On its 15th anniversary, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) raised the flags of Iceland, Ireland, Japan, and Ukraine at its headquarters in Tallinn, welcoming four new member nations to the CCDCOE cyber defence family.
“I am truly grateful that Iceland, Ireland, Japan, and Ukraine have decided to join us. We are delighted to have like-minded nations sharing cyber knowledge and exchanging methods to systematically address cyber attacks. Our goal is to foster increased cooperation and reap the benefits of this large-scale coalition through research, training, and exercises,” said Mart Noorma, director of the CCDCOE.
“First, I would like to congratulate the CCDCOE. During the last 15 years, the CCDCOE has evolved from a small team of experts to the largest NATO centre of excellence. Second, we warmly welcome the new members, all of whom will add highly appreciated knowhow to the CCDCOE’s work. We are particularly glad to see Ukraine here with us – this offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously contribute to Ukraine’s defence in Russia’s brutal war and learn from the cyber battlefield to improve the cyber security of all members,“ said Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said that the CCDCOE has proved itself with many international projects over the years – from the cyber defence exercise Locked Shields to the CCDCOE’s annual conference CyCon. “The centre can be particularly proud of the Tallinn Manual because it has served as a basis for upholding international law in cyberspace for more than 10 years,” Tsahkna said. “I am wishing the CCDCOE long success with its new members because we are stronger together.”
These nations have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration and cooperation with the CCDCOE, and becoming full-fledged members was the next logical step.
Here are the statements from the new member nations.
Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs and for Defence, Peter Burke
Ireland’s membership of this organisation, and the co-operation and learnings which have flowed from it, are an important part of our developing cyber security capacity.
Both in the world as in cyber space, a lot has happened over those four years. We have witnessed Russia’s brutal and unprovoked act of aggression against Ukraine. Closer to home, we have seen the effects of cyber-attacks in Ireland, including the attack on our health service in 2021. Simply put, our world is being transformed in a way that only reinforces the need to work together with our friends.
In our case, the digital age has been transformative, allowing an island at the West Coast of Europe to connect to the rest of the world- but this is not without risk. The digital highway from Ireland to the rest of the world also provides a route for malicious cyber activity.
Ireland understands the urgent need to work collectively to defend against the effects of malicious cyber activity. The Centre of Excellence provides an important platform for cooperation. Being an active member of the Centre strengthens Ireland’s cyber resilience and supports capacity building through the sharing of expertise and access to training and exercises.
Ambassador of Iceland, H.E. Harald Aspelund
Strengthening cyber resilience, security and defence is one of Iceland’s key priorities and I am pleased that as members of this community of knowledge, we will be able both learn and contribute to our collective security.
SAKAI Yuki’s, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Embassy of Japan, message from Defence Minister Hamada
For Japan, strengthening response capabilities in the cyber domain is one of the top priorities. As a member of the CCDCOE, Japan will continue to make necessary contributions, further strengthen cooperation in cyber domain with NATO and like-minded countries, and maintain and defend international order based on universal values and international law.
Ambassador of Ukraine, H.E Mariana Betsa
Today, a landmark event for Ukraine and for our country’s relations with the North Atlantic Alliance took place – the National Flag of Ukraine is officially raised at the Headquarters of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, marking the official accession of Ukraine to the NATO CCDCOE.
I am deeply convinced that Ukraine’s participation in the CCDCOE will enhance the exchange of experience in the field of cyber security between Ukraine and NATO CCDCOE member nations and will be an important step on the way to Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
In light of Russia’s ongoing military aggression and hybrid warfare, waged against our country, Ukraine’s accession to the CCDCOE will further strengthen our country’s cyber capabilities.
I would like to express my gratitude to the CCDCOE Sponsoring Nations for inviting Ukraine. I also express my special gratitude to the Republic of Estonia as a host nation for its support and assistance on the way to NATO CCDCOE!
In addition to the flag ceremony, NATO CCDCOE celebrates its 15th anniversary. The CCDCOE was established on 14 May 2008, at the initiative of Germany, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Slovak Republic, and Spain. As of today, the CCDCOE includes 39 nations.
The primary objective of the CCDCOE is to provide unparalleled interdisciplinary proficiency in cyber defence research, training, and exercises across various critical domains, including technology, strategy, operations, and law. As an extensive NATO-accredited centre, the CCDCOE plays a significant role in supporting both member nations and NATO.