Cyber warfare and water security are pressing global issues that came under scrutiny at the Forum of Young Parliamentarians in Hanoi on March 29 as part of the ongoing 132nd Assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU-132).

Participants said varied understandings of cyber warfare across different nations need to be consolidated into a global definition of “cyber war” and “cybercrime” to clarify their imminent danger.

With Internet access and the boom in cutting-edge technologies, cyber war and cybercrime impacts every government, organisation and individual, leaving the youth most vulnerable.

To protect the youth while maximising the opportunities of the digital era, delegates suggested practical measures such as building a code of conduct on the Internet, issuing cybercrime laws, promoting parental control capacity and stepping up responsibility education.

First Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and President of the Vietnam Students’ Association Nguyen Dac Vinh asked the IPU to issue a joint statement calling on all countries to avoid cyber wars in any form against one another. He also proposed the UN build an international treaty in the field that encourages closer cooperation among IPU member countries in cyber security and ensuring information security.

Young parliamentarians also pointed to ensuring water security as an urgent need amid the world’s growing population, increasingly complicated climate change impacts, and mushrooming disease burdens. They underscored the necessity of creating efficient water governance mechanisms, enhancing cooperation between governments and parliaments, and improving youth awareness of water security.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese representatives suggested IPU member parliaments adjust their legal systems and promulgate policies facilitating sustainable management and use of water resources.

They should also promote consensus among countries sharing water resources in addressing disagreements, ratify and monitor the implementation of international conventions and agreements on water resources use and protection, and pay increased attention to water in parliamentary diplomatic activities, the Vietnamese delegates added.

Proposals at the forum will be submitted to sessions of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security and the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance, and Trade, as well as to the IPU-132 plenary session.-VNA