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Kiwi MPs put security on the table at London parliamentary conference

28 Mar 2017

Whangarei MP Dr Shane Reti and Taranaki MP Jonathan Young are two delegates representing New Zealand at the International Parliamentary Conference on National Security and Cybersecurity in London this week.

The conference, hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch, brings together 90 parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth.

Dr Reti will Chair a session on economic security and contribute to discussion on the balancing act between privacy and protection, peacekeeping and international intervention, defence expenditure and counter-terrorism.

Meanwhile, Young will meet with the chief executive of the 'Big Innovation Centre', attend sessions on artificial intelligence and meet with representatives from the Creative Industries Federation.

A key outcome of the Conference will also include the launch of an ‘Electronic Handbook for Parliamentarians on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime’.

The handbook is the result of regional workshop across Asia Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. It will present case studies and expert advice.

“Cyber security is also a critical issue in the digital age we live in. In the cyber world, there are no boundaries and so every country has economic risk to consider. In my capacity as Parliamentary Private Secretary for Economic Development, I want to be aware of the risks cyber-crime is to our economy," Young says.

Rt Hon David Carter, Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament, says that in light of last week’s terrorist attacks in London, security could not be more important.

“Last week’s appalling events served as a stark reminder of the evolving security threats the world now faces. Although centred in London, terrorism’s reach is global and so must our approach be. Therefore, this important Conference is a timely opportunity for parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth to come together and respond to the cowardly attack in a considered, positive fashion,” he says.

Going on to talk more about cybersecurity, Carter says MPs must also use their positions to influence security and cybersecurity strategies.

“It is the duty of Members of Parliament to take a proactive role in strengthening national security processes. At the core of an MP’s role is the responsibility to legislate, ensure policy oversight, budget approval, and community engagement,” he explains.

“MPs must use their privileged positions to positively influence national security and cybersecurity strategies to ensure they are fit for purpose. New Zealand will benefit from collaborating with leading global security experts and sharing best-practice on the implementation and oversight of security laws with our Commonwealth friends,” Carter concludes.

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