This year, the6th South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) on 21-25 September 2020 – the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) regional initiative for South Eastern Europe and the neighbouring area – was supposed to hold its sixth annual meeting in Moldova, and the community was looking forward to visiting the famous Moldovan wineries after day-long debates on the region’s digital policy realities and challenges.
While the sudden global shift to an online life has brought unprecedented changes to our social and work habits, it has also faced us with certain cybersecurity risks. Could the COVID-19 crisis lead to an increasingly insecure cyberworld?
COVID-19 has stirred global diplomacy in a new direction. The European Council was the first major organisation to hold a video conferencing summit, in which they discussed how to co-ordinate the European response to the current crisis. The EU has also moved to e-mail voting, and, for the first time ever, the 15 member states of the UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions via email.
Violations of human rights in the context of the response to COVID-19 are increasingly making the headlines. The right to access information, right to privacy, freedom of movement and assembly, and freedom of expression are some of the basic rights that are being affected by nationwide lockdowns and emergency measures.
The spread of the new coronavirus is testing our globalised world. Countries are looking at one another with suspicion, once bustling public spaces seem emptier, and many people and organisations are avoiding travel. The world of diplomacy is particularly affected by these developments, as meetings, conferences, and other major events are cancelled.
Millions of online meetings happen every day in teleconferencing rooms, webinars, Skype, and other online facilities. The nature and dynamics of meetings have been changing. An important impact of online participation can be a reduction in our carbon footprint. This issue is becoming prominent on many national agendas. Only this month, the Swiss federal government has pledged to cut CO2 emissions up to 30% in the next decade.