Presentations from BGF-UNESCO-at-UCLA conference

(October 2oth, 2016) On September 3rd,  The Boston Global Forum hosted the very first  BGF-UNESCO-at-UCLA conference  at the Harvard University Faculty Club.

This conference was an official event to establish the Global Citizenship Education Network (GCEN) between UNESCO, UCLA and the Boston Global Forum (BGF) .  Based on GCEN, we will implement our next initiatives: Global Citizen Number (GCN), Global Citizen Score Card (GCSC) , Global Citizen Certificate (GCC), and Global Citizen Leadership programs (GCL).

Here the presentations from our distinguished speakers at the conference concerning  Global Citizenship Education in Cyber Civil Defense.


Analytics for Smart Grid Cybersecurity by Nazli Choucri and Gaurav Agarwal

Cyber Civil Defense by Allan Cytryn

Cyber-security Incidents by Rodman K. Reef from Reef Karson Consulting, LLC

The Dynamics of International Cyber Conflict by Ryan C. Maness

Global Citizenship in Cyber Civil Defense


Addressing Attacks on Vietnamese Computer Systems

Addressing Attacks on Vietnamese Computer Systems


Allan Cytryn, Risk Masters International, LLC; Member of Board of Thinkers, The Boston Global Forum

and Prof. John E. Savage, Brown University; Member of Board of Thinkers, The Boston Global Forum


We recommend a series of actions, both short and long-term. The ultimate goals of these actions are to 1) ensure the appropriate international agencies are fully engaged in addressing this issue and its longer term implications, 2) operationally address the issue immediately and restore reliable, safe operations for air travel, and 3) more broadly enhance the cyber-resilience of Vietnam so that it is less vulnerable to such incidents.

I. Ensure the appropriate international agencies are engaged:

  1. . This is an airline security issue. We recommend reporting it to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and requesting their assistance. While they may not have cyber security expertise, they are very concerned about security and may be able to help address the problem.
  2. We recommend reporting this incident to FIRST, the global Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams. FIRST describes itself as the “premier organization and recognized global leader in (computer security) incident response.” As you can see from their website, they can provide a great deal of assistance with long and short term solutions.
  3. This serious incident should also be reported to international bodies including ASEAN, G7, G20, and UNGA.

II. Address the issue immediately and restore reliable, safe operations:

  1. Consultants should be hired to do a forensic analysis of the affected systems. Friendly governments, such as the US, can advise on companies that are highly qualified to do this analysis and that can be trusted as well.
  2. Companies that we would recommend include Crowdstrike and Fidelis.


III. Longer-term, more broadly enhance the cyber-resilience of Vietnam:

a. Implement broad-based cyber-education at multiple levels

i. Train local specialists in computer security.

  1. The Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) can help to develop university-level cybersecurity educational programs.
  2. The Boston Global Forum can also help with this effort.
  3. Vietnam could also emulate the US Computer Science for All program that encourages young Americans to acquire computer science skills.


ii. Educate policymakers and academics about Internet governance issues.

  1. DiPLO Foundation has cybersecurity programs to help diplomats to acquire the knowledge necessary to participate in international policy development.
  2. The Boston Global Forum can also help with this matter.

iii. Develop programs in cyber-hygiene for the general population and develop policies and practices to ensure the general population is appropriately educated in this area

  1. Begin classroom training in early education and continue through all level of schooling
  2. Provide online courses to allow all persons, including those not in school, to be properly educated
  3. Consider policies and incentives to encourage people to take the cyber-hygiene courses

b. Develop a cyber-resilient infrastructure

i. Broadly adopt the principle of cyber-resilience across all IT and Communications infrastructure in Vietnam.

ii. Jumpstart the process by targeting key industries, businesses and organizations that have the highest level of exposure and risk.

  1. Consider “pooling” or sharing resources and teams across multiple organizations where appropriate and practical to maximize the speed and effectiveness of the initial programs.
  2. Identify and address reasonable impediments to success, including funding, product availability, staff availability and training.

iii. Align these efforts with training goals, using these implementation activities to further the nation’s goals to train individuals who can then apply their learnings to other enterprises.

Congressional Quarterly Roll Call Documents John Savage’s Contribution To A Historic International Cybersecurity Agreement

(July 4th, 2016) Congressional Quarterly Roll Call recently interviewed Professor John Savage of Brown University‘s Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) to document a unique moment in history. “The May 26-27 meeting of the Group of Seven in Ise-Shima, Japan,” writes Paul Merrion, “produced the G7’s first-ever stand-alone agreement on cybersecurity, data protection and internet governance.” 


To give a bit of history, the Boston Global Forum (BGF), chaired by former governor Michael Dukakis, was founded to bring together thought leaders and experts from around the globe to participate in open public forums to discuss and illuminate the most critical issues affecting the world at large. In February, their CEO, Tuan Nguyen, asked John to address BGF and prepare an agenda for the G7 Summit, working with other individuals affiliated with BGF to develop his presentation into a formal proposal.

The G7 agreement (“The G7 Ise-Shima Leaders’ Declaration”), which draws on the work of Savage and his colleagues, makes the landmark statement that cyberspace is under the rule of national law, and advocates for responsible state behavior during peacetime and the development of confidence-building measures to increase security. “It’s very significant,” John says. “It’s progress, it’s recognition that nations need to help one another.”

