to the local and regional stakeholders from government, industry, private sector, and civil society who have supported the project since its inception.

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Australia’s Ambassador to ASEAN Tiffanny McDonald gave the keynote address, noting that the release of the Cyber ASEAN Framework is a testament to the Australian government’s commitment to enhancing cybersecurity and resiliency in Southeast Asia. Ambassador McDonald underscored the growing need for international collaboration to combat the borderless nature of cybersecurity threats and risks as the region undergoes rapid digital transformation. 

Group discussion

After the welcome remarks, a panel session on the Cyber ASEAN report’s main findings followed. The panel discussion featured the report’s authors and contributors, Fitri Bintang Timur from CSIS Indonesia and Mabda Haerunnisa Sidiq from Habibie Center. Speakers pointed out the practical relevance of the Cyber ASEAN framework, particularly its bottom-up approach in complementing the top-down nature of ASEAN-led cybersecurity initiatives. Additionally, experts also highlighted the role of trust-building across a variety of stakeholders through regular interactions and exchanges in formal and informal settings. Marwah Zanira Aryantha from the ASEAN Foundation recognized the Cyber ASEAN Framework’s contribution towards more context-specific approaches to cyber capacity-building and how inclusive approaches can help bridge the prevailing digital inequities in Indonesia and across the region. 

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