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UNIDIR and GFCE Joined Forces to Enhance Knowledge and Information on Cyber Capacity Building Globally

In a significant stride towards fostering collaboration in the realm of cyber capacity building, the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) has joined forces with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research’s (UNIDIR) Cyber Policy Portal (CPP) and its own Cybil Portal. This collaboration, announced in the margins of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) 6th substantive session on December 15, 2023, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, represents a pivotal moment in the field. It signifies a commitment to seamless data exchange and information sharing, ultimately contributing to a more robust global cyber capacity building landscape.

GFCE’s Cybil Portal is the largest global, open, and free knowledge repository for the international cyber capacity building (CCB) community, boasting nearly 900 projects and activities, over 400 tools and resources, actor information, and an events calendar. Complementing this, the UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal is a comprehensive resource offering a detailed overview of cyber policy landscapes across all 193 UN Member States and selected intergovernmental organisations. 

This collaborative initiative aims to bolster information sharing and transparency in the realm of cyber capacity building by harnessing the strengths of both portals. This synergy goes beyond a singular event, establishing a sustained channel for enhancing the knowledge base and initiating additional projects within the GFCE framework.

Through this initiative, nearly 900 cyber capacity building projects from the Cybil Portal will seamlessly integrate into UNIDIR’s CPP, enhancing its content with a wealth of diverse initiatives. This joint effort raises awareness of existing resources and broadens their reach to a broader audience. The expanded visibility achieved is vital for promoting transparency in cyber capacity-building endeavours. Beyond visibility and data integration, this collaboration fosters better resource optimisation, easing the work of practitioners in the field. By consolidating knowledge and projects from both portals, the cyber capacity building community can streamline efforts, prevent duplication, and advance more effective and targeted initiatives collectively.

In essence, this collaboration represents a sustained effort to generate more GFCE knowledge and build additional projects and expects to strengthen GFCE’s commitment to providing tools that enhance the global cyber capacity building landscape. As the two portals continue to exchange information seamlessly, the collective impact on the field is expected to be substantial, reinforcing the notion that collaboration is critical to advancing cyber capacity building on a global scale.

The Asia-Pacific Cybercrime (APC) Capacity-Building Hub

Written by
Wouter Veenstra, Head Global Outreach and Partnerships, GFCE Secretariat

The APC-HUB is a capacity building training institution that provides trainings on combating cybercrime to lawmakers, policymakers, judges, prosecutors, investigators, and all other multi-stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region. By means of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) dating back to 20 November 2019 in Strasbourg, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office of the Republic of Korea (KSPO), the World Bank and the GFCE joined forces to support the development of the APC-HUB. The goal of the APC-HUB is to build a strong network for international cooperation on combatting cybercrime.

The idea for creating this Hub goes back to 2015 when the World Bank was developing the Toolkit on Combatting Cybercrime: Tools and Capacity Building for Emerging Technologies while the Republic of Korea was interested to use the tool in their region. During this process, the GFCE was invited to join as a partner. After two challenging years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the inaugural event took place in the first week of November 2022.

The APC-HUB has five mission statements:

  1. Provide Training for countries in the Asia-Pacific Region
  2. Share ideas on how to combat cybercrime
  3. Reinforce the capacity of national research and development policy
  4. Build a strong network of international cooperation
  5. Become a focal point of cybersecurity in the Asia-Pacific region

1st APC-HUB Training Session in Korea in November 2022

For this first training week, three countries were invited, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Papua New Guinea. Their delegations ranged from Policymakers to Law enforcement officers and from Diplomats to Judiciaries. The agenda varied from national cyber policies to cybercrime legislation to Incident Response and international cooperation. At the end of the week, each delegation also showcased an action plan based on a scenario. Thanks to the outstanding organization by APC-HUB’s team lead by Director, Mr. DongKun Ahn, it proved to be a successful week which will serve as an example for training weeks to come.

What is the role of the GFCE in the APC-HUB?

