Malta’s ambassador delivers insights on quantum diplomacy

Embark on a journey into the intersection of quantum computing and diplomacy with insights from André Xuereb, Ambassador for Digital Affairs, as he unravels the transformative potential of quantum technologies in shaping global relations.

Andre Xuereb, Malta, ambassador

In an interview given to Digital Watch Observatory, André Xuereb, Ambassador for Digital Affairs at the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, provided insights into the world of quantum computing and its implications for diplomacy. Quantum computing, as described by Xuereb, harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to tackle complex problems by exploiting the simultaneous states of quantum bits or qubits, offering unprecedented computational power.

Xuereb emphasised the transformative potential of quantum computing, particularly in areas like drug discovery and cryptography. With its ability to handle intricate molecular structures efficiently, quantum computers could revolutionise drug design and accelerate the development of new medicines. Additionally, the inherent properties of quantum computing pose challenges to traditional encryption methods, potentially compromising data security.

Addressing the emergence of quantum diplomacy, Xuereb underscored the need for international collaboration and governance frameworks to navigate the complexities of quantum technologies. Initiatives like the Open Quantum Institute in Geneva, a global platform for quantum research and development, aim to facilitate equitable access to quantum resources, bridging the gap between countries with varying technological capabilities. Meanwhile, major tech players such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and others, with their substantial investments in quantum technologies, are not only driving technological advancements but also shaping the diplomatic landscape by influencing policy discussions and international cooperation in this field.

Looking ahead, Xuereb advised future quantum diplomats to prioritise discussions around the implications of quantum technologies on global security and communication. With the advent of general-purpose quantum computers, the risk of cyber threats, such as the ability to break current encryption methods, and the need for secure communication channels become paramount diplomatic concerns. However, Xuereb emphasised the importance of striking a balance between leveraging quantum advancements for societal benefits and mitigating potential risks associated with their misuse, such as the potential for quantum computers to crack current encryption methods, leading to widespread data breaches and security vulnerabilities.