The full article, located here, is only available to subscribers, but a summary of the Declaration is available here.

For more information, please click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.

Cybersecurity Deficits and International Norms by Derek S. Reveron

(June 6th, 2016) International security for the last 30 years has been characterized by security deficits, which I define as a government’s inability to meet its national security obligations without external support. (1)  In the terrestrial world, intra-state, transnational, and regional actors challenge governments’ ability to provide a secure environment for their citizens.




This means Iraq struggles against ISIS, the United States struggles against transnational organized crime, and Ukraine struggles against Russia. While these conflicts are isolated in particular places of the world, the effect of security deficits are felt throughout entire regions. G7 countries have been at the forefront of peace efforts to alleviate problems created by international crises like these. They also provide development and security assistance to weakened governments in an effort to improve stability, strengthen institutions, and protect vulnerable populations. The rationale to assist countries in overcoming their security deficits has been based on the assumption that instability breeds chaos, which would make it more likely that the international community would face pressure to intervene in the future, often at a higher cost in lives and resources.The same is true in the cyber world. Transnational organized criminal groups harness the power of the internet to steal identities and conduct financial crimes; terrorist organizations use cyberspace to recruit fighters and promote their destructive deeds; and countries employ cyber tools for espionage while laying the ground work for military operations in cyberspace. Cyber challenges like these cut across all dimensions where we live and are simultaneously political, economic, and social. More than ever, citizens, regardless of nationality, are exposed to risks created by cyber insecurity. Reinforced by intelligence assessments, polling in the United States places cyber insecurity as a pressing national security challenge.

With persistent vulnerabilities in the software we use and the relative impunity with which states, groups, and individuals operate in cyberspace, we will continue to experience data breaches leading to fraud and intellectual property theft undercutting innovation. Governments, organizations, companies, and individuals can be vermatched by malicious actors. Cybersecurity deficits undercut the benefits citizens derive from the technology we enjoy, and directly affect individuals in ways that past conflicts in distant parts of the world have not affected G7 countries.

At the same time, disclosures about governments’ roles in cyberspace undermine trust and challenge credibility. Information technology companies are pressured to enable governments special access to their products, all the while attempting to comply with different national regulations. Citizens are stuck in the middle feeling that the promises of an open, transparent, and secure cyberspace look bleak.

At the national security level, governments are concerned with Cybergeddon scenarios against critical public infrastructure disabling electricity, telecommunications, and financial services. While Cybergeddon is not inevitable (and represents a wake-up call about cyber insecurity rather than an existential threat), critical sectors have huge incentives to secure their infrastructure. However, as we have seen in other areas, security becomes a cat and mouse game where malicious actors improve rapidly, often outpacing governments abilities to adapt or defend against emerging threats.

This shared insecurity need not be paralyzing, but can be a basis for international cooperation in which G7 governments have important roles to play. Building on the norms that my colleague John Savage outlined, the next steps to improve cybersecurity include:

  1. Convening sub-regional summits to outline the scope of cybersecurity challenges andimprove multilateral efforts to promulgate norms.
  1. Establishing information sharing centers where governments can share threat information, coordinate cybersecurity policies, and implement best practices forgovernments, organizations, companies, and individuals.
  1. Assisting governments in developing countries to strengthen their government networks,improve protection of critical public infrastructure, and educate citizens to raise their security posture improving human capital. There are no borders in cyberspace, and our networks are only as strong as the weakest access point. By promoting cybersecurity norms, enabling cooperation among G7 countries, and assisting developing countries, we all become more secure from actors that place individuals at the forefront of the cybersecurity threat. When thinking about improving security in cyberspace, we should look at how international partners contribute to security in the terrestrial space through cooperative military operations, peacekeeping, and international assistance. These are important norms to replicate in cyberspace as there is a common responsibility to guarantee our citizens a minimal level of cybersecurity.

Since cyberspace is a reflection of G7 countries’ values and corporations in G7 countries dominate the information technology space, G7 countries are well placed to lead the world on establishing cyber norms to improve cybersecurity.

Derek S. Reveron (2)  May 9, 2016

U.S. Naval War College and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

(1) Derek S. Reveron, Exporting Security: International Engagement, Security Cooperation, and the Changing Face of the US Military, Second Edition (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2016).

(2) The views expressed here are the author’s alone and do not represent the official position of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.

President Obama’s address in Hanoi

(May 30th, 2016) Obama delivers remarks at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam. Mr Barack Obama’s speech showed how he is deeply understanding Vietnam, more than many Vietnamese. He knows all about Vietnamese elites: Hai Ba Trung, Ly Thuong Kiet, Great Poet Nguyen Du, Phan Chu Trinh, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and above all, is the love of peace and freedom of Vietnamese.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Xin chào!  (Applause.)  Xin chào Vietnam!  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  To the government and the people of Vietnam, thank you for this very warm welcome and the hospitality that you have shown to me on this visit.  And thank all of you for being here today.  (Applause.)   We have Vietnamese from across this great country, including so many young people who represent the dynamism, and the talent and the hope of Vietnam.


