Pacific Cyber Dialogue

Virtual Summit and Workshop

November 17-20, 2020

About the conference

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia (DFAT), The New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), The Asia Foundation, and the APNIC Foundation will convene a 3.5-day virtual dialogue on Pacific regional cybersecurity governance on November 17-20, 2020.

In the past five years, new undersea cable projects and other internet infrastructure improvements have begun connecting Pacific internet users to faster and more accessible digital resources. At the same time, greater connectivity has also brought new cybersecurity challenges for civil society, the private sector, and government. With small populations and limited resources, Pacific Island countries and territories rely on cooperation with regional and international stakeholders to understand and respond to these threats.

Participants in the conference will share current activities and issues in their home economies, identify capacity-building needs, learn from peers and experts from within and outside of the region, and identify ways of bridging gaps between technical and policy communities on cybersecurity topics. The objective of the conference is to build a stronger and more sustainable basis for collaboration on cybersecurity implementation, policymaking, education, and governance within the Pacific.

Over the course of the conference, participants will:

  • Identify areas of shared interest and responsibility between technical and policy communities on cybersecurity topics;
  • Strengthen their own understanding of cybersecurity governance and the roles that multi-stakeholder institutions and fora can play in enabling cyber threat resilience;
  • Participate in a tabletop exercise designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Pacific’s cyber capacity;
  • Identify concrete next steps that will support sustainable, cross-cutting collaboration and continued cyber-development within the region.


Purple sessions are closed activities managed by The Asia Foundation and Andrew Grotto.
Orange sessions are invite-only dialogues and panel discussions hosted by The Asia Foundation with PNG Department of ICT and NICTA.
Green sessions are open sessions hosted by The Asia Foundation and broadcast publicly online.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

9:00am - 11:00am PGT

Cyber Tabletop Exercise, part 1

Over the course of three days, representatives from Pacific Island countries and territories - including officials from government cyber policy and enforcement agencies, and technical experts from CERTS and other relevant network security experts - will participate alongside globally recognized cyber security advisors in a regionally focused cyber security wargame / tabletop exercise.

Facilitator: Contact Person Andrew Grotto

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Opportunities & Challenges of Digitalization

9:00am - 11:00am PGT

Keynote: The Impact of Cybersecurity on the Pacific’s Future Prosperity

The quality of the Pacific region’s technology backbone is increasingly likely to influence its economic success. As cybersecurity is threatened, investor confidence and ease of doing business in the region could be diminished, and the ability of governments to deliver vital services to citizens could be disrupted.

Hon. Timothy Masiu

Minister for Information and
Communication Technology

Papua New Guinea

Dr. Tobias Feakin

Ambassador for Cyber Affairs
and Critical Technology


1:00pm - 2:30pm PGT

Addressing Asymmetries in Cyber Policy in the Region

Practitioners will discuss how to enhance cybersecurity strategy development in the region and how to enhance cooperation between Pacific states on cybersecurity. Asymmetries in cybersecurity strategies/policies across the Pacific region; current coordination challenges between Pacific Island states; external cooperation channels; opportunities for enhanced engagement through existing forums or possible new ones.

Contact Person Dalsie Baniala Contact Person Elvin Prasad Contact Person Mika Kerttunen Contact Person Klée Aiken Contact Person Sarah Sloan
Moderator: Contact Person Ben Lokshin

2:30pm - 3:30pm PGT

Cyber Maturity in the Pacific

Governments, organizations, and society at large are subject to increasing threats from cyber criminals and hacktivists which are growing in scale and sophistication. Stakeholders ranging from government policy makers and practitioners, the banking sector, law enforcement, information technology officers and representatives from public-sector entities, critical-infrastructure owners, as well as international partners must work together to enhance and evolve their cyber security architecture in response to these increasing digital threats.

Contact Person James Boorman Contact Person Domingo Kabunare Contact Person Susanna Stowers
Moderator: Contact Person John Karr

3:45pm - 4:45pm PGT

Cyber Tabletop Exercise, part 2

Thursday, Nov. 19

Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis

9:00am - 10:45am PGT

The Challenge of Misinformation Online

Misinformation and disinformation online present numerous challenges for governments, the private sector, and individuals. What are the trends and how can the region address these issues more systematically?

Opening remarks: Contact Person Paul Wilson
Contact Person Jean-Jacques Sahel Contact Person Aaron Berman Contact Person Savenaca Siwatibau Contact Person Georgina Kiele Contact Person Harold Obed
Moderator: Contact Person Andrew Grotto

11:00am - 12:00pm PGT

Responding to the COVID-19 Infodemic

Watch on YouTube

Virtual discussion on the challenges faced by Pacific governments and institutions in sharing and verifying important COVID-19 related information online and combating pervasive misinformation. This public session will also serve as a launch event for a new report by The Asia Foundation on false and harmful information about COVID-19 in the region.

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, how can government information officers, police, health authorities, reporters, and platform companies work together to improve the quality of online information ecosystems during crises, reduce the spread of falsehoods, and increase public confidence/trust?

Contact Person Leanne Jorari Contact Person Romitesh Kant
Moderator: Contact Person Ben Lokshin

1:00pm - 2:00pm PGT

Cyber Safety and Vulnerable Groups

Watch on YouTube

Virtual panel discussion on threats to cyber safety for vulnerable groups in the Pacific, including gender-based violence, abuse of children and young people, and harassment.

Contact Person Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni Contact Person Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka Contact Person Rebecca Razavi
Moderator: Contact Person Anju Mangal

1:00pm - 2:30pm PGT

Cyber Tabletop Exercise, part 3

Friday, Nov. 20

Towards New Solutions

3:45pm - 4:45pm PGT

Government Organization for Managing Cyber Risk

The Boe Declaration, adopted by Pacific leaders in 2018, makes cybersecurity one of five strategic areas for the region’s governments. But as more government services and information are provided online, what do Pacific governments need to do better or differently to manage and deter cyber risks?

Contact Person Flierl Shongol Contact Person Andrew Grotto Contact Person Tim Wellsmore
Moderator: Contact Person Georgina Kiele

5:00pm - 6:00pm PGT

Group Discussion: Finding a Way Forward

The rollout of digital infrastructure has clear implications for modernizing the economies of Pacific Island nations. But as connectivity expands, cyber capacity needs to grow as well. During this closing discussion session, participants will reflect on some of the points raised by panelists and speakers throughout the conference and chart a path forward.

Facilitator: Contact Person Mika Kerttunen

Contact us

For more information, please contact The Asia Foundation team.