This is the second bilateral dialogue on cybersecurity and digital matters to be organised between Switzerland and the United States. The first took place online at the beginning of July 2020. The aim of the dialogue is to advance bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, compare priorities, exchange information and promote security and stability in the cyber and digital space.
This year's event provided an opportunity to strengthen cooperation on key issues, such as the application of international law in cyberspace and Switzerland's role as a host state in the digital domain. In this context, the protection of the international organisations of International Geneva is of paramount importance. A number of themes and initiatives have so far been identified where collaboration should be stepped up in the medium term, including combating ransomware and upholding internet freedom. During the meeting, the two delegations discussed commitments and cooperation in multilateral bodies, as well as bilateral initiatives led by the US and Switzerland. Issues relating to digital commerce will continue to be handled by the Swiss–US joint economic commissions.
Interdepartmental cooperation essential for greater cybersecurity
The Swiss delegation was led by Benedikt Wechsler, ambassador and head of the FDFA's Digitalisation Division. In addition to representatives of the FDFA, the Swiss delegation included the Federal Office of Communications, the National Cyber Security Centre, FEDPOL and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
For its part, the US delegation comprised representatives of several agencies, led by the Department of State's Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, which was set up in 2022.
The wide range of participants reflects the multidimensional nature of the issue. Digitalisation is having an impact on every aspect of our daily lives and how we coexist. Switzerland gives priority to interdepartmental and international cooperation in implementing its digital foreign policy strategy. It is committed to a free, open and secure digital space, both at the multilateral level and through bilateral dialogue. In addition, actors from the scientific and business communities have been involved, most recently in San Francisco as part of a 'tech retreat' organised by Denmark and Australia. In this area, the United States is a key partner for Switzerland.
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