Some key stakeholders include the Office of the Government Chief information Officer (OGCIO), the Ministry of Justice and Community Services, the office of the Public Prosecution, the State Law Office (SLO), the Office of the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR), CERT Vanuatu, Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) and the Council of Europe (CoE) particularly the Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) project team.
The Cybercrime Act No.22 of 2021 aligns to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. Hence, as a nation combating cybercrime, Vanuatu through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the step to pursue accession to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and ratification.
With the invitation to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, including the progress on developing Vanuatu’s Data Protection and Privacy legal frameworks, Vanuatu was invited to attend and participate in the T-CY 26 Plenary meeting from 10 to 11 May 2022, in Strasbourg, France, as an Observer.
Mr. John Jack, Deputy Chief Information Officer, from the OGCIO and Dr. Jeffery Garae, Cybersecurity Consultant to the OGCIO and Vanuatu’s national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTVU) represented Vanuatu in the T-CY meeting.
On the 10th of May 2022, Vanuatu was invited to intervene and deliver an update on its current Cyber Security and Cybercrime Landscape and efforts during the T-CY 26: 26th Plenary Meeting of the Cybercrime Convention Committee in Strasbourg France. This invitation was a response to the explicit manifestation as an expression of interest by Vanuatu in September 2021 to the Council of Europe to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
Vanuatu took the floor and made intervention by way of by expressing its gratitude and acknowledgement to the Council of Europe through the Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) project for the invitation to attend the T-CY for the first time and sincerely appreciates and acknowledges the invitation to accede to the Convention, in accordance with its article 137, paragraph 1 as per the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at the 1420th meeting of the Minister’s Deputies on 8 December 2021.
The T-CY Plenary was updated with Vanuatu’s progress on the processes currently being undertaken domestically for the acceding to the convention. The respected authorities in Vanuatu through the Treaty Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs under Ministry of Foreign Affairs will liaise closely with the Cybercrime division of the Council of Europe to ensure a smooth process is followed through for the accession.
On the same note, Vanuatu is thankful to the Council of Europe’s Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) project who has provided a vital role in supporting Vanuatu’s efforts to ensure that the Cybercrime Act conforms to Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
- It is important that Vanuatu must accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and ratify through Parliament;
- Vanuatu proceeds to apply for an ‘Observer Status’ to the Convention 108 and Convention 108+; and
- To further strengthen Vanuatu’s National Security and the Protection of Critical Infrastructures, Citizens and businesses, Vanuatu must continue pursue its efforts on initiatives such as: the development and enforcement of National Data Protection and Privacy legal framework; the National Harmful Digital Communications legal framework; provide capacity building programs; and Promote awareness.
Finally, the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu is looking forward to more capacity building support and any other support from the GLACY+ in order to strengthen its capacity in terms of cybersecurity and cybercrime.