On this visit, my heart has been touched by the kindness for which the Vietnamese people are known.  In the many people who have been lining the streets, smiling and waving, I feel the friendship between our peoples.  Last night, I visited the Old Quarter here in Hanoi and enjoyed some outstanding Vietnamese food.  I tried some Bún Chả.  (Applause.)  Drank some bia Ha Noi.  But I have to say, the busy streets of this city, I’ve never seen so many motorbikes in my life.  (Laughter.)  So I haven’t had to try to cross the street so far, but maybe when I come back and visit you can tell me how.

I am not the first American President to come to Vietnam in recent times.  But I am the first, like so many of you, who came of age after the war between our countries.  When the last U.S. forces left Vietnam, I was just 13 years old.  So my first exposure to Vietnam and the Vietnamese people came when I was growing up in Hawaii, with its proud Vietnamese American community there.

At the same time, many people in this country are much younger than me.  Like my two daughters, many of you have lived your whole lives knowing only one thing — and that is peace and normalized relations between Vietnam and the United States.  So I come here mindful of the past, mindful of our difficult history, but focused on the future — the prosperity, security and human dignity that we can advance together.

I also come here with a deep respect for Vietnam’s ancient heritage.  For millennia, farmers have tended these lands — a history revealed in the Dong Son drums.  At this bend in the river, Hanoi has endured for more than a thousand years.  The world came to treasure Vietnamese silks and paintings, and a great Temple of Literature stands as a testament to your pursuit of knowledge.  And yet, over the centuries, your fate was too often dictated by others.  Your beloved land was not always your own.  But like bamboo, the unbroken spirit of the Vietnamese people was captured by Ly Thuong Kiet — “the Southern emperor rules the Southern land.  Our destiny is writ in Heaven’s Book.”

Today, we also remember the longer history between Vietnamese and Americans that is too often overlooked.  More than 200 years ago, when our Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, sought rice for his farm, he looked to the rice of Vietnam, which he said had “the reputation of being whitest to the eye, best flavored to the taste, and most productive.”  Soon after, American trade ships arrived in your ports seeking commerce.

During the Second World War, Americans came here to support your struggle against occupation.  When American pilots were shot down, the Vietnamese people helped rescue them.  And on the day that Vietnam declared its independence, crowds took to the streets of this city, and Ho Chi Minh evoked the American Declaration of Independence.  He said, “All people are created equal.  The Creator has endowed them with inviolable rights.  Among these rights are the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness.”

In another time, the profession of these shared ideals and our common story of throwing off colonialism might have brought us closer together sooner.  But instead, Cold War rivalries and fears of communism pulled us into conflict.  Like other conflicts throughout human history, we learned once more a bitter truth — that war, no matter what our intentions may be, brings suffering and tragedy.

At your war memorial not far from here, and with family altars across this country, you remember some 3 million Vietnamese, soldiers and civilians, on both sides, who lost their lives.  At our memorial wall in Washington, we can touch the names of 58,315 Americans who gave their lives in the conflict.  In both our countries, our veterans and families of the fallen still ache for the friends and loved ones that they lost.  Just as we learned in America that, even if we disagree about a war, we must always honor those who serve and welcome them home with the respect they deserve, we can join together today, Vietnamese and Americans, and acknowledge the pain and the sacrifices on both sides.

More recently, over the past two decades, Vietnam has achieved enormous progress, and today the world can see the strides that you have made.  With economic reforms and trade agreements, including with the United States, you have entered the global economy, selling your goods around the world.  More foreign investment is coming in.  And with one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, Vietnam has moved up to become a middle-income nation.

We see Vietnam’s progress in the skyscrapers and high-rises of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and new shopping malls and urban centers.  We see it in the satellites Vietnam puts into space and a new generation that is online, launching startups and running new ventures.  We see it in the tens of millions of Vietnamese connected on Facebook and Instagram.  And you’re not just posting selfies — although I hear you do that a lot — (laughter) — and so far, there have been a number of people who have already asked me for selfies.  You’re also raising your voices for causes that you care about, like saving the old trees of Hanoi.

So all this dynamism has delivered real progress in people’s lives.  Here in Vietnam, you’ve dramatically reduced extreme poverty, you’ve boosted family incomes and lifted millions into a fast-growing middle class.  Hunger, disease, child and maternal mortality are all down.  The number of people with clean drinking water and electricity, the number of boys and girls in school, and your literacy rate — these are all up.  This is extraordinary progress.  This is what you have been able to achieve in a very short time.

And as Vietnam has transformed, so has the relationship between our two nations.  We learned a lesson taught by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, who said, “In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.”  In this way, the very war that had divided us became a source for healing.  It allowed us to account for the missing and finally bring them home.  It allowed us to help remove landmines and unexploded bombs, because no child should ever lose a leg just playing outside.  Even as we continue to assist Vietnamese with disabilities, including children, we are also continuing to help remove Agent Orange — dioxin — so that Vietnam can reclaim more of your land.  We’re proud of our work together in Danang, and we look forward to supporting your efforts in Bien Hoa.

Let’s also not forget that the reconciliation between our countries was led by our veterans who once faced each other in battle.  Think of Senator John McCain, who was held for years here as a prisoner of war, meeting General Giap, who said our countries should not be enemies but friends.  Think of all the veterans, Vietnamese and American, who have helped us heal and build new ties.  Few have done more in this regard over the years than former Navy lieutenant, and now Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, who is here today.  And on behalf of all of us, John, we thank you for your extraordinary effort.  (Applause.)

