In August, the GFCE Pacific Hub team made a courtesy call to the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Hu’akavameiliku as the Minister responsible for Digital Transformation and a champion of many cyber initiatives in the wider Pacific region. The GFCE Pacific Hub was represented by the Director, Mr. Siosaia Vaipuna who will be based In Tonga and the Senior Advisor Pacific Cyber Policy and Communications, Cherie Lagakali from Fiji.
The GFCE is a multi-stakeholder community with over 170 members and partners globally comprising of governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society, private sector and academia. The GFCE aims to strengthen cyber capacity building (CCB) and expertise globally through cooperation and coordination through, inter alia, the GFCE Working Groups, Clearing House function, Global CCB Research Agenda, Cybil Knowledge Portal, and practical GFCE initiatives.
The GFCE endeavours to be a pragmatic, action-orientated and flexible platform for international collaboration, reducing overlap and duplication of efforts in the cyber capacity building to ensure an open, free, peaceful and secure digital world.
At the GFCE’s first regional meeting held in Melbourne in February 2020, the Pacific community voiced the need for a GFCE presence in the Pacific to achieve the aforementioned goals and to recognise that the Pacific has a unique culture and its challenges should be taken into consideration when designing and implementing CCB initiatives which led to the establishment of the GFCE Pacific Hub.
One of the first tasks of the Hub is to establish and maintain close relationships with stakeholders of cyber capacity building in the region while raising awareness among Pacific Island countries of the Hub’s existence and objectives as well as taking stock of past and present CCB initiatives in the Pacific.
While in Tonga this week, the Pacific Hub team also met with high level officials and operational staff from government entities, NGOs and the private sector. In welcoming the Pacific Hub team, the Prime Minister Hon. Hu’akavameiliku invited them to set up office in Tonga as several other international organisations had done recently. The representatives of the GFCE Pacific Hub appreciate the opportunity afforded by Hon. Hu’akavameiliku.