Coinciding with the third anniversary of the e-piracy crime that targeted the Qatar News Agency (QNA) on May 23, 2017, which was committed a few days before the imposition of the unjust and unlawful blockade against Qatar on June 5, 2017, Qatar stressed that cyber-attacks threaten international security, peace and stability.
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.
HE Sheikha Alya said that it is not an exaggeration to say that cyber-attacks can threaten peace, security and stability, especially if sensitive digital services are targeted. "In our region, we are currently witnessing a similar threatening situation that had evolved 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 some countries, and targeted QNA in 2017, through which fabricated statements were attributed to the leadership of 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 Qatar on June 5, 2017."
HE Sheikha Alya pointed out that the repercussions of the blockade continue to affect the security and stability of the region, undermine opportunities for cooperation and pose common challenges, and violate human rights and fundamental freedoms of thousands of people in 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 the importance of applying 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.
HE Sheikha Alya 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 Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani pointed out that 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 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. Last updated: May 23 2020 09:59 AM