Moderating roundtable on subsea data cables at UN Ocean Conference

Today I moderated a panel discussion on “Security of subsea data cables and marine protected areas”, organised by the Atlantic Centre, SafeSeas, the University of Copenhagen and the Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria). This was an official side event of the UN Ocean Conference and the public part of a workshop on “Maritime Infrastructures: Protecting subsea data cables in Europe and the Atlantic” that had taken place over two days at the Atlantic Centre. The workshop focused on the key challenges and opportunities linked to the security of infrastructure as well as improving cable resilience to support marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

The panel brought together representatives from different stakeholders:

• Steve Dawe, chairman, European Subsea Cables Association
• Kate Meredith, programme coordinator, UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme
• Christian Bueger, professor of international relations, Københavns Universitet – University of Copenhagen
• Philippe DUMONT, CEO, EllaLink
• Leendert Bal, head of Safety, Security and Surveillance Department, European Maritime Safety Agency

The security of subsea data cables is a really interesting topic. It’s a great practical example of the three major ocean agendas coming together: blue economy, ocean health, maritime security.

Maritime infrastructure is a crucial topic in ocean governance and security. Subsea data cables provide the connections required for the digital interactions that support everyday communications. They have important impacts in many areas, from trade, education, and personal relations to diplomatic and military interactions. Despite the capacity to keep cables stable and functioning, there are many outstanding security challenges, such as the risks posed by increasing maritime activities, geopolitical competition and the limits of existing ocean governance mechanisms. The growing density of cable networks being laid at the ocean bottom, also raises pressures on vulnerable marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

More information here:

More on the ocean economy: