Good afternoon excellencies, distinguished delegates, the second meeting of the first substantive session of the open-ended working group on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies, established pursuant to GA resolution 75/240, is now called to order. distinguished delegates, as you know, this morning, I had announced that I will convene informal consultations on the issue of stakeholder participation. I’d like to inform you that we had very productive and constructive informal consultations on the issue of stakeholder participation. On the basis of the views I heard from all delegations this morning, as well as the views I heard during the informal consultations earlier this afternoon, I have put forward some draft modalities on the issue of stakeholder participation. This is now being circulated in the form of a letter from me to all delegations, and the email should be going out very shortly. At the informal consultations this afternoon we also reached an understanding among delegations that will present that although the programme of work is not yet adopted, we will be able to proceed this afternoon with the agenda item four, which is the general exchange of views. And we will complete the consideration of this agenda item four on general exchange of views, and then return to the issue of the formal adoption of the programme of work. I’d like to thank all delegations for their active participation both in the morning, as well as in the informal consultations this afternoon. And in particular, I’d like to thank delegations for the constructive tone, for their constructive engagement, and as well as they are indications of flexibility that I was able to discern during the informal consultations. On the basis of the understanding reached distinguished delegates, excellencies the working group will now begin its consideration of agenda item four general exchange of views. We have a list of speakers and it gives me now the great pleasure to give the floor to the first speaker Brunei Darussalam Ambassador noor Qamar Sulaiman, who is speaking on behalf of ASEAN. Ambassador, you have the floor please.
Mr. Chair, I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of ASEAN. We welcome the second iteration of the Open-ended Working Group or OEWG as the continuation of the UN mechanism established with the participation of all member states, acting on the basis of consensus to continue addressing the subject of developments in the field of information and telecommunication, in the context of international security, ASEAN once again congratulates you our dearest friend for your assumption of duty as chair of the OEWG 2021 to 2025. ASEAN will render its full cooperation and support to you and your team. Mr. Chair, it is imperative for the United Nations to continue playing a central role in discussion on cybersecurity, which must remain open and inclusive. ASEAN reaffirms the need to enhance cooperation to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment and prevent the risk of misconception and miscalculation, by developing trust and confidence. We welcome the adoption by consensus of the final reports of the OEWG 2019 to 2021 and the sixth iteration of the Group of Governmental Experts on advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace, in the context of international security. ASEAN recognizes that cyber domain represents an opportunity for significant regional economical and technological development, at the same time we are cognisant of the increasing sophistication of the transboundary cyber threats facing us. ASEAN reaffirms that international law and in particular, the UN Charter is applicable to cyberspace and that state sovereignty and international norms and principles that flow from sovereignty applied to the conduct by states of ICT related activities and to the jurisdiction over ICT infrastructure within their territory. Mr. Chair, you sent calls for states to work together to achieve a common understanding on the application of international law and the effective implementation of the existing norms, rules, and principles to guide responsible state behavior in cyberspace. ASEAN also stresses the importance of international cooperation in this field and of facilitating capacity building of states, especially for developing countries, which will allow states to effectively implement these norms and to narrow the digital divide. In ASEAN cooperation on cybersecurity cuts across pillars and sectors, guided by the ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025, and the soon to be updated ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2017 to 2020. To tackle the coordination challenges, ASEAN has established a cybersecurity coordinating committee last year to promote cross sectoral and cross pillar cooperation and strengthen cybersecurity in the region. Under this new mechanism, ASEAN is now developing a regional action plan on the implementation of the norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace to assist with the prioritization and implementation of the eleven (11) voluntary, non binding norms of responsible state behavior in the use of ICT’s. Furthermore, the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (MCC) helps to foster closer cooperation and consultation within ASEAN. The sixth AMCC held in October 2021, built on progress made on key cybersecurity matters discussed previously, as a member state noted the importance of the protection of critical information infrastructure from cyber threats to ensure a safe and secure regional cyberspace, especially in light of new cybersecurity threats posed by ransomware, as well as supply chain attacks and trends. ASEAN member states, welcome the updated ASEAN strategy for cybersecurity cooperation, as laid out in the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021 to 2025. ASEAN members also highlighted the importance of continuing to develop and implement coordinated regional cybersecurity capacity building programs and equipping ASEAN member states with the policy, operational, and technical capacity to implement the eleven (11) voluntary non binding norms of responsible state behavior in the use of ICT. ASEAN also welcomed adoption of the concept papers on ASEAN cyber defense network and ADMM cybersecurity and Information Center of Excellence. By the fifteenth ASEAN Defense Ministers meeting in June 2021. They are important milestone in promoting practical cybersecurity cooperation in ASEAN. These efforts serve as Confidence Building Measures within the region, and ASEAN would like to encourage other regions to adopt similar measures to building trust and confidence at the global level. ASEAN will continue coordinating cyber capacity building programs to help its member states to implement the eleven (11) voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behavior in the use of ICT and also to enhance the region cyber capacity as a whole. This common goal drives the work of the ASEAN Singapore Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Singapore and the ASEAN Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Center in Thailand. We look forward to greater coordination of cybersecurity capacity building programmes by the UN. ASEAN’s overall efforts are driven by the ASEAN consolidated strategy on the fourth industrial revolution 4IR, which was adopted by the ASEAN leaders at the 30th ASEAN summit on 26th October 2021, among others, the 4IR strategy offers a strategic framework that envisions creating a digital ASEAN through focusing on areas which include promoting technological governance and cybersecurity that is open, secure, transparent and connected and respects privacy and ethics in line with international best practices. Mr. Chair, in closing our salary threats the importance of the OEWG platform and the valuable opportunities it offers to all member states to take part in the consultative process on an equal footing. We look forward to engaging the OEWG and other regional organizations to exchange experience and best practices. Please rest assured, Mr. Chair, that ASEAN will continue its constructive engagement as we strive towards a substantive and consensual outcome for the success of this new OEWG and in promoting peace and security in the cyberspace. I thank you.
Thank you very much, Ambassador. I now give the floor to Trinidad and Tobago speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community. Ambassador you have the floor please.
Honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the 14 members of the Caribbean Community CARICOM. Our delegations wish to convey to you our sincere congratulations on your election as chair and you can be assured of our full support and cooperation during this session. I would also like to thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Under Secretary General Nakamitsu, the chair of the previous OEWG Ambassador Lauber and the chair of the GGE 2019 to 2021. Ambassador Patriota, for their statements. Regarding the modalities of stakeholder participation in the work of the OEWG, CARICOM agrees with the view that maintaining the precedent of the first OEWG is the best course of action. We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders during the planned informal consultative meetings. Mr. Chair, as states and societies have grown ever more dependent on the functioning of IT infrastructure, the potential impacts of cyber threats have only broadened in scope, the rapid developments in information and communication technologies, even as states have struggled to keep pace in their response requires our action sooner rather than later. CARICOM believes that in order for this process to be as successful and action oriented as possible, we need to focus our efforts on operationalizing the voluntary norms, rules, and principles of responsible state behavior inspired cyberspace contained in the 2015 GGE Report. Mr. Chair too often developing countries suffer the consequences of the actions of those with more powerful capabilities, the same is true in cyberspace. While the most powerful and developed countries among us are capable of both unleashing damaging cyber attacks, and countering them, developing Countries lack the capacity to effectively defend themselves against such threats, or to manage the fallout of such actions. As such, it is a priority for CARICOM that we ensure the equal and active participation by developing countries, particularly LDCs, LLDC’s and SIDS. In the work of this OEWG, we also encourage broad participation by stakeholders from developing countries, as they offer a unique perspective of the challenges faced by all countries in relation to cyber security. A second and related priority is the enhancement of capacity building programs. Cyberspace has a particularly borderless dimension, and cyber incidents in one state can quickly spread to the entire system. Developing countries particularly in my own region, are uniquely unprepared to halt the spread of such cyber disease. As we have seen with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are only as strong as the weakest link. Mr. Chair, perhaps the most important element in our deliberations is that of trust. We cannot expect to achieve meaningful progress if we base our discussions and actions on a foundation of mistrust, fear and misunderstanding. To that end, we underscore the key role of Confidence Building Measures in maintaining a peaceful and secure cyber environment. We further recognize that the OEWG in itself can function as a CBM, and encourage states to use this platform as a starting point for bilateral and regional confidence building mechanisms. Finally, CARICOM reaffirms the applicability of international law to the use of ICTs and underscores the importance of ensuring that their use is fully in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, which provides a fundamental and essential framework in guiding states in all their actions. We further recognize that voluntary rules, norms and principles can serve to strengthen international law in the field of information and communication technologies. In conclusion, CARICOM notes that while ICTs have tremendously contributed to the development across the world, they have also created historical security challenges. We further note our increasing reliance on these technologies, especially during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure that the immense benefits we enjoy as a result of the rapid advance of ICTs is to not put our critical systems at risk of malicious interference. We must therefore take full advantage of these opportunities to exchange views and elaborate actionable strategies to address the global threat of cyber vulnerabilities. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Ambassador. I now call upon the delegation of European Union, you have the floor please.