Because our veterans showed us the way, because warriors had the courage to pursue peace, our peoples are now closer than ever before.  Our trade has surged.  Our students and scholars learn together.  We welcome more Vietnamese students to America than from any other country in Southeast Asia.  And every year, you welcome more and more American tourists, including young Americans with their backpacks, to Hanoi’s 36 Streets and the shops of Hoi An, and the imperial city of Hue.  As Vietnamese and Americans, we can all relate to those words written by Van Cao — “From now, we know each other’s homeland; from now, we learn to feel for each other.”

As President, I’ve built on this progress.  With our new Comprehensive Partnership, our governments are working more closely together than ever before.  And with this visit, we’ve put our relationship on a firmer footing for decades to come.  In a sense, the long story between our two nations that began with Thomas Jefferson more than two centuries ago has now come full circle.  It has taken many years and required great effort.  But now we can say something that was once unimaginable:  Today, Vietnam and the United States are partners.

And I believe our experience holds lessons for the world.  At a time when many conflicts seem intractable, seem as if they will never end, we have shown that hearts can change and that a different future is possible when we refuse to be prisoners of the past.  We’ve shown how peace can be better than war.  We’ve shown that progress and human dignity is best advanced by cooperation and not conflict.  That’s what Vietnam and America can show the world.

Now, America’s new partnership with Vietnam is rooted in some basic truths.  Vietnam is an independent, sovereign nation, and no other nation can impose its will on you or decide your destiny.  (Applause.)  Now, the United States has an interest here.  We have an interest in Vietnam’s success.  But our Comprehensive Partnership is still in its early stages.  And with the time I have left, I want to share with you the vision that I believe can guide us in the decades ahead.

First, let’s work together to create real opportunity and prosperity for all of our people.  We know the ingredients for economic success in the 21st century.  In our global economy, investment and trade flows to wherever there is rule of law, because no one wants to pay a bribe to start a business.  Nobody wants to sell their goods or go to school if they don’t know how they’re going to be treated.  In knowledge-based economies, jobs go to where people have the freedom to think for themselves and exchange ideas and to innovate.  And real economic partnerships are not just about one country extracting resources from another.  They’re about investing in our greatest resource, which is our people and their skills and their talents, whether you live in a big city or a rural village.  And that’s the kind of partnership that America offers.

As I announced yesterday, the Peace Corps will come to Vietnam for the first time, with a focus on teaching English.  A generation after young Americans came here to fight, a new generation of Americans are going to come here to teach and build and deepen the friendship between us.  (Applause.)  Some of America’s leading technology companies and academic institutions are joining Vietnamese universities to strengthen training in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.  Because even as we keep welcoming more Vietnamese students to America, we also believe that young people deserve a world-class education right here in Vietnam.

It’s one of the reasons why we’re very excited that this fall, the new Fulbright University Vietnam will open in Ho Chi Minh City — this nation’s first independent, non-profit university — where there will be full academic freedom and scholarships for those in need.  (Applause.)  Students, scholars, researchers will focus on public policy and management and business; on engineering and computer science; and liberal arts — everything from the poetry of Nguyen Du, to the philosophy of Phan Chu Trinh, to the mathematics of Ngo Bao Chau.

And we’re going to keep partnering with young people and entrepreneurs, because we believe that if you can just access the skills and technology and capital you need, then nothing can stand in your way — and that includes, by the way, the talented women of Vietnam.  (Applause.)  We think gender equality is an important principle.  From the Trung Sisters to today, strong, confident women have always helped move Vietnam forward.  The evidence is clear — I say this wherever I go around the world — families, communities and countries are more prosperous when girls and women have an equal opportunity to succeed in school and at work and in government.  That’s true everywhere, and it’s true here in Vietnam.  (Applause.)

We’ll keep working to unleash the full potential of your economy with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Here in Vietnam, TPP will let you sell more of your products to the world and it will attract new investment.  TPP will require reforms to protect workers and rule of law and intellectual property.  And the United States is ready to assist Vietnam as it works to fully implement its commitments.  I want you to know that, as President of the United States, I strongly support TPP because you’ll also be able to buy more of our goods, “Made in America.”

Moreover, I support TPP because of its important strategic benefits.  Vietnam will be less dependent on any one trading partner and enjoy broader ties with more partners, including the United States.  (Applause.)  And TPP will reinforce regional cooperation.  It will help address economic inequality and will advance human rights, with higher wages and safer working conditions.  For the first time here in Vietnam, the right to form independent labor unions and prohibitions against forced labor and child labor.  And it has the strongest environmental protections and the strongest anti-corruption standards of any trade agreement in history.  That’s the future TPP offers for all of us, because all of us — the United States, Vietnam, and the other signatories — will have to abide by these rules that we have shaped together.  That’s the future that is available to all of us.  So we now have to get it done — for the sake of our economic prosperity and our national security.

This brings me to the second area where we can work together, and that is ensuring our mutual security.  With this visit, we have agreed to elevate our security cooperation and build more trust between our men and women in uniform.  We’ll continue to offer training and equipment to your Coast Guard to enhance Vietnam’s maritime capabilities.  We will partner to deliver humanitarian aid in times of disaster.  With the announcement I made yesterday to fully lift the ban on defense sales, Vietnam will have greater access to the military equipment you need to ensure your security.  And the United States is demonstrating our commitment to fully normalize our relationship with Vietnam.  (Applause.)

