Editorial Advisory Panel Member Lina Kolesnikova took part in the 20th Homeland and Global Security Forum (Crans Montana Forum), chairing the session on Cybersecurity and the Governance of Information in Geneva, Switzerland.
She was invited on behalf of the Institute of Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM), which has a long-term relation with this security forum: international representative from the ICPEM have already presented several times on various issues of security, crisis and emergency response and chaired a session at the Summit on Eastern Europe in 2016.
The Crans Montana Forum is a Non-Governmental International Organisation established in 1986. It works closely with all major governments, international bodies, international organisations such as UN, UNESCO, UNIDO, FAO, EU, NATO, the Council of Europe, OFID and numerous NGOs. The Forum organises three to four events per year, gathering key decision-makers from more than 100 countries to address major social, economic and security issues in a private and informal atmosphere.
The Forums are organised worldwide: Brussels; Geneva; Rabat; Dakhla; Vienna; Barcelona; Crans-Montana; Bucharest; Baku, Zagreb; Rome; Sarajevo; Tirana; Athens; Malta; and Bahrain.
The theme of this annual forum was Today’s Global Security in a World of Rejections and Hardenings. At the opening session, among other speakers, the Presidents of Armenia and Bangladesh presented their views on today’s crises in economies, politics and international relations.
Carles Puigdemont, ex-president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, was a special guest and explained his position on the security impact of the situation in Catalonia on the European Union.
As a Fellow of the ICPEM and its International Representative, Kolesnikova chaired the session on cyber threats and facilitated the ensuing discussions. The session addressed several topics among which were fake news, cybercrimes, decryption and regulations of crypto-currencies and development of crypto due diligence. The Forum’s format allows all participants to take part in the discussions – each speaker presents his or her point of view in five to seven minutes and then audience engages with questions, opinions and reflections.
Speakers presented different areas of expertise; John Mourmouras (Deputy Governor of Bank of Greece) and Michel Maquil (Former CEO of Luxembourg Stock Exchange) presented the financial industry’s perspective on cryptocurrencies and other new technologies. They explained that a level playing field is vital, in which every established financial institution or newcomer ultimately have to comply with the same regulations.
Three representatives from Fintech and the investment community –Monty Metzger (CEO of Liechtenstein Cryptoassests Exchange), Johann Gevers (Founder of Crypto Valley Ecosystem) and Early Boykins III (Director of US Andra Capital) were enthusiastic about new technologies and insisted that these bring better transparency to the financial sector. They think that the growth of new financial services, based on technological achievements, work towards financial inclusion.
Laurent Lamothe, former Prime Minister of Haiti, talked about the fake news era in politics.
Professor of cybersecurity at the Free University of Brussels, Charles Cuvelliez, along with Amanda O Mathe from Ndloukazi Media of South Africa also spoke about this subject, noting the role of social media and online platforms in speeding up the spread of such news. Cuvelliez informed the audience about an EU action plan and self-regulatory tools to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe.
It is interesting that the audience was more interested in the cryptocurrency and cybercrime problem than in fake news, the latter being a very hot topic in the media. There were many questions and interventions from the audience during the session and discussion was continued during the coffee-break in the lobby. Many participants expressed the view that the session was very interesting and successful.
Other sessions of Forum covered healthcare, food security, corruption, maritime security, Arctic security, illegal migration and security in Africa.
On Friday, October 26, the African Women’s Forum of Crans Montana was hosted by the United Nations at Palais des Nations. In the presence of Michael Moller, Director General of the United Nations, participants discussed food security and the fight against poverty, threats to sustainable agriculture in Africa, inclusive development of the African agriculture and other topics.