New York / Information Office / May 23
The State of Qatar has stressed that cyber-attacks threaten security, peace and stability, coinciding with the third anniversary of the e-piracy crime that targeted the Qatar News Agency on May 23, 2017, which was committed a few days before the imposition of the unjust and unlawful blockade against the State of Qatar on June 5, 2017.
This came in a statement delivered by HE Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani in an Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council on "cyber stability, conflict prevention and capacity building", organized by Estonia, the current chair of the Council, in cooperation with Belgium, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Kenya.
Her Excellency said that it is not an exaggeration to say cyber-attacks may threaten peace, security and stability, especially when targeting sensitive digital services. "In our region, we are currently witnessing a similar threat that came in the wake of the cyber-attack, which targeted an important government institution in my country," referring to the electronic piracy crime, which was sponsored by countries, and targeted Qatar News Agency on May 23, 2017, through which fabricated statements were attributed to the leadership of the State of Qatar.
On the third anniversary of hacking the website of Qatar News Agency, HE Sheikha Alya said that "the seriousness of that cyber crime, which was sponsored by countries, is that it happened days before the unjust and unlawful blockade against the State of Qatar on June 5, 2017."
Her Excellency pointed out that the repercussions of the blockade continue to affect the security and stability of the region, undermine opportunities for cooperation and facing common challenges, and violate human rights and fundamental freedoms of thousands of people in the State of Qatar and others countries in the region.
She underlined the need to examine the implications of misusing cyberspace on stability and conflict prevention, calling for collective steps to asses existing and potential threats and address them; strengthen the regional and international security environment against technology misuse attempts; and continue to improve the states' responsible behavior in cyberspace in the context of international security.
HE Sheikha Alya was keen to stress attaching the appropriate importance to the application of international law to the states' use of information and communications technology. She also stressed the need to consider adopting a binding international instrument to maintain information security, as well as standards, rules and principles for responsible behavior in the use of information and communication technologies in order to reduce future risks to international peace, security and stability.
She added that there is a need to develop regional and national strategies that are compatible with the principles of international cooperation and include the protection of vital information and communication infrastructures, with a focus on the use of modern technologies for peaceful purposes.
Her Excellency went on saying that there is a need to develop regional and national strategies that match the principles of international cooperation and include the protection of vital information and communication infrastructures, with a focus on the use of modern technologies for peaceful purposes.
She also called for creating an open, safe and accessible technological environment for all; maintaining the free flow of information; and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In conclusion, HE Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani pointed out that the State of Qatar is taking a range of measures to harness the latest technologies at various levels to maintain information security, and following a comprehensive approach guided by relevant international initiatives. She reaffirmed the State of Qatar's keenness to cooperate at the international level and under the umbrella of the United Nations, to ensure that the vast cyberspace is harnessed for the benefit of humanity and not against it.