More broadly, the 20th century has taught all of us — including the United States and Vietnam — that the international order upon which our mutual security depends is rooted in certain rules and norms.  Nations are sovereign, and no matter how large or small a nation may be, its sovereignty should be respected, and it territory should not be violated.  Big nations should not bully smaller ones.  Disputes should be resolved peacefully.  (Applause.)  And regional institutions, like ASEAN and the East Asia Summit, should continue to be strengthened.  That’s what I believe.  That’s what the United States believes.  That’s the kind of partnership America offers this region.  I look forward to advancing this spirit of respect and reconciliation later this year when I become the first U.S. President to visit Laos.

In the South China Sea, the United States is not a claimant in current disputes.  But we will stand with partners in upholding core principles, like freedom of navigation and overflight, and lawful commerce that is not impeded, and the peaceful resolution of disputes, through legal means, in accordance with international law.  As we go forward, the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, and we will support the right of all countries to do the same.  (Applause.)

Even as we cooperate more closely in the areas I’ve described, our partnership includes a third element — addressing areas where our governments disagree, including on human rights.  I say this not to single out Vietnam.  No nation is perfect.  Two centuries on, the United States is still striving to live up to our founding ideals.  We still deal with our shortcomings — too much money in our politics, and rising economic inequality, racial bias in our criminal justice system, women still not being paid as much as men doing the same job.  We still have problems.  And we’re not immune from criticism, I promise you.  I hear it every day.  But that scrutiny, that open debate, confronting our imperfections, and allowing everybody to have their say has helped us grow stronger and more prosperous and more just.

I’ve said this before — the United States does not seek to impose our form of government on Vietnam.  The rights I speak of I believe are not American values; I think they’re universal values written into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  They’re written into the Vietnamese constitution, which states that “citizens have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and have the right of access to information, the right to assembly, the right to association, and the right to demonstrate.”  That’s in the Vietnamese constitution.  (Applause.)  So really, this is an issue about all of us, each country, trying to consistently apply these principles, making sure that we — those of us in government — are being true to these ideals.

In recent years, Vietnam has made some progress.  Vietnam has committed to bringing its laws in line with its new constitution and with international norms.  Under recently passed laws, the government will disclose more of its budget and the public will have the right to access more information.  And, as I said, Vietnam has committed to economic and labor reforms under the TPP.   So these are all positive steps.  And ultimately, the future of Vietnam will be decided by the people of Vietnam.  Every country will chart its own path, and our two nations have different traditions and different political systems and different cultures.  But as a friend of Vietnam, allow me to share my view — why I believe nations are more successful when universal rights are upheld.

When there is freedom of expression and freedom of speech, and when people can share ideas and access the Internet and social media without restriction, that fuels the innovation economies need to thrive.  That’s where new ideas happen.  That’s how a Facebook starts.  That’s how some of our greatest companies began — because somebody had a new idea.  It was different.  And they were able to share it.  When there’s freedom of the press — when journalists and bloggers are able to shine a light on injustice or abuse — that holds officials accountable and builds public confidence that the system works.  When candidates can run for office and campaign freely, and voters can choose their own leaders in free and fair elections, it makes the countries more stable, because citizens know that their voices count and that peaceful change is possible.  And it brings new people into the system.

When there is freedom of religion, it not only allows people to fully express the love and compassion that are at the heart of all great religions, but it allows faith groups to serve their communities through schools and hospitals, and care for the poor and the vulnerable.  And when there is freedom of assembly — when citizens are free to organize in civil society — then countries can better address challenges that government sometimes cannot solve by itself.  So it is my view that upholding these rights is not a threat to stability, but actually reinforces stability and is the foundation of progress.

After all, it was a yearning for these rights that inspired people around the world, including Vietnam, to throw off colonialism.  And I believe that upholding these rights is the fullest expression of the independence that so many cherish, including here, in a nation that proclaims itself to be “of the People, by the People and for the People.”

Vietnam will do it differently than the United States does.  And each of us will do it differently from many other countries around the world.  But there are these basic principles that I think we all have to try to work on and improve.  And I said this as somebody who’s about to leave office, so I have the benefit of almost eight years now of reflecting on how our system has worked and interacting with countries around the world who are constantly trying to improve their systems, as well.

Finally, our partnership I think can meet global challenges that no nation can solve by itself.  If we’re going to ensure the health of our people and the beauty of our planet, then development has to be sustainable.  Natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Son Doong Cave have to be preserved for our children and our grandchildren.  Rising seas threaten the coasts and waterways on which so many Vietnamese depend.  And so as partners in the fight against climate change, we need to fulfill the commitments we made in Paris, we need to help farmers and villages and people who depend on fishing to adapt and to bring more clean energy to places like the Mekong Delta — a rice bowl of the world that we need to feed future generations.

And we can save lives beyond our borders.  By helping other countries strengthen, for example, their health systems, we can prevent outbreaks of disease from becoming epidemics that threaten all of us.  And as Vietnam deepens its commitment to U.N. peacekeeping, the United States is proud to help train your peacekeepers.  And what a truly remarkable thing that is — our two nations that once fought each other now standing together and helping others achieve peace, as well.  So in addition to our bilateral relationship, our partnership also allows us to help shape the international environment in ways that are positive.

