On April 7, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland participated in the annual Five Country Ministerial (FCM), hosted by New Zealand and joined by the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Ministers discussed global security initiatives; migration and border security measures during COVID-19; strategies for improving cybersecurity, including tackling ransomware more effectively; addressing threats in online environments; countering foreign interference; and fighting the spread of violent extremism and terrorism.
The FCM also issued a standalone “Ministerial Statement Regarding the Threat of Ransomware” highlighting the growing threat of ransomware and the significant risk it poses to governments, industry, critical infrastructure, and the public. Last week, Secretary Mayorkas announced that fighting ransomware would be the first in a series of 60-day sprints DHS will undertake to mobilize action in key priority areas. The FCM committed to further collaborate to make progress in this area of work.
Secretary Mayorkas briefed the five partners on steps DHS is taking to counter foreign malign influence and reframe migration management. Secretary Mayorkas also stressed the importance of collaboration on reopening international borders when the global health situation allows and sharing innovations to facilitate and better streamline legitimate trade and travel.