The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace

July 18th 2017 - 10:30

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) has initiated the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC), together with our partner EastWest Institute (EWI). HCSS and EWI together form the Secretariat of the GCSC, led by two Directors, Alexander Klimburg of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and Bruce McConnell of the EastWest Institute.The GCSC was officially launched at the Munich Security Conference in February 2017, by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders.



The GCSC is helping to promote mutual awareness and understanding among the various cyberspace communities working on issues related to international cybersecurity. By finding ways to link the dialogues on international security with the new communities created by cyberspace, the GCSC has a genuine opportunity to contribute to an essential global task: supporting policy and norms coherence related to the security and stability in and of cyberspace.

Chaired by Marina Kaljurand, and Co-Chairs Michael Chertoff and Latha Reddy, the Commission comprises 27 prominent Commissioners representing a wide range of geographic regions as well as government, industry, technical and civil society stakeholders with legitimacy to speak on different aspects of cyberspace. Principal supporters of this initiative include the Internet Society (ISOC), Microsoft, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Singapore.

The GCSC will convene over a three-year period to formulate policy recommendations for action—applicable to both government and the private sector led initiatives. Detailed recommendations will be published and advocated in capitals, corporate headquarters and with the general public worldwide.


Norm Proposal to Protect the Public Core of the Internet

GCSC Commissioners issued a “Call to Protect the Public Core of the Internet“. The declaration urges state and non-state actors to avoid activity that would intentionally and substantially damage the general availability or integrity of the “public core” of the Internet. The Commission believes that the stability of cyberspace is essential for the good of humanity now and into the future.

Without prejudice to their rights and obligations, state and non-state actors should not conduct or knowingly allow activity that intentionally and substantially damages the general availability or integrity of the public core of the Internet, and therefore the stability of cyberspace.


Research Advisory Group

The work of the GCSC is supported by the Research Advisory Group (RAG). The RAG functions as the Commission’s academic backbone and links the latter to the wider research community. The RAG engages in scientific research to support the deliberations and publications of the Commissioners and, through its outreach and community engagement, also fulfills a crucial advocacy mission of the Commission. Members are able to respond to requests for proposals commissioned by the GCSC, as well as generate their own ideas for further enquiry. Select members will also be invited to provide testimony to the Commission at the Full Commission Meetings (twice per year).



Dr. Alexander Klimburg is Director Cyber Policy and Resilience Program at HCSS, and an associate (and former research fellow) of the Science Technology and Public Policy Program and Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. Dr. Klimburg is also a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, and an associate fellow at the Austrian Institute of European and Security Policy.

Erik Frinking is the Director of the Strategic Futures Program at HCSS. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University. For almost twenty years, he has been involved in addressing high-level, complex policy issues for a wide variety of European countries and international organizations. Mr. Frinking worked for more than 13 years at the Leiden branch of the RAND Corporation, where he was director of the Education, Science & Technology, and Innovation program.

Louk Faesen is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS. He holds a Master’s degree in Law and Politics of International Security (LLM) from the VU University of Amsterdam.