Science & Technology

Saudi Arabia Urges Global Cooperation to Counter Cybersecurity Threats

Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, stressed that the need for a safe and secure cyberspace that enables growth and prosperity has become more pressing than ever, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Cyber Threats

During a UN Security Council debate on countering the evolving cyberspace threats, Al-Wasil emphasized the importance of prioritizing efforts to enhance cybersecurity, in order to protect nations’ vital interests and national security.

He confirmed that Saudi Arabia believes that enhancing international cooperation in this field, and concerted international efforts to reduce cyber risks, is vital.

He added that it was time for the international community to adopt a serious and practical approach to unifying international efforts to counter cyber threats, through relevant UN committees and specialized bodies.

Saudi Model

The Saudi Permanent Representative at the UN highlighted the rapid and dynamic progress of the Saudi cybersecurity sector, which was established as part of Vision 2030.

Al-Wasil added that the Kingdom began its transformation journey by developing the “Saudi model” in cybersecurity, which is based on centralized governance and decentralized operability. It falls under the responsibility of national authorities.

The model is distinguished by its comprehensiveness in dealing with all aspects related to cybersecurity, whether legislative, security-focused, economic or developmental.

Saudi Achievements

According to Al-Wasil, Saudi Arabia’s efforts in cybersecurity have yielded global accomplishments. The Kingdom achieved the second place globally, and first in the Arab world, the Middle East and Asia, in the International Telecommunication Union’s 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index.

Moreover, the Kingdom secured the second place globally for two consecutive years (2022 and 2023) in the World Competitiveness Yearbook’s cybersecurity indicator, issued by the Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD). This year, Saudi Arabia has emphasized its global leadership in cybersecurity by topping the global cybersecurity rankings in IMD World Competitiveness Index.

Cybersecurity Initiatives

During his speech, Al-Wasil noted the launch of the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF). It is a global platform that brings together decision-makers from across the world to discuss strategic issues related to cybersecurity.

In the Forum’s edition last year, more than 120 countries participated and witnessed the establishment of the Riyadh-based International Cybersecurity Forum Foundation, with the aim of bolstering cybersecurity worldwide.

In this light, Al-Wasil said: “The Kingdom is keen to unify regional efforts to enhance regional cybersecurity, which resulted in the establishment of a specialized ministerial committee for cybersecurity under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), based on a proposal from the Kingdom.”

He also pointed to the establishment of the League of Arab States (LAS) Arab Cybersecurity Ministerial Council, as per the Kingdom’s proposal, with its general secretariat and executive offices in Riyadh.

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