Tonga becomes first Pacific island country to join Budapest convention

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Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni and Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Hon. Sovaleni at the CoE Headquarter, Strasbourg, France. Photo/Supplied

Tonga is the first Pacific island country in the world to sign the Budapest Convention.

The Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe, known as the Budapest Convention, is the only body to deal internationally with how to tackle criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet.

“It serves as a guideline for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and as a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to this treaty”.

Tonga’s participation was marked yesterday after Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni signed the treaty in Strasbourg, France.

Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe applauded  Tonga’s accession and said it confirmed that the Convention has reached the world at large.

“The efforts by Tonga to bring domestic legislation in line with the Convention and to strengthen criminal justice capacities are setting an example for the Pacific Island region.”

Hon Sovaleni said Tonga has the high-speed Internet via broadband connection since 2013 bringing to the kingdom advanced internet communication activities such as e-commerce and e-government.

But Tonga must prepare to protect its citizens from the unfavourable circumstance that reduces the chances of these internet activities’ effectiveness, he said.

“This is why joining the Budapest Convention, accompanied by technical assistance, is so important for Tonga and for the Pacific region,” Hon. Sovaeni said.

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