I have the honor again to speak on behalf of the EU member states and the candidate countries, Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the country of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidate Bosnia Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia align themselves with this statement. Let me start by reiterating that the EU member states look forward to our joint work to actively advance and enhance our common understanding on the UN framework for responsible state behavior. The Open-ended Working Group is an opportunity for the international community to an open, inclusive and transparent manner exchange on a responsible use of ICTs by states that is consistent with its international obligations. In order to achieve these objectives, the open and notably take forward to consensus recommendations provided by the first Open-ended Working Group, as well as the previous reports of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts, including his latest report. While well known, let me also reiterate that the EU member states promote the cyberspace that is open to all, respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and which is global, stable and secure, in order to support social and economic development. In order for us all to reap the benefits of cyberspace, we need to ensure that we make progress in our work, and let me reassure you, Mr. Chair and all the delegates that the EU and its member states are committed to advance the discussions and are ready to engage with a positive approach in an effort to make constructive progress, which builds on the existing UN consensus grounded in the application of international law, and the norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. And also in this vein, we have put forward together with 54 states a proposal to establish a Programme of Action to advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace, which will allow complementary to the Open-Ended Working Group to advance a practical work in this matter. In particular, we look forward to sharing our best practices and lessons learned, as well as our proposals to advance our work, contributing to our common understanding and operationalizing, the consensus in the UN in this manner. During the past GGE and Open-ended Working Group, the issue of international law, the consensus on the application of international law in cyberspace was accompanied by a recommendation to further study and develop common understandings on how international law applies in cyberspace. The Open-ended Working Group could advance this task and could encourage all states to build global capacities in the area of international law, national legislation and policies in order to articulate a national position in this context. In addition, the Open-ended Working Group could exchange on the eleven (11) norms of responsible state behavior, strengthening the implementation, and the ability on how to continue to ensure international security and stability in cyberspace. The previous reports have also set the stage for further discussion of Confidence Building Measures in the context of international security and allowed for progress as regards to cyber capacity building, including through the UN General Assembly resolutions 64/211 on the creation of a global culture on cybersecurity. On all of these themes, the international security community has been able to make progress multilaterally, regionally and nationally, allowing us to build on our own achievements to date during this second Open-Ended Working Group. In this regard, the EU and its member states proposed that the Open-Ended Working Group should prioritize exchanges on viable proposals for consensus that are currently reflected in the GGE and Open-Ended. Working Group reports, further advancing the UN framework for responsible state behavior in cyberspace. With that in mind, the EU and its member states also believe that proposals that are not part of the US consensus yet could have the potential and deserve further discussion in the Open-Ended Working Group in order to advance a common understanding in view of a possible consensus on them. However, we should avoid undermining our progress on the UN framework in cyberspace to date. We should not undermine our collective ability to address our urgent needs of enhancing international security and stability in cyberspace. Therefore, we reiterate our known concerns as regards some of the proposals reflected within the chair summary that aim to shift the trajectory of our common endeavor. In our view, the focus should not be to advance a new framework. Our work under the Open-Ended Working Group should focus on advancing the solid basis that already exists, and we should do so in cooperation with other stakeholders who hold their own responsibilities to advance security and stability in cyberspace. Let me stress on behalf of the EU and its member states that we are committed to contribute to the Open-Ended Working Group advancing the UN framework, and to share concrete proposals, best practices and experiences to this end. There, Mr. Chair, I thank you for your efforts, and congratulate you with your first substantial session.
Thank you very much European Union, I now give the floor to Indonesia. Speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Indonesia, you have the floor please.
Mr. Chair in our capacity as the coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement Working Group on disarmement, we’d like to first congratulate you Ambassador Burhan Gafoor of Singapore on your election as the chair of the Open-Ended Working Group, or OEWG, on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies. We assure you have NAM full support and cooperation in your stewardship to move us forward together towards safeguarding cyberspace from becoming an arena of conflict and ensuring instead the exclusive peaceful uses, which would enable the full realization of the potential of ICT’s for contributing to social and economic development. NAM notes the successful conclusion of the Open-Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, or 2019 to 2021 OEWG as the first inclusive mechanism established within the UN, with participation of all member states, acting on the basis of consensus. NAM also welcomes the consensual adoption of its outcome document. NAM extends its appreciation to the 2019 – 2021 OEWG chair, Ambassador Jurg Lauber of Switzerland for his leadership in this process. Furthermore, NAM strongly supports the OEWG’s important role as an inclusive multi-lateral intergovernmental body to address the subject of security of and in the use of information and communication technologies. Now, because the OEWG’s mandate contained in the GGE resolution 75/240, and reiterate the importance of the OEWG’s platform and the valuable opportunities in the course all UN member states to take part in the consultative process on an equal footing. Any proposals and initiatives should be given equal importance and require political will from the entire OEWG’s membership to arrive at the successful conclusion. While NAM notes the positive benefits of ICT’s and their contribution to development and encourages states to implement norms, rules, and principles for the responsible behavior of states as this will contribute to increasing stability and security in cyberspace. The movement is concerned with cases of illegal and malicious use of new ICT’s to the detriment of member states of the movement and expresses strong condemnation and rejections to these violations. NAM also expresses its concern regarding the militarization and weaponization of cyberspace, through the development of cyber offensive capabilities in a manner that would turn cyberspace into a theater of military operations. NAM stresses the importance of ensuring that the use of ICTs is fully in accordance with the principles of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, especially sovereignty, equality, non interference in international affairs of states refraining from the threat or use of force in international relations, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, and peaceful co-existence among states, which provides a fundamental and essential framework in guiding states in their use of ICTs, NAM has put on record through its working paper, which was presented to the 2019-2021 OEWG positions presented by NAM delegations, which are based on the principles and objectives of the movement. As we continue with our deliberations, it is our hope that substantive inputs contained in the working paper will be given due consideration, as they reflect the views of a majority of UN member states. Recalling the consensus adoption of the 2019-2021 OEWG report NAM underlines the importance of ensuring [unclear] nature of the democratic, inclusive, and transparent negotiation process on security in the use of information and communication technologies, under the auspices of the United Nations, NAM hopes that our work will build upon and take into account of the rich discussion contained in the report of the 2019-2021 OEWG. Nam stresses that the development of any international legal framework to address issues related to the use of ICT’s, with implication on international peace and security should take into account the concern and interest of all states and be based on consensus and pursued within the UN with active and equal participation of all states. The consensus adoption of UN GGE resolution 76/19 entitled ‘The Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, and Advancing Responsible State Behavior in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies’, creates a positive momentum to commence this OEWG process in an inclusive and transparent manner. NAM further recognizes the important role of rendering flexibility and solidarity in achieving a consensus outcome. Finally, please rest assured, Mr. Chair, that NAM will continue its constructive engagement as we strive towards a successful and fruitful OEWG process ahead. I thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, Indonesia. I call upon now Finland speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries.
Mr. Chair, I have the honor of speaking on behalf of the five Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Finland. I wish to start by extending our congratulations to you on the assumption of the chairmanship of this working group. I assure you of our delegations readiness to engage constructively. We’re confident that under your guidance, we are well placed to make a useful contribution to our shared objective of promoting a free, open, and secure cyberspace. Mr. Chair, we believe that the work of the OEWG should be primarily focused on identifying areas where consensus has already been reached, and building a programme of work on that solid foundation. International law, including the UN Charter in its entirety, applies in cyberspace, and provides the legal framework for responsible state behavior in their use of ICT’s. This must be the starting point for the work of the OEWG, in our shared view, the OEWG should advance a common understanding on how existing international law applies in cyberspace. Such discussions are greatly facilitated by the efforts of many states, including from the Nordic region that have put forward their national positions on the application of international law in cyberspace. We thank all those states for their contributions and encourage more states to make their national positions known. We welcome the additional layer of understanding that the report of the latest GGE has added to the voluntary non-binding norms for responsible state behavior, this provides an important foundation for our continued discussions. We believe firmly that this working group can provide clear added value by elaborating further on various ways and means for global capacity building to address threats and challenges stemming from cyberspace. The need for global capacity building efforts has been aptly highlighted by the GGE and all OEWG. International cooperation in cyber capacity building can strengthen state’s ability to detect, investigate, and respond in a timely and effective manner to threats emanating from cyberspace and ensure that all states have the capacity to act responsibly in their use of ICT’s. In this regard, and to advance implementation of the UN framework at large, we support the proposal for a Programme of Action or POA. The OEWG provides an opportunity for further exchange and elaboration on this initiative. Mr. Chair, there’s a clear need for a further broad based dialogue between relevant stakeholders in order to foster a better understanding on the opportunities and challenges related to global capacity building. Talks and cooperation between states are necessary, but not sufficient. Ensuring a free, open and secure cyberspace where human rights and fundamental freedoms are preserved and promoted is not only a common interest, but also a shared responsibility. We need to reach out and listen to all interested stakeholders of cyberspace, private sector, civil society, and academia. We expect the Open-Ended Working Group to provide a useful contribution to the global capacity building efforts. We believe that cyber capacity building is not only indispensable to the goal of digital development, but we hope that it can serve as a unifying topic among the UN membership. In closing, we are looking forward to constructive process that will deepen our common understanding, enhance confidence, and increase predictability and stability in and beyond cyberspace. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, Finland. I give now the floor to Pakistan. You have the floor please.