The role of the GFCE Secretariat is to offer its global network, to identify and connect relevant stakeholders to the APC-HUB, to further develop regional cooperation and to provide strategic advice on the development of the APC-HUB. Also, the GFCE Working Group C on Cybercrime serves as platform to exchange knowledge and support the activities of the APC-HUB. Moving forward and with the establishment of the GFCE Regional Hubs, it is also foreseen that the GFCE regional liaisons will have an active role in these efforts. Mr Wouter Veenstra, Head of Global Outreach and Partnerships at the GFCE Secretariat, is appointed as the co-chair of the Consultation Group of the APC-HUB.

The GFCE looks forward to continue the close cooperation with KSPO and the World Bank in order to serve many more countries to come in the Asia-Pacific region on the important fight against cybercrime. To learn more about the APC-HUB, please visit the website at

GFCE Cybercrime Series

Lately, organizations and individuals around the globe are forced to devote more of their time and resources to combatting issues related to cybercrime. Cybercrime affects the security and rights of individuals, strengthens transnational criminal organizations, puts at risk the critical infrastructure on which societies depend and, ultimately, it undermines essential the values of security, trust and confidence.

Recent months have shown a trend of increasing complexity, sophistication and implications of cyberattacks. In response, major tech corporations have announced plans to tackle cybercrime issues occurring on and through their platforms. NGOs and civil society organizations have been raising the alarm on human rights abuses whilst meticulously documenting and raising awareness of the harms that result from malicious code. In parallel, criminal justice authorities have made successful advances in infiltrating and pursuing organized crime, often times in cooperation with institutional and private sector partners.

These developments paint an increasingly clear picture: our increased reliance on technology and the interdependencies created by digitalized societies present a unique set of challenges. Concerted action is required from all sides to counter and prevent threats and vulnerabilities if we are to continue to benefit from the economic and societal value brought about by ICTs in recent decades.

In recognition of the deteriorating status quo, the UN General Assembly established an open-ended ad hoc intergovernmental committee of experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering cybercrime. This process builds on the intergovernmental group of experts, convened to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime, as well as other efforts at establishing a guideline and framework for international cooperation against cybercrime, such as the Budapest Convention.

While renewed institutional dialogue is an important indicator of the need and galvanizing factor for widespread international agreement on what needs to be done, two pertinent issues remain: limited multistakeholder outreach and engagement in international processes, and a lack of consensus on how to coordinate the various dimensions of capacity building and related activities aimed at tackling cybercrime.

It is imperative that ongoing and future discussions continue to confirm that capacity building is a prerequisite to tackling cybercrime. Although capacity building receives widespread support, there is less understanding on the most effective approaches. This issue is made more pertinent by the increasing complexity and sophistication of cybercrime. Additionally, discussions need to occur between a multiplicity of stakeholders rather than in silos. Without a variety of perspectives on how cybercrime is impacting societies, understanding and raising awareness of the scale of the problems will remain elusive. In terms of solutions, in cyberspace, action from one stakeholder group frequently affects or requires input from another. It is thus imperative that we all work together on an equal footing.

As an international multistakeholder community, the GFCE is uniquely positioned to hold cross-cutting discussions with the view of reaching consensus and coordination of efforts. This is why the GFCE has initiated a Cybercrime Series, under its Working Group on Cybercrime.

Building on the richness of expertise and knowledge of GFCE Members and Partners, the GFCE Cybercrime Series aims to paint a picture of how cybercrime is evolving from various perspectives by exploring the main challenges it poses, as well as responses of policymakers and other stakeholders. Ultimately, the series aims to begin setting a capacity building agenda for tackling cybercrime. Beginning in September 2021, the first workshop in this series will look at the global context and cybercrime landscape. Expanding on the insights and discussions shared here, the Series will then move on to dive deeper into additional topics as identified and prioritized by the group.

If you would like to learn more about the Cybercrime Series or understand how you can become more involved in a specific session, please send us an email (