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GFCE Europe Regional Meeting 2024

The field of cyber capacity building is rapidly maturing. The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), as the multi-stakeholder platform for cyber capacity building, supports and addresses the needs of the community while reducing fragmentation of efforts.

As part of the GFCE’s efforts to meet the needs of different regional stakeholders, the GFCE Regional Meeting for Europe 2024 is being held back-to-back with the European Cyber Agora. GFCE Europe Regional meeting participants are invited to join both events; however, please note there is a separate registration for European Cyber Agora – you can check their program and register here.

The GFCE Europe Regional Meeting provides stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss priorities for cyber capacity building in Europe and to share insights on developing best practices and innovative approaches that may help inform cyber capacity building in other regions. The meeting will also be an opportunity to update the community on the ongoing process around the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B), which held its inaugural event in Accra, Ghana, in November 2023. Preparations are underway for the upcoming May 2025 GC3B to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Program elements & Networking opportunities

In line with previous GFCE Annual and Regional Meetings, an open, informal, and interactive setting will be established throughout the day.

There will be several networking opportunities during the GFCE Regional Meeting.

GFCE Europe Regional Meeting 2024 – program:

Language and meeting format

The meeting will be conducted in English. Hybrid meeting arrangements will be provided.

GFCE Europe Regional Meeting 2023

The GFCE Europe Regional Meeting took place back-to-back with the European Cyber Agora conference 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.  

Ms Tereza Horejsova, GFCE Outreach Manager, opened the regional meeting by sharing the context of regional efforts of the GFCE, which serve to better understand regional perspectives and capacity needs and translate them into specific activities to support capacity building. The aims of the meeting thus included: to encourage and support European regional coordination and cooperation through mechanisms and tools, such as the Cybil Portal; to share knowledge; to offer support for individual needs of countries and the global Cyber Capacity Building research agenda by filling in knowledge gaps; and to support sustainable growth of GFCE structures such as the GFCE Foundation, Advisory Board, and various other Committees and Groups that ensure inclusivity and diversity of perspectives within the GFCE. She stressed similar format meetings are organized for other regions in which the GFCE is active, including Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and South-East Asia. Special focus, within Europe, is given to the region of Western Balkans. 

The director of the GFCE, Mr David Van Duren, followed by explaining the GFCE structure, highlighting the evolution of the Forum over the years. He stressed that the GFCE main focus has shifted from awareness to implementation. In addition, he highlighted that strengthening international cooperation and cyber capacity building is and should always be the main mission of the GFCE.  

The highlight of his presentation was an announcement of the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B), which will take place in Accra, Ghana, on 29-30 November 2023. The conference will conclude months of efforts in building a program that reflects the shaping of global agenda on cyber capacity building and will be important for further connecting development and cyber discussions.  

The event recording is available at: GFCE Europe Regional Meeting 2023 – Meeting Recording.

Southeast Asia regional meeting 2022

The meeting was held in partnership with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore during Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW). 

The focus was on the UN development agenda and the role of the region in it, as well as the Southeast Asia cyber capacity building landscape more generally. 

It was great to see that members of the GFCE Community in attendance at the SICW participated in the Southeast Asia regional meeting. 

During SICW, Singapore’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr. Teo Chee Hean, announced the creation of a GFCE Southeast Asia liaison who will connect the region and ASCCE’s existing efforts more closely with other GFCE members and partners including GFCE Liaisons and Hubs from other regions. 

Southeast Asia regional meeting 2021

The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), in collaboration with Cyber Security Agency (CSA) Singapore, held the inaugural GFCE Southeast Asia Regional Meeting in October 2021 in the margins of Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) 2021. This regional meeting brought together over 90 stakeholders from the GFCE community and ASEAN to identify opportunities and challenges for cyber capacity-building in the region and share good practices and knowledge.

Pacific regional meeting 2020

The GFCE Pacific Regional Meeting provided an opportunity for donors, project implementers and Pacific Island nations to discuss common goals, identify opportunities and challenges for cyber capacity building in the region. The meeting further provided an opportunity for the GFCE to listen and discuss ideas on how the GFCE could support future cyber capacity building initiatives in the region.

From the GFCE’s perspective the meeting identified two types of ‘gaps’ in the Pacific: gaps in specific areas of capacity building and opportunities to improve coordination and information sharing between Pacific Island countries, regional and international donors and implementers.

Europe regional meeting 2022

The GFCE Europe Regional Meeting took place back-to-back with the European Cyber Agora conference 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.  

Ms Tereza Horejsova, GFCE Outreach Manager, opened the regional meeting by sharing the context of regional efforts of the GFCE, which serve to better understand regional perspectives and capacity needs and translate them into specific activities to support capacity building. The aims of the meeting thus included: to encourage and support European regional coordination and cooperation through mechanisms and tools, such as the Cybil Portal; to share knowledge; to offer support for individual needs of countries and the global Cyber Capacity Building research agenda by filling in knowledge gaps; and to support sustainable growth of GFCE structures such as the GFCE Foundation, Advisory Board, and various other Committees and Groups that ensure inclusivity and diversity of perspectives within the GFCE. She stressed similar format meetings are organized for other regions in which the GFCE is active, including Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and South-East Asia. Special focus, within Europe, is given to the region of Western Balkans.