Mr. Chairman, the Pakistan delegation congratulate you on your election as chair of this Open-Ended Working Group, we assure you of our full-support and cooperation. This OEWG a UN mechanism with a universal membership and acting on the basis of consensus is well placed to promote agreed responses to the challenges and opportunities posed by the rapid advances in the field of information and communications technologies. As regards non stakeholder participation in this group, we have already conveyed our support for your proposal to adhere to the practice of the previous of OEWG. Mr. Chairman ICT technologies and applications have enhanced access to information and knowledge, utilization for health promotion and protection, efficient production and a myriad of other uses. These technologies were particularly critical during the COVID pandemic. On the negative side, these technologies have expanded the domains of conflict. Cyber warfare has emerged as a new domain of warfare, from information warfare to actual cyber attacks by states and non-state actors, recent reports of suspected cyber attacks are illustrative, we must be particularly concerned at the significant increase in recent years in the frequency of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. These incidents of malicious use of ICT are diminishing trust and confidence among states. They lower the threshold of war and undermine international peace and security, ensuring the peaceful use of ICT’s and preventing cyberspace from becoming a realm of conflict are the most critical challenges faced by this group. We are also plagued by the exponential proliferation of this information through online platforms and social media. This is exacerbating social discord, competing nationalisms, discrimination, hate speech, stigmatization, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and related intolerance, this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extreme reliance on ICT’s, yielding phenomena from fake cures to anti-vaccine conspiracies. This phenomenon of disinformation has a negative impact on the enbart enjoyment of human rights, often constitutes interference in the internal affairs of states erodes international cooperation, and could pose threats to international peace and security. Mr. Chairman, the adoption of the consensus report by the previous Open-Ended Working Group in March this year, was a significant and welcome development, it reinforces our conviction that global efforts to create a safe, secure, stable and peaceful ICT environment can be achieved. It is important to consolidate the progress achieved thus far and maintain momentum for continuing this inclusive and transparent process. Mr. Chairman, the 2013 and 2015 Group of Governmental Experts, and the recent report of OEWG, contributed to the evolution of a broad consensus among member states that international law and in particular the Charter of the United Nations are applicable and essential to maintain peace and stability in the ICT environment. The UN Charter is unequivocal in upholding the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. These principles should serve as a guiding framework, as we navigate the complexities of cyber governance. A simple assertion, however, of the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace is not sufficient to address the multi-faceted legal challenges arising from ICT as the extent scope and nature of the applicability of international law, its interpretation in the context of the actual conduct of states and the use of ICT’s in specific contexts acts and problems, all must be considered in determining their specific legal implications and application. The GGE is a compendium of views of member states could be a useful source in elaborating such a new instrument. Pakistan therefore shares the view that it is essential to develop a legally binding international instrument, specifically tailored to the unique attributes of ICT is to provide a regulatory framework that creates stability and safety in cyberspace. Such a legal framework should address the concerns and interests of all states be based on consensus and be promoted within the United Nations with the equal participation of all states. The United Nations has a central role in promoting dialogue and international cooperation among member states to develop a common understanding on all key aspects of the ICT matrix. In parallel with the work of the group, however, there is also a need to work with the UN, especially its Department of Communications, and other relevant agencies to counter the proliferation of this information, countering this information will require sustained efforts, international cooperation, and multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder engagement consistent with international law, including human rights and humanitarian law. Such work could eventually enrich the work of the OEWG. Mr. Chairman, appropriate Confidence Building Measures, such as voluntary exchange of information and best practices can contribute to increasing transparency and predictability in cyberspace and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and thus reduce the risk of conflict, this can be an area of early progress for this OEWG. Similarly, international cooperation for capacity building and sharing of requisite technologies to enhance cybersecurity could be another area of early progress. Mr. Chairman, we hope that the OEWG’s deliberations can help in developing common understandings that can form the basis of future work towards preventing cyberspace from becoming a realm of conflict. Mr. Chairman, with a population of over 220 million people, and a flourishing digital landscape marked by a growing number of online users, Pakistan attaches immense importance to leveraging digital technologies for enabling socio-economic development and facilitating more effective and efficient governance and public service delivery, bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries is essential for the global transition to modern and efficient national economies, and effective international cooperation, as well as to enhance the objective of cybersecurity. I, thank you.
Thank you very much, Ambassador for your statement. I call upon now Brazil, you have the floor, please.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. At the outset, I would like to reaffirm Brazil’s support to your work Ambassador for a long and challenging path that lies ahead of us. After witnessing the efforts of the chairs of the previous groups, especially the latest OEWG and GGE, we understand the importance of member states and chair working hand in glove in order to find solutions to bridge our positions. In light of that rest assured that you can count on Brazil to fulfill the difficult tasks that was entrusted upon you. Despite the complexity of the current mandate, there are no reasons not to start this process on a positive note, as we have reiterated on many occasions, the work of this group does not begin with a clean slate. On the contrary, we are privileged to have an impressive amount of previous work as a compass. We believe that this group has always taken into consideration the results of previous groups and push the discussions forward from where they have left off. In that sense, we fully agree with the idea pointed out by you Mr. Chair during the organizational session. We are fortunate to have a strong foundation and our diplomatic investment should be put into the task of building on this foundation. With that idea in mind, we take this opportunity to welcome the adoption by consensus of a single resolution on cybersecurity in the first committee passed October later confirmed by General Assembly. This resolution recognizes the importance of the efforts made by the previous OEWG and GGE and calls up in states to guide their use of information and communication technologies by the 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2021 reports. Therefore, it is our understanding that the mandate of resolution 75/240 should be read considering this consensually achieved the recommendation. Mr. Chair, addressing the current mandate and the guiding questions you put forward in your latest letter, Brazil believes that this OEWG has a strong basis to decide on concrete measures to implement previously agreed voluntary rules, norms and principles, while simultaneously further elaborating on topics that remain contentious among states. In that sense, we should look at the gaps in previous reports and try to fill them in the rather targeted approach. We believe that this strategy is especially promising for discussions on how international law applies on capacity building, and on Confidence Building Measures, areas that are of utmost relevance for conflict prevention. On international law, we understand that the analysis of national positions is a valuable exercise in the process of identifying points of this agreement, but also commonalities. However, we also understand that our task in this group is to be the multi-lateral view on this matter, one that goes beyond uni-lateral interpretation. In Brazil’s perspective, this is a necessary step to build a stable, peaceful, and sustainable cyber environment. On capacity building and Confidence Building Measures, we believe that at the start, we should carefully listen to what states have to say about the stage of their national and regional initiatives to ensure cybersecurity by exchanging our experiences and by exposing our strong and weak spots, we’ll be able to build a solid foundation to apply the principles agreed in the latest OEWG report related to 1) process and purpose 2) partnerships and 3) people, in that front, we understand that we could also count on multiple stakeholders in the task of building more resilient systems bound to directly benefit our peoples. Mr. Chair, regarding pending organizational and modality issues Brazil reiterates its position that the establishment of subgroups might be counterproductive to the discussion and considered that a compartmentalized approach may lead to an unwanted hierarchization of topics besides demanding human resource not always available to all delegations. Furthermore, Brazil is not comfortable with the idea of creating additional subgroups on topics such as human rights, humanitarian impacts of ICT’s, and gender issues. Since this topic should not be dealt with in a peripheral manner. They are part of the main conversation we are having and have had in previous groups and should continue to be treated that way. Finally, as I stated during the morning session, Brazil reaffirms its full commitment to a multi-stakeholder approach to the work of this OEWG on the matter of the broad participation of civil society in this process. We are confident that the chair would be able to assist the member states in finding a solution of consensus establishing rather transparent modalities that allow for the comprehensive involvement of non-governmental entities in discussions on all topics in this OEWG Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Brazil. I give now the floor to the Russian Federation. You have the floor please. Russian Federation you have the floor please.
