Hungarian Foreign Minister
Martonyi made the point on the sidelines of the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 which started Thursday at COEX in southern Seoul. He was in charge of last year's event in Budapest.
"In my view, the greatest challenges ahead of us are that cyberspace is emerging as a new dimension of conflicts of the future and that there is an exponential rise in criminality in cyberspace fueled, somewhat ironically, by the very same advances in digital technology," he said in an interview.
"Accordingly, tackling cybercrime is perhaps the most pressing issue of our time and it requires concerted national, regional and international cooperation involving all relevant or affected stakeholders."
However, the world created by the Internet and information technology is not all doom and gloom ― Martonyi said that it also offers big opportunities of economic growth in terms of improved productivity, taking Korea as an example.
"Cyberspace offers plentiful opportunities and a clear consensus has emerged that it is a crucial contributor to economic growth and a key driver of gains in productivity globally," he said.
"The remarkable story of the economic boom of South Korea is a good example for the extremely close relationship between the evolution of innovation as well as technological and economic development."
Indeed, Korea has been dubbed as the poster child of the Internet era as Asia's No. 4 economy chalked up economic growth momentums through a faster adoption of new information technologies than its competitors.
The Foreign Minister added that all stakeholders across the world should join hands to take advantage of the upside potentials of the cyberspace while shunning possible downsides.
"Harnessing the benefits of cyberspace while protecting its freedoms is best achieved through inclusive participation of all stakeholders whose cooperation is absolutely essential," he said.
"Governments have to lead by example while also relying on the expertise accumulated by industry, thus sharing the responsibility to mitigate risks, avert threats and make the most of what cyberspace has to offer for the benefit of all."
Martonyi served as Hungary's foreign minister between 1998 and 2002. He was reappointed to the post in 2010 and has basked in the global spotlight as the mastermind of effective foreign policy and planning for Hungarian Presidency of the European Union in early 2011.
He also successfully chaired the second edition of the cyberspace conference last year.