Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum with the primary goal ‘to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.’ (( See APEC’s Mission Statement at http://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/Mission-Statement.aspx )) The forum was established in 1989 and currently has 21 members, all of which are countries with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Within APEC’s structure there are several steering committees and working groups operating in different fields. One of the areas is information and communications technology (ICT), which is recognised as being very important for business, trade and ultimately economic growth. ICT is within the mandate of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL).
In 2002 TEL issued the APEC Cyber Security Strategy, comprising recommendations in the area of cybercrime legislation, security and technical guidelines, public awareness, and training and education. At the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting in 2005, the Lima Declaration was issued, aiming at improving information infrastructures to advance information society. The Declaration also addresses network security and the importance of the establishment of computer emergency response teams (CERTs). Later in 2005 the APEC Economic Leaders adopted the APEC Strategy to Ensure a Trusted, Secure and Sustainable Online Environment. This Strategy expands APEC’s work on promoting information and network security, harmonising frameworks for securing transactions and communications, and combating cybercrime. Increasingly, this includes close collaboration with the private sector and with other international organisations.
APEC’s goals and activities in the field of cyber security are enshrined in the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group (APEC TEL WG) 2016-2020, adopted on the basis of the previous APEC TEL Strategic Action Plan 2010-2015. One of the actions is to ‘Promote a Secure, Resilient and Trusted ICT Environment’, including the following key areas: enhancement of the resilience of critical domestic infrastructures, security and risk management, cyber security capacity building, raising cyber security awareness, cyber security initiatives with industry, activities to promote safe and secure online environments for vulnerable groups, and the internet economy (see INCYDER news item).