Now, fully realizing the vision that I’ve described today is not going to happen overnight, and it is not inevitable.  There may be stumbles and setbacks along the way.  There are going to be times where there are misunderstandings.  It will take sustained effort and true dialogue where both sides continue to change.  But considering all the history and hurdles that we’ve already overcome, I stand before you today very optimistic about our future together.  (Applause.)  And my confidence is rooted, as always, in the friendship and shared aspirations of our peoples.

I think of all the Americans and Vietnamese who have crossed a wide ocean — some reuniting with families for the first time in decades — and who, like Trinh Cong Son said in his song, have joined hands, and opening their hearts and seeing our common humanity in each other.  (Applause.)

I think of all the Vietnamese Americans who have succeeded in every walk of life — doctors, journalists, judges, public servants.  One of them, who was born here, wrote me a letter and said, by “God’s grace, I have been able to live the American Dream…I’m very proud to be an American but also very proud to be Vietnamese.”  (Applause.)  And today he’s here, back in the country of his birth, because, he said, his “personal passion” is “improving the life of every Vietnamese person.”

I think of a new generation of Vietnamese — so many of you, so many of the young people who are here — who are ready to make your mark on the world.  And I want to say to all the young people listening:  Your talent, your drive, your dreams — in those things, Vietnam has everything it needs to thrive.  Your destiny is in your hands.  This is your moment.  And as you pursue the future that you want, I want you to know that the United States of America will be right there with you as your partner and as your friend.  (Applause.)

And many years from now, when even more Vietnamese and Americans are studying with each other; innovating and doing business with each other; standing up for our security, and promoting human rights and protecting our planet with each other — I hope you think back to this moment and draw hope from the vision that I’ve offered today.  Or, if I can say it another way — in words that you know well from the Tale of Kieu — “Please take from me this token of trust, so we can embark upon our 100-year journey together.”  (Applause.)

Abe, warning of the risk of a new crisis, plans big stimulus package

(May 30th, 2016) After warning  at the G7 Summit that the global economy faces the risk of another crisis like that of 2008-2009, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to propose a fiscal stimulus package of as much as $90.7 billion to help ward it off, Nikkei, the Japanese newspaper, and Mint, the Indian newspaper, reported. 


Proposals will include accelerating building a magnetic-levitation train line from Nagoya to Osaka, issuing vouchers to boost consumer spending, increasing pay for child-care workers and setting up a scholarship fund.

“When you want to get the economy going, as long as demand in Asia is weak, you need additional public spending,” Martin Schulz, a senior economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, told Mint by phone. “Since private spending is still not picking up, the government is simply taking up the slack.”

Conference: Using Global Citizenship Education to promote cybersecurity

(May 30th, 2016) In May, 2016, the Boston Global Forum (“BGF”) successfully completed its initial phase of work on achieving a safe and secure cyber-world for all when it published the G7 Ise-Shima Cyber-Security Norms (


As its next step in support of cyber safety and security, the BGF will focus on practical efforts to implement the Ise-Shima Norms, with a specific focus on the Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace & Security (“ECCC”), which is presented below. Initially, the BGF will establish a series of focus groups to generate potential solutions and to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges associated with achieving them. This will lead to proposals for specific actions to be undertaken to achieve the goals outlined in the ECCC.

To bring to this effort the knowledge and experience needed to be successful, the BGF, will partner with UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to host a conference on Implementation and Practice of the Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security. This meeting will gather together prominent academic and business leaders, policy makers, and educators to discuss realistic approaches to successfully implementing and practicing the Ethics Code of Conduct for Cybersecurity through the actions of Global Citizenship Education ( It will be held September 23, 2016, at the Harvard University Faculty Club, and will be moderated by Governor Michael Dukakis, co-founder and chairman of BGF.

The BGF Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security


Version 1.0

The Boston Global Forum’s Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security (ECCC) encompasses the following behaviors in all Internet communication, relationships and transactions.

Net Citizens: Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security

Behavior toward others:

  • Be honest
  • Show respect
  • Avoid disreputable acts, and denounce those of others
  • Do not think or act involve with cyber terrorism.

Behavior towards information:

  • Assess its reliability before accepting it
  • Do not distribute unreliable or erroneous information

Behavior in discussions:

  • Do not endorse other’s comments when information has not been verified
  • Do not post negative comments on people’s private lives
  • Do not share or comment on unverified or unreliable defamatory claims about brands, organizations, or public figures
  • Be constructive, respective, and encouraging in comments

 Policy Makers: Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security

  • Do not establish, support, or endorse policies harmful to the Cyberspace environment
  • Do not unfairly criticize institutions, organizations, and brands
  • Do not unfairly criticize political opponents or other countries as using unverified, unreliable information etc.
  • Do not engage at any level in cyber spying, whether the target is an individual, firm, institution, or country
  • Do not engage in taking or disseminating private personal information
  • Do not engage or support in any form of cyber wars.