The director of the GFCE, Mr David Van Duren, followed by explaining the GFCE structure, highlighting the evolution of the Forum over the years. He stressed that the GFCE main focus has shifted from awareness to implementation. In addition, he highlighted that strengthening international cooperation and cyber capacity building is and should always be the main mission of the GFCE.  

The highlight of his presentation was an announcement of the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B), which will take place in Accra, Ghana, on 29-30 November 2023. The conference will conclude months of efforts in building a program that reflects the shaping of global agenda on cyber capacity building and will be important for further connecting development and cyber discussions.  

Representatives of the GFCE Africa Team and AUDA-NEPAD consequently presented an overview of the importance and achievements of the flagship AU-GFCE Collaboration project, a 2-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The keynote speaker, Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere, Head of Economic Integration at AUDA-NEPAD provided an overview of the African cybersecurity ecosystem by reminding participants that 14 countries have ratified Malabo Convention, meaning that it is one country shy of coming into effect. This in itself is good news for the continent, as the convention already lays out the provisions that countries will have to adhere to, as well as the requisite capacities that AU Member states will need to have to implement said convention. In considering implementing CCB programs and initiatives in Africa, she reminded, Partners and implementors are encouraged to take into account the various studies conducted by AUDA-NEPAD and the GFCE, institutions used an inclusive approach for gathering inputs and priorities for AU-Member countries. The inputs gathered have been translated into an Africa Agenda on CCB—a blueprint that will prove useful for all CCB actors on the continent. 

The GFCE’s Clearing House Coordinator, Ms. Jaqueline Pateguana, presented the proposed Africa Agenda on CCB, a document which is in development phase by the Africa CCB Coordination Committee. The AA-CCB proposes strategic goals and priorities for CCB programming in Africa, and it aims to ensure coordinated CCB programming in Africa. As it stands, the document has 5 strategic goals (strengthening of regional and national cyber posture, developing an interconnected cyber ecosystem, to name a couple) which can be accomplished through the execution of priority actions that are also listed. While the document is still in the development phase, it will be submitted for AU endorsement and later shared with the global CCB community once approved. Meeting participants were encouraged to stay tuned to the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B), as the global CCB agenda as well as Africa Agenda on CCB will be discussed during the event. 

Lastly, Dr. Martin Koyabe, the Senior Manager for the AU-GFCE Project spoke to participants about how the GFCE Africa Regional Hub will support the coordination of CCB activities in Africa. The Hub, which is currently operating virtually with a staff of 4 people, will serve as a one-stop CCB resource center for GFCE Members and Partners wishing to execute CCB activities on the continent. 

Europe regional meeting 2021

In September 2021, the GFCE hosted a European Regional Meeting to discuss how to improve CCB coordination within Europe, especially in the region of Western Balkans, and how the GFCE can play a role and Partner with other important European actors. As highlighted in the meeting, there is a high need for better information sharing across stakeholders on the different cybersecurity projects to avoid the duplication of efforts. 

Americas and Caribbean regional meeting 2021

In 2021, the Organization of American States (OAS) became the first GFCE Regional Hub in the area, to better connect and enhance collaboration between regional stakeholders and the GFCE Community. The first GFCE-OAS LAC Cyber Capacity Building was held in March 2021 with an aim to introduce the LAC community stakeholders to the GFCE. Following that successful event, the GFCE-OAS Hub hosted a second regional event, the “Implementers and Donors Forum” with the purpose of bringing together donors and implementers involved in CCB in the LAC region to discuss coordination and find areas for collaboration and cooperation among regional actors.

Americas and Caribbean regional meeting 2022

It is in the context of regional cooperation, that the Secretariat of the GFCE, the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) which is the GFCE Regional Americas Hub and the Latin American and Caribbean Cyber Competence Center (LAC4EU), EU CyberNet Project organized the GFCE 2nd Regional Meeting in the Americas.

For this second regional meeting, the GFCE  hub for the Americas and the Caribbean region had the opportunity to gather 32 participants from 15 Member states. This meeting was held with the intention of discussing the role of the GFCE in Latin America and the Caribbean and how best to coordinate capacity-building efforts in the region and coordinate regional efforts more effectively. Additionally, the meeting served as an opportunity to introduce the progress of the GFCE LAC Hub, to discuss with participants the priorities for the future, and to introduce the GFCE and possibilities for involvement to key regional actors.

Additionally, the meeting set a starting point to continue the discussion around the different inputs on what could be the main angle of this region’s agenda for cyber capacity building. The region’s needs, workforce development and gender were among the issues standing out in the open discussion.

An additional outcome of the meeting was the opportunity to connect various dots in existing gaps in CCB, providing updates on various projects and providing a platform for exchange not only among the countries but also among stakeholders as the meeting had a good mix of government representatives as well as the tech community in particular. As an example, some projects presented were the CSIRT best practices project by the OAS.

Some of the main results included the opportunity to present the various CCB projects and implementers in the region and also to share global good practices that exist and that are being implemented in the region. This activity facilitated information sharing and provided an environment to promote greater coordination, collaboration, and networking opportunities among all cybersecurity stakeholders that were present during the event. Specifically, as it relates to the Caribbean region, we were able to open the dialogue on their various challenges and needs related to their cybersecurity issues.

The next step will be to draft the regional agenda and start a process around approving that, ideally with a buy-in from stakeholders across the region. This should feed into the global agenda on capacity building.