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Concluding Event to Mark the End of Cooperation Between MISA and the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C., January 4th, 2019

The year of 2018 was key for strengthening cyber security capacities in the Republic of Macedonia. Partnership between the Ministry of Information Society and Administration and the World Bank is also directed to that end. In order to mark the successful cooperation within the "Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Progamme" and to share experiences of member-states and partners - supporters of the programme, the World Bank organized a concluding event in Washington D.C., attended by representatives of MISA.

The event included discussions on the regional approach and potential regional priorities in the Western Balkans concerning cyber security. Ideas were presented to structure regional cooperation and manners of implementation thereof. Particular attention was paid to Republic of Macedonia's initiative to found a Regional Cyber Security Training and Research Center. Moreover, presentations were made of a model for successful implementation of such a center as part of a global company.

From all the countries in the region, Macedonia was recognized as a country that has established the best cooperation and communication in assessment of cyber security capacities, and as a country with a large percent of prioritization of recommendations from the received report. Notably, 70% of the recommendations are included in the National Cyber Security Strategy, and the remaining are included in the Action Plan. It was also noted that Macedonia published the Cyber Security Capacity Assessment Report in August 2018, whereby it demonstrated transparency and preparedness for future cooperation in this field.

Discussions were also held on the role of the World Bank and its partners in the field of cyber security, learned lessons, and the manner of improvements in the design of future programmes.

Macedonia is one of the 6 member-states in this cycle of "Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Progamme", among Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar. The programme is funded by the Ministry of Strategy and Finances of Korea, with the Korea - World Bank partnership, administered via the World Bank.

In Macedonia, the programme was initiated in January of 2018 by assessment of cyber security capacities, and it was the third member-state in this programme in the region and ninth in Europe. The Cyber Security Capacity Assessment Report provided assessment of national cyber security capacities, by means of assessment of institutions and organizations from both the private and the civil sector. The report was implemented by the Global Cyber Security Center in Oxford.

In addition to cyber security capacity assessment, cooperation with the World Bank also included a workshop for representatives of over 50 public sector institutions in Macedonia, by exchange of experience and expertise from Korea, consultative assistance in the evaluation of the National Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan, as well as activities aimed to raise awareness on cyber security risks.

By gaining significant benefits from this programme, Macedonia quickly noted significant progress in the field of strengthening national cyber security - the Government adopted the national Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan, several meetings were held to strengthen cyber security capacities, and activities were implemented to raise awareness of the population.

Further steps within strengthening cyber security capacities are aimed to establish a regional cyber security academy and to organize initiatives and educational events to raise awareness on cyber security.

Overview of all activities aimed to strengthen cyber security capacities is available in the detailed Cyber Security Action Plan 2018 - 2022.

Ministry of Information Society and Administration