 IT Engineers: Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security

  • Develop products to enhance cybersecurity
  • Do not create or distribute Internet viruses
  • Do not launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks
  • Do not attack, disable, or steal information resources
  • Do not blackmail or otherwise threaten any person or organization
  • Do not deliberately create gaps in Internet security, and report any that are discovered
  • Do not use and distribute private information about individuals or organizations
  • Do not engage or assist in any form of cyberterrorism

Business Firms and Business Leaders: Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security

  • Take steps to secure company information
  • Do not unfairly attack other companies
  • Do not attack other governments
  • Do not use products or systems that operate counter to a free and open Internet
  • Do not invest in products or systems that go against the humane values of a free and open Internet.

 Educators, Influencers/Institutions: Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security

  • Do not disseminate or support negative opinions, doctrines that discourage the implementation of Cyber security measures
  • Educate and lead global citizens to support and execute ECCC
  • Propose solutions to build awareness of the value of ECCC and encourage its implementation
  • Foster public opinions that against bad behaviors such as theft of private data and information for distribution on the Internet.
  • Encourage those who use the Internet for purposes that contribute to a better life for all of mankind.
  • Create honors and awards to recognize outstanding individuals who contribute greatly for a secure and safe Cyberspace environment.

Patterson of BGF and Harvard discusses Viet-US relations

(May 23rd, 2016) Thomas E. Patterson, of The Boston Global Forum and Harvard’s Kennedy School, in an interview with Lan Anh, a journalist with VietNamNet,  discusses current and  future U.S.-Vietnamese relations. He explains the roles of closer trade relations, Chinese militaristic expansionism in the South China Sea and Americans’ admiration for U.S. citizens of Vietnamese ethnicity in bringing Vietnam and America together. Here some of his thoughts

The lifting of the arms embargo is a further step in the strengthening of relations between Vietnam and the United States. It enhances the security of both nations, while adding to the growing ties between them. In the last year alone, trade between Vietnam and the United States has increased greatly and, if the Trans Pacific Partnership is adopted, the two countries will become major trading partners.


As Vietnam develops, and grows in strength in every way, there’s a possibility of a strategic partnership between the two countries similar to those that now exist between the United States and Japan and the United States and South Korea. However, America’s strategic partnerships are largely limited to countries that share a commitment to human rights and free and fair elections. Political reform in Vietnam would likely have to precede a strategic partnership. That’s a matter for the government and people of Vietnam to decide as their country’s development progresses.

America’s support for human rights is a lesson it learned the hard way when it backed a number of authoritarian regimes during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Such regimes at some point lose the support of their people, which creates instability and blunts their progress. As well, nations that respect human rights rarely engage in armed conflict with each other. Through a commitment to human rights, they have discovered peaceful ways to resolve their differences to their mutual benefit. Beyond the issue of human rights, U.S. policymakers are interested in productive trade relations, which by definition benefit all the countries involved. Obstacles to free and fair trade could disrupt the further development of U.S.-Vietnam relations, though there is nothing at the moment that would suggest such obstacles exist between the United States and Vietnam. Unless that changes, I foresee a long period of productive trade relations. China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea are also bringing the two countries closer together. For Vietnam, China’s actions are a direct threat to its sovereignty and endanger its rightful access to ocean resources. For the United States, China’s actions are a threat to the law of the sea. Nations have worked diligently to develop laws and norms governing the seas, and China’s actions ignore the mutual benefits that result from unimpeded transportation routes and respect for rightful claims to ocean resources. A further connection between the United States and Vietnam is the large and increasingly prosperous Vietnamese American community, which numbers more than a million people. They have enriched American society in many fields, everything from education to music to business. They are a role model that has inspired other Americans to admire and respect Vietnam and its people. In sum, the things that divide the United States and Vietnam are easily outnumbered by the things that unite them. That’s the promise of the future, a future that was unimaginable at the end of the tragic and destructive war that once divided our two countries.

U.S. totally lifts arms embargo on Vietnam

(May 23rd, 2016) The Obama administration announced Monday that the United States would fully lift  the U.S. embargo on arms sales to Vietnam. Mr. Obama did not say this openly, but everyone knows that the decision mostly reflects growing concerns about China’s military clout  and  particularly its militaristic expansionism in the South China Sea. More generally  the dramatic news  shows the warming bilateral ties between the former enemy nations in a wide range of sectors, including economic and cultural.


President Obama disclosed the new arrangement at a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during the opening day of his first visit to the country.   The Washington Post reported that “Mr. Obama emphasized that his decision reflected a maturing relationship and deepening cooperation on security and economic investment {more than} four decades after the end of the Vietnam War.’’

Two years ago, the administration eased portions of the arms embargo that had been in place since 1975. The aim was to help bolster Vietnam’s maritime security in the South China Sea, where China’s move to exert more naval control of crucial shipping corridors has angered Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations that have claimed sovereignty. It has also upset the United States, Japan, India and many other  nations, especially given that 30 percent of world trade goes through the South China Sea.

Obama said the latest step “was not based on China or any other considerations. It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam.” That was a careful diplomatic remark. Again, the move is clearly aimed at discouraging China from further adventurism in the South China Sea, which has involved, among other things, building military installations on disputed reefs and islands.

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G7 officials to draft new climate-change strategies

(May 23rd, 2016) As part of their preparation for the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Japan on May 26-27, G7 environmental officials have agreed to draft long-term strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions “as soon as possible” in order to lead global efforts to address manmade climate change.