Distinguished Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group, Your Excellency Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. Finally, we have started discussing th substantive issues on the agenda of the current session and we welcome the decision made by the chair of the working group to overcome certain organizational difficulties and start our practical work. The Russian Federation is of the view that as a basis for the Working Group work on the issues of security of and the use of information communication security technologies 2021 – 2025 should be the mandate, ee have in UN resolution 75/240, which was then re enshrined by resolutions 76/19 of 6 December 2021, and the Russian proposals to ensure there’s continuity of the negotiation process in a universal and democratic format of the working group ensure that all states have the opportunity to participate in the decision making process on the basis of the principles of consensus. The mandate of the Open-Ended Working Group enshrines, as a priority, the further work on the rules and norms and principles of state responsible behavior and the way of implementing such rules, norms and principles. It is our view now that this area of work is something that requires special attention, given the fact that there are growing threats and challenges in the ICT space, and this means that we have on the agenda the issue of gradually moving from recommendation kinds of norms towards the development and agreeing on very clear and single for one and all rules for state behavior in information space and making sure that they become legally binding in nature. And we stand ready to make a concrete contribution to our work in this area. Within the first Open-Ended Working Group, states came up with considerable number of national proposals and contributions on the rules, norms and principles of responsible state behavior. Not all of these considerations were agreed. Some of them are in the chair’s summary on the understanding that work thereupon is to be continued in the new group, taking into account that the Open-Ended Working Group was established under the auspices of the first committee of the General Assembly in charge of disarmament and international security issues, it is exactly the aspects of ensuring security in the use of ICT that should be the focus of the group’s work. A possible significant area of work could be creating developing the legal and practical cooperation mechanisms to help creating the international ICT systems based on conflict prevention and the promotion of the peaceful uses of ICT. The Open-Ended Working Group should become a platform not just for discussions, but for pragmatic negotiations aimed at achieving tangible results. It is important to provide for an in-depth and thematically specialized discussion to ensure there is a more thorough consideration of every element the group has in its mandate, we agree with the programme of work proposed by the chairman within the first substantive session of the group, and we support its swift approval. Taking into account that the mechanism will be working for the five years, it has to have the necessary flexibility and the possibility to change and develop as a reaction to the changing needs of the international community. Now, in order to streamline the process of the formalizing of agreements is something that we could do as we arrive at agreements rather than at the end of the group’s mandate. I wish all representatives very successful and very fruitful work and I, thank you for your attention.
Thank you very much Russian Federation I give now the floor to Switzerland. You have the floor please.
Mr. Chair for giving me the floor. Mr. Chair, the year 2021 was an exceptional year in many respects, not only but especially also in the field of cybersecurity. Two UN bodies, the Open-Ended Working Group and the GGE were able to successfully conclude their work with a consensus report each. This was possible because states are willing to participate constructively and in the spirit of compromise in the discussions even under difficult circumstances and with different political positions. This is a great success for multilateralism and helps to create mutual trust. I’m proud that Switzerland was able to contribute to this in both groups. Also, success is a resolution jointly tabled by Russia and the United States on this issue in the first committee, many countries including Switzerland sponsored this resolution. The resolution was adopted by consensus in the first committee and in the General Assembly, this shows the common will of all states to work together constructively based on what has been achieved so far. However, 2021 was also the year in which we saw a sharp increase in cyber incidents, including serious attacks on critical infrastructure and supply chains of particular concerns, concern were attacks by state and non state actors on medical and research facilities, as well as deliberate disinformation campaigns during the ongoing pandemic. Attacks of this nature can pose a serious threat to international security and peace. Also of great concern is the sharp increase in criminal activity. Ransomware attacks have just exploded, and may present a threat to international peace and security. States that have knowledge of such criminal actors operating from their territory must do everything in their power to prevent and stop these activities, and support states that are victims of such attacks, but, and we should never forget, that humans pay the highest price of malicious activities in cyberspace. Therefore, this Open-Ended Working Group should take a human centric approach in its work, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must always be a priority when discussing measures or initiatives to promote an open, free and secure cyberspace. These examples show that we cannot rest on our laurels, and that much remains to be done to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace. This Open-Ended Working Group provides a good platform for this and should involve all relevant stakeholders. We do not have to start from scratch as the former Open-Ended Working Group did not have to and as Ambassador Lauber rightly mentioned in his statement this morning. Thanks to proposals by Russia, the issue of cybersecurity has been on the UN agenda since 1998. Since then, six GGEs and one Open-Ended Working Group have created a framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace, also called the acquis that has been endorsed by all states in the General Assembly and forms the basis for our work. Switzerland will work to ensure that this established framework for responsible state behavior is not reopened, but implemented and further developed. Mr Chair, in addressing your questions, we see the following priorities for the work of this group. The group should investigate potential threats from the misuse of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence or quantum computing, and develop proposals on how best to address them, through the implementation of the existing framework. States should commit to further discuss and find common understandings on how international law concretely applies to cyberspace space, especially international humanitarian law and human rights law. Sharing of national positions on how international law apply to cyberspace is an essential part of such discussions and contributes to predictability and transparency, we think that we should first should try to find a common understanding before we start discussing about new legally binding norms. States together with other stakeholders should on the basis of the GGE consensus report 2021, give more specific guidance on norms implementation. They could, for example, develop cooperative measures for responsible vulnerability disclosures or the protection of the ICT supply chain and ICT products. Regarding capacity building, we would like to see concrete results, the Programme of Action and initiative of 54 more countries to come, including Switzerland is in our view, the best way to achieve this goal. The Open-Ended Working Group should exchange views on this programme, and also discuss how best to ensure its complementarity with the work of the Open-Ended Working Group. This Open-Ended Working Groups should benefit from the experiences of regional organizations, for example, concerning CBMs or the implementation of voluntary norms, so that all members of this Open-Ended Working Group can profit from them. At the same time, this Open-Ended Working Group can also provide a platform for exchange between different regional organizations, for example, the Open-Ended Working Group could invite a representative of regional organization to one of its sessions, we are convinced that this would lead to a fruitful exchange. Mr. Chair, broad and meaningful participation of multistakeholders in this process is very important to Switzerland. We’d like to thank you for your efforts to find a solution and the proposale you will circulate this afternoon on the basis of the discussions that we had over lunch. We think we are close to a solution. For Switzerland transparency plays an important role, we do not question that the Open-Ended Working Group is a state driven process and that the states decide who can participate in this process, as is also provided for in resolution 75/240, but it must be clear which states oppose the participation of certain stakeholders and why. Mr. Chair, Switzerland is committed to continue to engage in multilateral fora towards the creation of a free, open and secure cyberspace. In closing, we’re looking forward to working constructively with you, Mr. Chair, all delegations, and stakeholders to achieve this goal. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Switzerland, and thank you also for addressing the guiding questions in your statement. I now give the floor to the Czech Republic, you have the floor please.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Czech Republic aligns itself with the EU statement and wishes to highlight the following points in its national capacity. In our view, preserving a globally accessible, free, and secure cyberspace, where rule of law and human rights apply is a key to safeguarding our common future. The last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have injected a new sense of urgency into our work and also clearly demonstrated our growing dependence on ICTs. They have all regrettably, either seen or worse experienced first-hand just how vulnerable our societies can be due to disruptions of essential public services caused by irresponsible cyber activities, be it cyber attacks on our schools, hospitals, banks, water supplies, or energy distribution systems. Such attacks can cause grave humanitarian suffering and are unlikely to diminish or disappear without strengthened international cooperation at the global level. The Czech Republic therefore strongly wecomes the recent universal endorsement of the last GGE and OEWG consensus report by the UN General Assembly. This milestone offers us a unique opportunity to return to a consensus based multilateral dialogue on ICT security, it also opens space to advance practical action to implement recommendations from the prior iteration of both GGE and OEWG. Mindful of growing urgency of cyber threats, the Czech Republic would like to propose to focus our work on producing concrete deliverables in three interlinked areas. First, focusing on practical measures to protect critical infrastructure from ICT threats, including through increased technical cooperation, exchanges on existing capacity building programs, as well as concrete legislative policy and technical solutions. Our past discussions demonstrated that this is a crucial area of convergence were all share the same desire to make concrete progress. The second area ripe for immediate action is the implementation of, global CBMs first and foremost through the establishment of a global repository of diplomatic and technical points of contacts to facilitate practically international cooperation on ICTs, incident reporting and response. This is a logical point of departure and a key prerequisite to advance our work in other areas as well. The third area concerns facilitation of cyber capacity building. Capacity building is the practical side of international cooperation, and ultimately, the most important two way street instrument through which we can learn from each other and increase our collective cyber resilience. One of the key purposes of United Nations is to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations, and we therefore see a role for the UN here as well. To achieve these objectives, they will have to leverage the unique convening power of United Nations to bring all stakeholders to the table, including regional and sub regional organizations, civil society, industry, and academia to share good practices, lessons learned and technical solution on a regular basis for the benefit of the whole UN membership. In the absence of permissive modalities for stakeholder participation in the Open-Ended Working Group, we continue to believe the proposal put forward by Egypt and France to establish UN Programme of Action for responsible state behavior in cyberspace offers the most practical way forward for truly inclusive fit for purpose action oriented UN mechanism to support the implementation of our prior commitments through practical and result oriented work. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much Czech Republic. I call upon now the delegation of Canada, you have the floor peace. Floor microphone for Canada.
