The GFCE looks to the Pacific!

News Article | 27 October 2020

The GFCE has appointed Cherie Lagakali as the GFCE’s first Pacific Liaison. This role and appointment follows the GFCE’s first Pacific Regional Meeting, held in Melbourne in February 2020 and in the margins of the OCSC-GCSCC 2020 Global Cybersecurity Capacity Building Conference.

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.

Image 1: Participants at the first GFCE pacific regional Meeting

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.

An article on the GFCE Pacific Regional Meeting and the core themes that emerged can be found on pg. 42 of the 7th edition of the Global Cyber Expertise Magazine.

To address the two gaps identified, the GFCE has now launched a short scoping assessment for a future GFCE Pacific Hub, led by Cherie Lagakali as the new GFCE Pacific Liaison. The broad aims of a future Hub will be to:

  • facilitate national and regional cyber capacity building coordination and information sharing;
  • support national cyber capacity building efforts; and
  • enable refinement, prioritisation, and access of cyber capacity building needs

Importantly any GFCE Pacific Hub must look to fill a gap, rather than replicate or duplicate existing regional mechanisms and structures in the Pacific. A Hub will be responsible for supporting Pacific Island countries, as well as advising local regional/international donors on Pacific Island needs and coordinating with existing regional structures and mechanisms, rather than attempting to replicate them.

The success of any future Hub will be twofold – (i) ensuring a Hub is about the Pacific and works for Pacific Island countries and (ii) galvanises Implementers and Donors, in the Pacific region, to coordinate and share information on their local investment, skills and CCB (Cyber Capacity Building) programmes.

In taking up the role of GFCE Pacific Liaison, Cherie outlines that her role will be to:

“Work with the Pacific to develop a GFCE Hub that is designed by the Pacific and for the Pacific. A Hub that will assist in improving coordination, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and transparency among Pacific Island nations and between Pacific Island nations, regional donors, and implementers. The GFCE must avoid just being another additional actor in an already crowded field and will aim to design a Hub that efficiently and effectively meets the needs of the Pacific; providing tangible, meaningful, and operational cyber capacity building support for the region.”

Image 2: Cherie Lagakali, GFCE Pacific Liaison