21st-century challenges need 21st-century solutions, especially when it comes to creating a safer and more secure online world. The global ICT environment is facing a dramatic increase in the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors and may harm international peace and security. It is clear that bringing greater security and stability to cyberspace will require new and different ideas compared to what has worked in other domains of conflict, and collaboration across disciplines.
This is why the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) partnered with the Cybersecurity Tech Accord to launch the Apps 4 Digital Peace Competition. This first-of-its-kind Competition aims to stimulate new thinking from innovative young minds across the world. The goal of the Competition is to develop original technology-based solutions, such as mobile applications, to both help limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict, and to increase the security and stability of our online environment.
The Competition is meant to complement the work of the United Nations in promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyber environment through:
- addressing existing and potential cyber threats,
- Ensuring respect for international law in cyberspace,
- Ensuring respect for human rights in cyberspace,
- Adherence to voluntary norms, rules and principles,
- Fostering confidence building, and
- cybersecurity capacity building.
Submissions will be reviewed by technical and policy experts from the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and UNODA, and finalists will have an opportunity to present their proposals during a dedicated event during High Level week of the United Nations in September 2020, conditions permitting. The organizers are closely monitoring the COVD-19 pandemic and its potential impact on the presentations of the contests’ finalists at the UN. In light of the fluidity and rapidly evolving situation, the organizers will make a decision on this component of the contest in due course.
UNODA and Cybersecurity Tech Accord hope that this initiative will help bring together young innovators and leaders from the technology and policy communities to address the urgent need to improve cybersecurity and reduce tensions between nations online.
Finalists will be in the running to receive both cash prizes and networking opportunities to help get their ideas off the ground. The winner will get the opportunity to attend the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s annual meeting to present the winning submission to some of the world’s leading technology companies committed to improving security online for users everywhere.
The Competition will begin accepting initial submissions in January, however, we encourage those with interest to begin brainstorming now, consulting with friends/colleagues/classmates and building the multidisciplinary teams that will develop a winning submission.
For more information on the rules of the Competition and to register, visit the Cybersecurity Tech Accord website here.
Click here to register. The final deadline for registration is 30 April 2020.