Hear me now? Okay. Great.
I assure you I wasn’t trying to silence you.
That’s okay. Thank you. Thank you Chair for the chance to speak this afternoon. I’m going to use this intervention to outline Canada’s general views on what this OEWG should achieve. So I’d like to say first, that our position paper is up on the Open-Ended Working Group portal as well as an agenda annex. But first before I get into what’s in it, I’d like to say that Canada is very pleased that we have returned to a single consensus resolution this past fall. This builds nicely on the consensus OEWG and GGE reports that were adopted earlier this year. We strongly hope that we can build on the spirit of consensus at this OEWG and achieve tangible results. I will outline briefly today, the six main objectives identified in our position paper for this Open-Ended Working Group. The first one is promoting the implementation of the acquis of past UN cyber processes. As others have noted before me, this is the foundation on which our current work rests, we hope to build on it in this current process. A sub element of that is norms implementation. Canada believes that we should remove barriers to the implementation of the existing agreed norms, we should help other states develop their capacity to implement the norms in a human-centric manner. In this I would like to associate with Switzerland, on the importance of implementing the norms. Gender is another major priority for us. It was a priority at the previous Open-Ended Working Group and it’s a priority as well at this one. Canada may well table gender text sometime next year, as we did at the previous Open-Ended Working Group. I would note that Canada funded Gender Research at the last Open-Ended Working Group which can be found on the portal of that group, which may inspire some of our work. As an annex to our position paper, there’s also an options paper on how this group may mainstream gender into its work, I would urge you to read it and I look forward to discussing it with all of you in future meetings. The fourth priority that I’d like to identify is international law capacity building. At the last GGE there was a neat workaround in order to avoid contentious discussions on exactly how international law applies. This was by getting states to publish their own respective views on this issue. Canada plans on publishing our own statement very soon, and we are also offering international law capacity building to others in order to encourage them and enable them to publish their own views. My legal colleague will be able to expand on this point later this week during the discussion on international law. The fifth one is integrating the views of stakeholders. I won’t say much about this because we’ve spent all morning and lunch talking about it, very fruitful discussions, look forward to hopefully adopting some open and transparent mentality is during our meeting tomorrow. And then lastly, the sixth priority is the Programme of Action. Canada is one of 54 co-sponsors. We continue to advocate for the creation of an inclusive, action oriented POA that will help states implement the acquis, coordinate capacity building efforts and also better integrate the voices of non state actors. I look forward to expanding on these points, as well as outlining Canada’s views on other issues in the OEWG mandate in subsequent interventions later this week. Before I wrap up, I would like to associate with what Ambassador Lauber said this morning about the importance of gender and specifically I would like to note the presence of Women in Cyber Fellows, including five from Latin America that Canada has been delighted to fund to attend this meeting. The Women in Cyber Fellows contributed meaningfully to the last Open-Ended Working Group, which as Ambassador Lauber noted, achieved gender balance for the first time in a first committee process. We look forward to building on this success at the current Open-Ended Working Group, so I would say welcome to the fellows, and thank you all.
Thank you very much Canada for your statement. I take this opportunity to also welcome the Women in Cyber Fellows to this meeting, and look forward to working closely with all of you. I give now the floor to Italy.
Thank you Chair, I wish to once again congratulate you on your election and reassure you as I did this morning on our support. Italy aligns itself with the EU statement that has been delivered earlier this session, it contains all the elements that needed to be addressed in our view, it well describes the sense of cooperation, responsibility and urgency about the work that awaits us, given the increasing number of threats and the fast pace of tech developments. However, I wish to add a few remarks in my national capacity, Mr. Chair, you asked to follow some guiding questions which I will continue to do and I will not return to the multistakeholder participation, which was the third of your questions, and I gave my opinion earlier this morning and I’m sure that we will find a common and shared way forward to ensure that multistakeholder voices are properly heard in this group. I said I will continue to answer to your questions, and I will begin by the first one. How can the OEWG be an action oriented process? I think the reply is as straightforward as it has quite recently also been recalled by the speakers that have preceded me. The reply is I say the straightforward, we should primarily focus on the implementation of the previous OEWG and GGE recommendations. We are embarking on a new long journey we are full of positive expectations that stem from this year’s remarkable achievements, namely the GGE and OEWG reports, that is why exactly we need to stay focused on implementation because we need to protect what we have achieved together – the framework – and still have a lot to do, namely on international law, on norms implementation, capacity building and confidence building measures. Mr. Chair, the expected duration of this journey is quite long, as you recalled this morning and the vessel we are navigating on is large, inclusive and highly articulated.We all know too well that during navigation winds can change so rapidly that the route might have to be reconsidered, especially when the journey is about matters that evolve very quickly, or when the crew keeps changing, or might not be as large as one would have expected. I therefore suggested that we consider a sort of a midterm review of the process to jointly assess our performance and make the adjustments that we might agree are necessary as we proceed. If we are to be action oriented, we also need to be pragmatic when needed on the basis of consensus of course. So we will discuss topics that are all intertwined and equally important in an order that, as it has been acknowledged also during the final stages of the previous OEWG does not reflect the hierarchy among the subjects. However, I wish to briefly touch upon international law, to flag it as an urgent and priority issue for us to be addressed, to build capacity and to further develop our understanding on how it is applied in cyberspace. Very recently, we published our views about it consistently with the priority we attach to this part of our work and encourage other states to do so. I will also recall that for the past two years we had been discussing international law right before norms. I still find that order to be correct because international law is what disciplines relations among states, and therefore suggested then when the time comes, we might consider re changing the order again to better reflect the primacy of international law as the existing legal discipline and the fundamental tool for assuring responsible state behavior in cyberspace. And last, but certainly not least, I wish to recall that Italy is a co sponsor of the Programme of Action that we see as a complementary effort to the OEWG and it is a hope that discussions about the POA can be held in the appropriate form within this group so that all countries can be better informed and offered an opportunity to express their views on it. Thank you, Chair I wish, looking forward to continue our discussion and dive in more thoroughly in the specific subjects that we will cover during this week. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Italy. Thank you for your statement. Thank you also for addressing the guiding questions that I had put forward. I like very much your metaphor of all of us being on the same vessel or boat, and it’s really important that as we begin this voyage of five years, we need to work together, not to mention the fact of having trust in each other. I hope to, as I said this morning, work closely with all of you and I look forward to all of you also addressing the guiding questions if I may just add this as a reminder to delegations. The next speaker would be the delegation of Bangladesh, you have the floor please.
Mr. Chair, I would like to join other delegation in congratulating you on your election as the chair of the Open-Ended Working Group, on the security of and in the use of information and communication technologies. I am confident that under your able stewardship, this process will generate substantive outcomes including practical and concrete way forward. I assure you of my delegations full support during the process. Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of NAM. ICT is a key driver of global sustainable development efforts and is extensively linked to the every aspect of our lives. The pandemic has further accelerated our dependence on digital technologies, while human life is being revolutionized by digital connectivity, the risks posed by these on the international peace and security cannot be understated. We must therefore, remain alert in detecting malicious use of technologies that could jeopardize our security. Mr. Chair, according to an estimate, by 2020 28.5 billion digital devices will be connected to the internet, which is more than three times of the global population. To take advantage of these enormous benefit of digital technologies, the international community must develop a secure, safe, trusted and open ICT environment underpinned by applicability of international law to cyberspace, well defined norms of responsible state behavior, robust confidence building measures and coordinated capacity building. The UN Secretary General prioritized this issue and identified cyber warfare as a key strategic risk in his recently released Our Common Agenda. We appreciate his suggestion to ban cyberattacks, with critical civilian infrastructure and de-escalating cyber relates risk and tensions as possible elements of new agenda for peace. Mr. Chair, Bangladesh is committed to promote a global culture of safe and secured ICT environment. We support the UN’s role in developing rules, norms and principles of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. Bangladesh considers the OEWG as an important mechanism for intergovernmental and multistakeholder consultations on the ICT security architecture. In this regard, we welcome the consensus reports of the previous OEWG as the first inclusive mechanism in the field of ICT, in the context of international security. We also take note of the report of sixth GGE. While we look forward to the OEWG for a consensus based approach to ensure peaceful cyberspace, let me highlight some specific points in this regard. First, the consensus resolution of UNGA 76/19 titled ‘Developments In The Field of Information And Telecommunication In The Context of International Security’ creates a positive momentum within the UN around cyber peace and security discourse. With this momentum the members must demonstrate strong political results to the work of the OEWG with a view to creating a secure, safe, peaceful, inclusive and accessible ICT for our future generations. Second, the cyberspace must be considered as a global public good that should benefit everyone everywhere without any discrimination. In the absence of a globally accepted norms, the principles of UN Charter and relevant international laws should apply to the cyberspace without any reservation. Third, no single government can manage its ICT security environment on its own. Our only hope for a free secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment is through multilateralism. In the work of the OWEG, an inclusive and transparent negotiation with participation of all members steps must be ensured. The states must work together to overcome trust deficits by investing more on confidence building measures. In this regard, there should be regular institutional dialogue with the broad participation of states under the auspices of UN. Fourth international cooperation in capacity building for security of and in the use of ICT must be given priority. Development partners should consider a specific support to technologically least advanced countries in the areas of identifying cyberattacks, creating awareness and developing reliable early warning systems through information sharing across the governments and major tech firms. Fifth, we reiterate the importance of making sure that any international legal framework to address issues related to the use of ICT is universal, inclusive and non-discriminatory, we must preserve peaceful people centered and development oriented focus of ICT so that it can be used as a positive force in achieving sustainable development goals. Finally, Mr. Chair, let me reassure you that my delegation will continue to engage constructively towards a successful and fruitful OEWG process ahead. I’ll thank you.
