On the 103rd anniversary of Armistice Day, the European Union and the United States endorsed the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. The official announcements were made at the 2021 Paris Peace Forum, an annual conference that brings together heads of state, business, and civil society organizations to address global governance issues. The landmark endorsements from the democratic powerhouses are crucial steps towards establishing digital peace, as it signals that addressing cyber threats is a global priority that requires meaningful multistakeholder engagement.
Spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron at the 2018 Paris Peace Forum, the Paris Call is an international agreement that brings together nation-states, local governments, private companies, and civil society organizations to adopt responsible behavior online. It outlines nine cybersecurity principles designed to ensure peace and stability in our shared digital space, such as ending state-sponsored cyberattacks, strengthening cyber hygiene efforts, and promoting the rules of the road for cyberspace. With over 1,200 signatories, the Paris Call is the largest multi-stakeholder cybersecurity agreement in the world.
“It is up to us–all of us–to realize the opportunities of technology and minimize the threats. In a world that is more interconnected and interdependent, let us go forward together,” U.S Vice President Kamala Harris said during a digital and technology-based panel discussion at the Forum.
Referring to the Paris Call, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated, “It is a commitment to working with all of you to reclaim the internet as a force for good. It is a commitment to making the values we cherish offline also respected online.”
Digital Peace Now is beyond thrilled to see the European Union and the United States join this important global effort to stop the weaponization of the Internet. We hope their participation will inspire other governments, private companies, and civil society organizations to take meaningful action to keep our Internet a safe place for connection, opportunity, and inspiration.
We believe the Paris Call is crucial for providing necessary guidance to eliminating cyber threats and aggressive actions online, which is why we launched #PickUpTheParisCall. Kicking off on the International Day of Peace (September 21, 2021), we collaborated with digital rights advocates, cyber experts, and peacebuilding organizations to raise awareness about this multistakeholder agreement and call on global democracies to #PickUpTheParisCall. Over the course of eight weeks, we participated in virtual events, hosted engaging panel discussions, and developed educational content to create a groundswell of support for the Paris Call.
There is much work ahead. Many states have yet to endorse the Paris Call, and our governments continue to launch cyberattacks in an increasingly digital-dependent world. Until we achieve digital peace, we need your help to keep pressure on our world leaders to stop cyberwarfare.
For now, savor the moment—your support made a real difference in our online and offline world.