The ministers held a two-day meeting in Toyama to discuss following up on the Paris Agreement, a pact to fight global warming brokered between 195 nations in December. Countries agreed then to create “long-term low greenhouse-gas emission development strategies” by 2020.

“We commit to develop and communicate our strategies to the UNFCCC Secretariat, as soon as possible and well within the schedule provided by the COP21 decision,” the ministers said. The UNFCCC refers to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Taking the lead in communicating these strategies will send strong signals to the private sector and other countries for the necessary transition toward a low-carbon society,” the ministers said.

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Obama mulls expanded weapons sales to Vietnam to help thwart China

(May 23rd, 2016) U.S. President Obama is considering broadly expanding weapons sales to Vietnam to strengthen ties with Hanoi and boost regional defenses against China’s growing clout – and especially its seizure and militarization of some islands and reefs in the South China Sea, through which 30 percent of world trade in physician things is shipped.


The Los Angeles Times says he “is leaning toward a partial lift – but has not ruled out a full suspension – of the ban on arms sales begun during the U.S. war in Vietnam and eased slightly in 2014.’’

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government is considering a U.S. request to grant  the U.S. Navy greater access to Cam Ranh Bay, a major supply point for the U.S. military during the American war in Vietnam, and “a port with direct access to the increasingly contested islands in the South China Sea.’’

Russia sees more cooperation with Japan

(May 23rd, 2016) The Russian news service Sputnik News, which acts as a conduit for government pronouncements, says  that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been laying the groundwork for further economic and other cooperation, noting the importance of  the second Eastern Economic Forum, to be held next Sept. 2-3 in Vladivostok. Messrs. Abe and Putin are expected to attend it

Earlier this month, the two leaders held rare talks in Sochi,  Russia, where they discussed a wide range of political, economic and international issues.
According to Putin aide Yuri Ushakov,  the Russian president is expected to visit Japan by the end of 2016.

Mr. Abe will host the G7 Summit May 26-27 in Japan, where his discussions with Mr. Putin will certainly come up.

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Put Code of Conduct for Cybersecurity into practice

(May 23rd, 2016) Last year as part of its effort to promote cybersecurity, the Boston Global Forum issued an Ethics Code of Conduct for Cybersecurity. This year, we are concentrating on ideas/suggestions on how to put the Code of Conduct into practice. We’re inviting leading policymakers, scholars, and technology experts to write short pieces (400-600 words) with their recommendations.

We will post the pieces on our website ( and distribute them to our international network. We would be honored if you would agree to contribute a piece as part of that effort.

Here are two request-letters from VNR and iNhaTrang to call for putting code of conduct by BGF into practice

Letter from VNR

Letter from iNhaTrang


Europe/Mideast/Africa software developers worry most about cyberterror

A survey by Evans Data finds that software developers in the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa are very worried about cybersecurity, with the largest plurality citing cyberterrorism as the cyberthreat they most fear.


The company says that “more software developers in the region (38.4 percent) feel that cyberterrorism is the threat they are most concerned with, followed by cybertheft (29.8 percent) and cyberespionage (21.4 percent).’’

“Cyberespionage, while in some ways related to both cybertheft and cyber terrorism, is distinguished from the two in that it involves theft of sensitive, classified, or proprietary information, rather than theft of money or deliberate sabotage,’’ the company said.

“Security is especially worrisome for developers in Europe,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “They are most concerned with the very real threat of terrorism, and the failure of many organizations to implement a formal security strategy just adds to the anxiety. Only 30 percent of these developers say their company has a formal security policy in place that is adhered to across departments, and that’s very concerning when you think about the other 70 percent.”

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G7 education ministers set agenda

(May 23rd, 2016) In preparation for the G7 Summit May 26-27, G7 education ministers meeting in Japan have agreed to collaborate to improve education, including addressing the education deficits of refugee children and widening income inequality (with some of the latter linked to education deficits among low- and even middle-income people).


The representatives of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union agreed to try to offer quality education to children of refugees and immigrants at a time when European countries have a huge influx of immigrants displaced by wars and poverty in the Mideast and Africa.

The Japan Times reported: “The declaration also said that the countries will join hands in training teachers capable of guiding children with distinct cultural, religious and language backgrounds to accommodate the recent global surge in refugees and immigrants.’’

“In addition, the statement emphasized the importance of conveying core values such as democracy and the rule of law to the young to prevent them from joining radical extremist groups.’’

This dovetails with UNESCO’s program in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, with which The Boston Global Forum has been working closely.

The Japan Times als0 reported that the ministers also agreed to try to ensure equal opportunities for young people and women living in poverty, whether or not they are immigrants, in addition to boosting efforts to promote science and math education.

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Russian news service claims ‘breakthrough’ in Japanese relations

(May 16th, 2016) The Russian government-linked news service Sputnik News reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his confidence in what the service called a ‘’breakthrough’’ in relations with Vladimir Putin’s government.


Mr. Abe said that talks on various issues would continue between the nations. Key among them is the status of the Kuril Islands (which the Japanese call “The Northern Territories’’), which the former Soviet Union seized from Japan at the end of World War II.

Indeed, a formal peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo has yet to be signed, over seven decades after the end of the war, at least in part because of Japanese anger over the seizure of the Kurils.

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