Thank you very much, Bangladesh. Before I give the floor to the next speaker, I’ve been advised by the sound engineer, that when your delegation is called upon, you are to press the button of the microphone so that the sound engineer can locate where exactly you’re seated and activate the microphone. So I would advise you to do that, and the next speaker is South Africa, you have the floor please.
Thank you Chairperson, South Africa would like to express its appreciation to you, your team, and the Secretariat for the preparation leading up to the convening of this first substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies. You haveour full support and commitment to continuing the achievement of censors in moving this process forward. While the work of this current Open-Ended Working Group is expected to spend five years, it is vital that we acknowledge all the work done since the first introduction of this item by the Russian Federation in 1998. This includes building on the achievements of previous Groups of Government Experts, as well as the previous Open-Ended Working Group, which reached consensus under the able and skillful leadership of Ambassador Lauber. We would like to take this opportunity to also thank Miss Izumi Nakamitsu and the Secretary General and High Representative for Disarment Affairs and Ambassador Antonia Patriota. Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts on advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace for their work, and statements here today. Chairperson, South Africa appreciates your approach in encouraging delegations to go beyond general statements and well known positions and dive deeper into matters of concern. This includes, with concrete proposals and suggestions on the strengths of our work. We are support the approach to continue to consider existing and potential threats, further development of norms, rules, and principles of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. How international law applies confidence building measures and capacity building. Notwithstanding the envisaged approach Chairperson, allow me to make the following brief points on some of these areas, which will be elaborated on in our engagement throughout the week. On existing and potential threat, we must bear in mind that the positive economic and social opportunity that can be derived from ICTs should not be overshadowed by malicious use of these technologies. The cyber threats if left unattended, have the potential of creating mistrust and lack of confidence in the use of ICTs and could lead to an increase in cyber risks, which could have a negative impact on the use of ICTs for development. When discussing norms, rules, and principles for responsible state behavior, South Africa, believes that it is unlikely that we’ll ever reach a point of having a complete and sustainable response to the opportunities and threats. Furthermore, we understand that the implementation of existing norms and further development of the norms, rules, and principles are not mutually exclusive efforts, therefore, the further development of norms, rules and principles should be understood as a process of evaluating, updating when necessary, and refining rather than seeking to develop a completely new set of norms. On the applicability of international law, South Africa welcomes that conclusion of the first Open-Ended Working Group that international law applies to cyberspace, and the recognition that more work is needed to reach common understanding on how international law is specifically applicable, We hope that throughout this process, we can make the necessary gains in this area. Chairperson, South Africa, believes that capacity building is a key matter for many developing countries and should include context specific training, transparency, sustainability, involve regional organizations and be achieved through adequate funding. We must bring everyone on board, in responding to this global challenge. We also believe that consideration of the best approaches to capacity building is linked to how the broader debate on the regular institutional dialogue under UN auspices or on the need for a new legal instrument evolves. Finally, South Africa would like to recognize that the First Committee and the General Assembly have adopted Resolutions on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security by consensus. This was built on momentum from the consensus outcome of the previous Open-Ended Working Group. We therefore have a strong precedent to continue to pursue consensus and unity in this process. This brings to mind the Luo proverb. This morning Chair, you spoke about the African proverb, this is another one similar to it ‘Alone, a youth runs fast, with an elder slow, but together, they go far’. We therefore hope that in this new process, we can consolidate our efforts, building on the old processes to make significant and meaningful progress in the years ahead. I thank you.
Thank you, Ambassador for your statement and I’ll give the floor to the delegation of Singapore. You have the floor please.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, As this is our first time taking the stage, it is normal for us to offer congratulations to the chair as well as to pledge our support but coming from Singapore sounds oddly self serving so I shall instead offer you our commiserations. Singapore aligns ourselves fully with the statements from the ASEAN and NAM representatives. We welcome the positive developments on cybersecurity at the United Nations in the past year. Specifically, the consensus that was achieved both at the sixth GGE as well as the inaugural OEWG reports, as well as on the joint resolution that was tabled on the First Committee by Russia and the United States, which Singapore also co-sponsored. The consensus adoption of the first committee resolution was important because it allowed us to return to a single track for discussions, this is especially important because it brings us back towards convergence, not to mention the challenge for some delegations to support two separate processes. This is a solid foundation which the OEWG needs to build on, including moving towards action and implementation. We should continue our previous momentum to capitalize on the areas of convergence to present concrete and implementable proposals, especially in the domains of capacity building and confidence building measures to foster a safer cyberspace. There were some areas of divergence in the delegations approach to some of the issues in our previous discussions, which we can continue to discuss in this OEWG. Although they should not hold us back from progress. We have enough areas of convergence that we can and should move forward on. That should be our focus for this OEWG to translate these areas of convergence into concrete and implementable proposals. Now more than ever, we must work together to make our shared ICT environment more secure, cyber attacks have developed in scale sophistication and impact in the last year alone. These have resulted in increased tensions and risks of conflict arising from misunderstandings and misperceptions of ICT security incidents. The potential for miscalculation poses a threat to international peace and security. Specifically, the new threat of ransomware or malware, which blocks access to devices in exchange for ransom, has emerged as a more serious concern for Singapore. There has been a surge in ransomware attacks globally, and they may amount to national security threats when they affect the provision of public or essential services. Everyone is susceptible to cyber attacks. We need to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of all countries so that they can protect themselves. Capacity building initiatives and confidence building measures are the best way forward to ensure more safe and secure cyberspace. First, we need to build up the collective capacity of all member states, especially the small and developing states through the exchange of information experiences and best practices to support the national efforts to combat cyber attacks. We’ve worked closely with the United Nations to develop the United Nations Singapore cyber programme to support ASEAN member states efforts to develop their National Cybersecurity policies and operations, and this can be expanded to other countries beyond ASEAN. Second, confidence building measures can reduce the risk of misunderstanding, escalation and thus conflict in cyberspace. We need to engage in a continuous dialogue with one another, and build up habits of cooperation and mutual trust. One of the recommendations in both the OEWG and the sixth GGE reports adopted this year was the identification of points of contact at the policy and technical levels to facilitate communications between states in the event of a serious cyber attack. We should begin to seriously consider how we can take this recommendation forward to initiate, operationalize, and grow this vital network. As a member of an operational agency in Singapore myself, my team and I have seen the value of having these contacts in our region. Given the decentralized nature of the internet, and the numerous entities who wield significant influence and hold important information in the technology ecosystem, there are non governmental stakeholders who also have a part to play in contributing to a safer cyberspace for all. These stakeholders may have a unique perspective and practical knowledge which can aid in our discussions. While there was much discussion this morning on the modality for such engagement, what seemed consistent across all was the need to engage them. And hence, we hope to be able to come to a consensus on how best to do this soon. We look forward to engaging them and hearing their views. Thank you.
