Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations was founded in 1926 and currently has 53 Member States. Even though the head of the Commonwealth is HM Queen Elizabeth II and the organisation has its roots in the British Empire, the newest Member States of the organisation have no historic ties with the former system.

Commonwealth organisations are involved in diverse activities linked to areas such as democracy, economic development, governance, small states, social development and youth. In the domain of cyber security, the organisation focuses on capacity-building, information-sharing and on providing assistance to Commonwealth Member States in implementing a comprehensive legal framework for responding to cybercrime and acquiring cyber evidence.1 The two principal platforms for these activities are the Cyber Security Forum and the Cyber Security Initiative, which operate under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO).2

CTO is an international organisation whose mission is to ‘promote, facilitate and guide members in using ICT to deliver effective development interventions.’3 CTO has been involved in issues related to cyber security since 2007 and since 2010 has organised the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum, which focuses on building capacity and facilitating partnerships.4 Cyber security and cybercrime5 have been identified as one of CTO’s six focus areas in their Strategic Plan for 2012-2016.6 Most recently, the organisation has adopted the Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model, approved by the Abuja Declaration in October 20137 and launched during the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum in London in 2014,8 which includes a list of principles intended to guide Commonwealth Member States to plan and implement practical actions in policy development, regulation, cross-border collaboration, capacity-building, technical measures and other operational activities connected to cyberspace.

  1. Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum, “Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative. Proposal. Executive Summary”, 19.10.2011,… []
  2. See CTO’s website:… []
  3. See CTO’s website: []
  4. See CTO’s website: []
  5. E.g. Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum, “Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative. Proposal. Executive Summary”, 19.10.2011,… []
  6. See CTO’s Website, CTO Strategic Plan: []
  7. CTO, “Abuja Declaration on the proposed Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model”,… []
  8. See CTO’s website, Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum 2014, []