Over 100 participants from Allied and partner countries, including partners from across the globe, gathered in the capital Tbilisi for the event, which was organized by NATO in cooperation with the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the support of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme.
Distinguished experts from academia, state institutions and the private sector discussed the cross-cutting nature of emerging security challenges (cyber defence, energy security and terrorism), identified preventive approaches as well as measures to enhance the resilience of cyber and energy infrastructure against emerging security risks, and proposed several research projects as part of the Science for Peace and Security Programme.
The conference was opened by Ambassador Gábor Iklódy, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Nikoloz Vashakidze, and Georgian Deputy National Security Advisor Batu Kutelia. Prof. Paata Kervalishvili of the Georgian Technical University presented an overview of NATO-Georgia cooperation under the Science for Peace and Security Programme.
Ambassador Iklódy highlighted the importance of the fact that the first conference in this format took place in Georgia, stating that “it testifies to the close relationship that has been evolving between Georgia and NATO”.
Prevention and Resilience
During the conference discussions revolved around the new NATO Policy on Cyber Defence; emerging cyber threats and the challenge of attribution; cyber and terrorist risks to critical energy infrastructure; energy infrastructure and IT vulnerabilities; and the significance of scientific research and support.
Experts concluded that in response to emerging security risks and vulnerabilities, NATO and its partners should put greater emphasis on prevention and resilience measures, including raising security awareness in private energy, IT companies and government bodies, stronger public-private partnerships, regular information exchanges, and specialised training.
NATO’s new Strategic Concept, adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit devotes considerable attention to emerging security challenges, such as cyber threats, terrorism and energy vulnerabilities. It also puts a strong emphasis on partnerships and cooperative security. Against this background, NATO defence ministers endorsed a revised, in-depth Policy on Cyber Defence along with an Action Plan in June 2011.