Thank you, Singapore for the statement. I now call upon the delegation of Egypt, you have the floor please.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like first to congratulate you Ambassador Burhan Gafoor on your election as chair of the Open-Ended Working Group and to assure you of our full support to your Chairmanship of the new Open-Ended Working Group. We also commend the work of Ambassadors Lauber Switzerland for his tremendous efforts in the 2019-2021 Open-Ended Working Group. Egypt aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement. Egypt attaches great importance to the new Open-Ended Working Group which presents a promising opportunity towards a possible agreement among member states to increase stability and security in the global ICT environment and to build on the previous recommendations and consensus reports in particular, the 2019-2021 Open-Ended Working Group final report. In this vein, Egypt welcomes the consensus adoption of the GGE resolution 76/19 in the cyber related issues within the UN, supporting the notion of the unification of processes of cyber issues. The international security aspects of information and telecommunication technologies are becoming increasingly important and represent a global challenge that requires a collective response on the national, regional, and international levels. Mr. Chairman, there is an international agreement regarding the gravely alarming trends related to malicious uses of ICTs and the risks that they pose to international peace and security, that there is an increasing urgency to identify and develop rules for state behavior to prevent cyberspace from becoming another arena for conflict, an arms race. Nationally, the Egyptian Higher Council for Cybersecurity is currently working on developing our cyber security strategy 2022-2026, focusing on different pillars, including legislative legal capacity and confidence building measures, private sector and international cooperation. Mr. Chairman, there is a pressing need to step up our efforts and move forward from the conceptual discussion into taking practical steps. While it’s crucial to establish a sustainable an action oriented platform focusing on implementation of the agreed outcomes of previous cyber related processes, capacity building efforts as well as developing further rules related to the responsible use of ICT. In this context, Egypt is pleased to have submitted with France and 52 co-sponsors a working paper to the Open-ended Working Group to further discuss and elaborate within the Open-Ended Working Group a possible UN Programme of Action on cybersecurity and the international security aspects of ICTs with participation of all member states, the proposal of the POA aims at establishing a more concerted global effort under an inclusive UN platform that is going beyond the repeated discussions on this basic principles. Mr. Chairman, before I conclude, I wish to express our full support to the recently circulated seven rules of stakeholders participation modalities, following the informal discussion that took place during lunchtime. We express full support to your proposals and full support to your vision on that and we call on memberstates to show flexibility on that. We look forward to constructive deliberations and we call on all delegations to engage in the negotiations in the spirit of flexibility with a view to reaching satisfactory substantive outcome that makes meaningful progress on this highly important topic. I do thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
Thank you very much Ambassador for your statement, and thank you also for your expressions of support, including for my latest proposals. I now give the floor to the delegation of Estonia, you have the floor please.
Thank you for giving me the floor Chair, Estonia aligns itself fully with the statement of the European Union, we would also like to deliver some remarks in our national capacity. One of the phrases heard often during the first Open-Ended Working Group and also this morning was that we are not starting from scratch. It was this approach of aiming high but being grounded in previous achievements that lead the previous Open-Ended Working Group to success. On this occasion as we embark upon the substantive work of the new Open-Ended Working Group, it is fitting to repeat this once again, even if the summary may sound like a familiar tune. It remains pertinent to record that international discussions on the use of cyberspace in the context of international peace and security of more than the past decade have allowed us to elaborate and agree on a solid framework for responsible state behavior in cyberspace comprised of four concrete pillars, international law, voluntary non-binding norms, confidence building measures and capacity building, regard the consensus reports agreed in the previous Open-Ended Working Group as well as the latest Group of Governmental Experts this spring, an overwhelming reaffirmation of this framework and believe their observations and recommendations offer a rich basis to build upon. Estonia also welcomes the adoption of the joint resolution, and we also co-sponsored this. Estonia is committed to engaging constructively and welcomes the practical focus the chair is seeking to bring to our elaborations this week. We are positive that the contributions will form invaluable input for a programme of work for the group to be adopted by consensus, Estonia would particularly like to highlight five areas in which the OEWG could focus. First, we find that the OEWG is well placed to support states in deepening understanding on how the provisions of international law including international human rights law, and international humanitarian law, apply in cyberspace, continuing such exchanges is clearly recommended by both the 2021 OEWG and GGE reports. We welcome that more countries have shared their positions on international law in recent months, and encourage others to do the same. Topics for study could include the peaceful settlement of disputes, attribution and the law of state responsibility regarding internationally wrongful cyber operations, as well as the intersection of human rights and cybersecurity. The 2021 GGE report for the first time also mentioned international humanitarian law, and as one specific topic for further study recommended established legal principles, including the principles of humanity, necessity, proportionality and distinction noted in 2015 GGE report. This offers a clear opportunity for the OEWG. While we acknowledge there is still wide scope to build consensus on how IHL applies in relation to cyber operations amongst all UN member states, they should not preclude the OEWG from striving to achieving a better acceptance and understanding of how IHL applies in cyberspace to the country. Second, the OEWG should support practical opportunities for the implementation of the eleven voluntary non-binding rules of responsible state behavior set out in the 2015 GGE report and given an important additional layer of understanding in the 2021 GGE consensus report, the OEWG could start by considering this rich in material and how it can support states and following the norms. Furthermore, during the previous OEWG several practical ideas emerged, such as the National Survey of implementation and the Programme of Action proposal. Estonia co-sponsors the POA proposal and believes that the OEWG should remain seized on progress made with this initiative and provide an important additional venue to provide input for its imminent creation. Third, cyber security demands a national and regional approach in order to be successful on a global level. Therefore, the regional dimension needs to play a key role in our work going forward, allowing states to highlight the efforts of regional organizations such as the OSC, the ASEAN Regional Forum OAS, and sharing best practices and regional initiatives including confidence building measures should be part and parcel of deliberations in the OEWG. Fourth, both the latest OEWG and GGE discussions brought to the floor the importance and urgency of cyber capacity building and international cooperation. As a founding donor of the World Bank Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund and one of the implementers of the EU Cybernet Project, Estonia is eager to share lessons learned and learn from others. In addition, the OEWG could help to identify and discuss the urgent needs of states, we should also further discuss and support the implementation of the principles agreed in the previous OEWG report, such as the principle the capacity building should respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and be gender sensitive and inclusive. Last but not least, the OEWG should to the greatest extent possible harness the expertise of the multistakeholder community, this has already been under discussion this morning, but allow me to say that the sustainable success cannot happen in silos. The success of the OEWG is determined not only by how much we can advance consensus between states, but also how it will involve the latest expertise and insight from the technical community at the heart of the open, free and secure cyberspace international law practitioners, human rights experts, gender equality champions. We look forward to discussions over the coming week. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Estonia for the statement. Thank you also for the reminder that we should be aiming high while being grounded. I give the floor now to the delegation of India. You have the floor please.
Mr. Chair, let me begin by congratulating you for assuming the charge as the Chair of the OEWG. I also take this opportunity to thank you for convening the first substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on developments on security and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025. The year 2021 has covered significant ground on the matters related to responsible state behavior in cyberspace and information and communication technologies. The successful conclusion of the Open-Ended Working Group on developments in use of information and telecommunications in the context of international security 2019-2021 and 61 Group of Governmental Experts on advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace in the context of international security, marked the ability of convening and agreeing on complex and sensitive aspects related to the use of and security of ICTs. India took part in both the processes and contributed constructively during the deliberations on various issues of importance in both the UN mandated processes. These two processes covered significant grounds on the key topics such as cyber threats, developments of norms, principles, rules for responsible state behavior in cyberspace, application of international law, confidence building measures, capacity building and regular institutional dialogue. India believes that as a transformative enabler, bridging governments and societies, ICT should be used responsibly with trust and transparency for application in a human-centric manner, and data for development should be a global imperative. The concept of trusted sources in the ICT global supply chain to ensure integrity of ICT products and systems could not be stressed more in the context of increasing use of ICT for the purposes that are inconsistent with international security. The topic of application of international law to cyberspace needs to be substantively discussed with primary focus on how specific aspects of existing international law apply to ICT with the view to arrive at a new universal approach to this matter under the UN auspices. Deepening our understanding of how international law applies is an iterative process involving states forming national views and exchanging positions. It might be difficult to have consensus on gray areas because of characterization of cyberspace. Thus, the present discussion may take into account points of convergence that have been arrived in the previous discussions and consolidate them to seek more clarity and legal certainty. The cyber attacks against information systems located in another state’s territory are causing extraterritorial effects might also constitute a breach of sovereignty a state enjoys the right to exercise sovereignty over sub-objects and activities within its territory it has the corresponding responsibility to ensure that those objects and activities are not used to harm other states. In this context, a state which is aware of internationally wrongful act originating from or routed through its territory and having the ability to put an end to the harmful activity, that state should take reasonable steps to do so consistent with international law. India believes in the ancient Indian concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, that this world is one family. All the countries of the world small or big, developed or developing, are equally prone to cyber risks. We in the world are as strong as the weakest country in the system. The gap in the capabilities of various nation states can be filled only if substantial capacity building measures are undertaken, with emphasis on the utilization of ICT infrastructure for greater good of participating nations. The biggest threat to global compliance is from those countries who may at present not have the requisite structures or capabilities. Improving capacities and strengthening security among countries that lack them is equally in the interest of the countries which have advanced capabilities given the interconnected nature of the domain. Hence, it is imperative that capacity building of all member states should be further enhanced in times to come. India is committed to multistakeholder approach as industry civil society and academia are integral to promote an open secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. The present OEWG has started working on a foundation laid by the previous UN mandated processes and it would be useful for all of us to take forward the working of the group through an action oriented programme approach in our discussions during this session. In this regard India is looking forward to extend its cooperation to the Chair and work closely with all member states regarding today’s discussion about allowing other multistakeholders, so our delegation proposes a formula if other countries are ready to accept that the rejection of the multistakeholder or the NGOs could be on a voluntary basis on a nonbinding basis if that formula is acceptable the chair may consider tomorrow or later with other stakeholders. So, thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, indeed, for the statement and also for the proposal and I would also draw the attention of your delegation and all delegations to the proposal that I have made with regard to the participation of stakeholders, which I believe includes the element that has just been identified by the delegation of India. I now move to the next speaker, which is Malaysia. You have the floor please.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. Firstly, I would like to join the other delegations to congratulate you Ambassador Burhan Gafoor on your appointment as the chair of the new Open-Ended Working Group 2021-2025. Malaysia align ourselves with the statement by ASEAN and NAM. Malaysia welcomes the convening of the second iteration of the OEWG to continue addressing the subject of development in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, the continuation of this United Nations mechanism as a follow up to the successful previous OEWG raising the bar for this OEWG to include concrete actions and cooperative measures to address the issues of responsible state behavior in promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment. Malaysia hopes this first substantive session would be a kick off for the states to deliberate deeper with a view for a more holistic action oriented approach. This new OEWG was built based on what we have accomplished, which is the framework of rules, norms, and principles for responsible state behavior in the use of ICT, we have established that we cannot afford to start from scratch. Thus, it is imperative for us to always reflect guided, appreciate, and understand the works that already been done in the both OEWG and GGE reports, while we continue our work for the next five years. Mr. Chair, during the informal virtual briefing on the preparation for this meeting, you have explained the intention of the guiding questions in your letter. Malaysia would like to respond with two suggestion with a view to create a systematic, meaningful, and substantive discussion with other stakeholders in the cyberspace. The first suggestion would be mapping the framework of rules, norms, and principles for responsible state behavior. We, as the member state has agreed by consensus to be guided in our use of ICT with the framework of rules, norms, and principles for responsible state behavior. We have concluded in the previous OEWG report on our concern regarding the malicious use of ICT for the maintenance of international peace and security, and subsequently for human rights and development. In our framework, we have recognized that international law, and in particular the charter of United Nations, is applicable and essential to maintaining peace and stability of the ICT environment, as well as the eleven voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behavior. Emcapsulated together are confidence building measures, capacity building, and cooperation measures. All these are towards a rule based international orders to its cyber stability. With the early understanding, how can the OEWG engage other stakeholders. Other stakeholders who are not states also deal with the issues of malicious use of ICT, where the problem to look into cybersecurity procedures, best practices and policy in tackling this matter under the responsibility of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO). The use of malware by the bad actor now is more sophisticated, calculated and targeted. The bars are high if the CISO responsibles to protect the critical infrastructure due to the high risk and high gain motivation. For among cybersecurity practitioners, they understand that traditional malware defenses protections has proven ineffective. They implement cybersecurity depending on the environment and landscape to the lens of a framework that makes sense to them. I will take an example of the existing framework, which is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. By using this framework, they need to determine which areas should they focus on which area need greater investment and how effective the control. The first step the,y do in the NIST cybersecurity framework is identify where the crown jewel that need to be protected will be identify, the threats, and with the threats that are associated with it, and later, the whole controls that they need to do to protect and identify the crown jewels. This is where Malaysia feels that the OEWG can contribute further. We have our framework, and they also have their framework. The 2019-2021 GGE report has introduced the additional layers of understanding to eleven norms with examples of kinds of institutional arrangement that states can put in place at national and regional levels to support their implementation. The OEWG can take another step further to map the framework. In this example, the NIST cybersecurity framework. All in all, both frameworks are introducing cybersecurity baseline that may be appear different, but there are interrelations and connectivity. These exercises will also assist on implementing the right cybersecurity strategy and governance of state. Specific capacity building can be identified and implemented to the target area. Secondly, we believe that there is a value for OEWG to look at possibility to work together with the global cybersecurity index team of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) United Nations to see the possibility of linking together the commitment of states to cybersecurity at global level by embedding specific issues that require urgent attention and early outcomes in the development of the GCI index. This is also part of raising awareness that will highlight the importance of capacity building. The global cybersecurity index that is assessed based on five pillars namely legal measures, technical measures, organizational measures, capacity development, and cooperation. And as a start, we can just perform stock takings where specific questions can be construct in a survey. Response may not be accounted as a score in the GCI index, but more to raise awareness and attention of the importance to prioritize what constitutes of GCI. Mr. Chair, Malaysia believes that OEWG could do more by providing support at both policy and technical levels at national and regional by calling all states to work together and have low hanging fruits outcome oriented or delivery driven initiative to achieve a common understanding in the use of ICT by state in the context of international security. Since cyberspace is cross border, and so does the cyber threat that has no demarcation of territory, it is crucial for us, as nation states to come together collectively and make use of this process to produce significant outcomes for a more secure, trusted and peaceful cyber environment. Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, Malaysia for your statement, as well as your suggestions. I now give the floor to the delegation of Colombia. You have the floor please.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to congratulate you upon your appointment to lead this working group. You have my delegation’s full support, we’d like to thank you for your letter dated the 15th of November, as well as the preparatory work and your opening statement. We’re also grateful to Miss Nakamitsu and Messrs Lauber and Patriota for their statements. My delegation, as other states have already done, would like to highlight the fact that we’re beginning this session with a positive precedent of the adoption of a resolution on this matter by consensus in the current GA and with a high degree of co-sponsorship. We welcome this development, it proves that there is much more that unites us than divides us in this domain. We do hope that this positive result will be repeated in the discussions on the modalities of participation of the various stakeholders. Mr. Chairman, Colombia believes that states must responsibly use ICTs if peace, stability and International Security are to be maintained. We also think that their use as an instrument for social and economic development of us must be promoted. With this vision and with the goal of promoting and maintaining an open, safe, stable and accessible and peaceful cyberspace for all, we have participated constructively in the consideration of this issue. The developments of the last 20 years the dynamic of participation and the outcome of the previous working groups show that this is a common goal, and that there is a common determination for efforts to be made and for cooperation to be made to achieve this. The current working group will be building on what has been achieved and be working on the foundation of the previous agreements as part of its mandate, maintaining the inclusive and transparent nature of the process. At this juncture, my delegation has pinpointed the following priorities that we would like to highlight. First of all, we must make headway in the effective implementation of the rules, norms, and principles that have been agreed upon and we must also push forward support for the implementation of the norms of responsible behavior of states in their use of the ICTs we believe that the overarching priority is to protect critical infrastructure and essential services. Secondly, we must make headway in common understanding about the implementation of international law in cyberspace. We are particularly concerned in better understanding how international humanitarian law applies in cyberspace. Thirdly, we must increase efforts to bolster cooperation in terms of cybersecurity. And we must support capacity building in an inclusive, coordinated, and efficient manner. We must close the digital gap, both that brought about by the level of development and economic capacity, and that brought about by gender and that latter point is crucial. Fourthly, we must maintain transparency and inclusivity in the process, and that’s something we touched upon in our statement this morning, when we addressed agenda item three, we hope that we will reach consensus about a decision to enrich dialogue with the various stakeholders, because their support is crucial for us to implement the measures agreed upon. Fifthly, we must continue to implement confidence building measures, including measures pertaining to transparency, cooperation, and stability, to ease tensions, to avoid misunderstandings, and any potential escalation of conflicts. We need to see the swift implementation of the measures recommended by the groups of experts, and by the former OEWG and we need to maintain a permanent forum for dialogue on this matter. Sixthly, and this is very important for us, we think that it is very important that there be a mechanism to promote the framework for the responsible behavior of states in their use of ICTs as well as one for cooperation for their collective implementation, which could be a space for dialogue about the achievements and challenges when it comes to promoting subsequent developments. We believe that the suitable mechanism for this would be theProgramme of Action. As one of the co-sponsors of this initiative, we think that the programme could be the permanent, inclusive, action oriented instrument to allow us to make headway in operationalizing that framework, and it can also be a framework to a platform to continue discussing its subsequent development given the challenges and threats that we are facing. Finally, we think we must have multilateral and regional dialogue about this matter that is increasingly important in the context of upholding international peace and security. With that, I would like to conclude by underlining my delegations willingness to continue to contribute constructively to the process, as we always have done, and we wish you the very best of success as you go about your work. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Colombia for your statement. I now give the floor to the delegation of Thailand, you have the floor.
Mr. Chair, Thailand associates itself with the statements made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement and by Brunei Darussalam on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN. At the outset, Thailand would like to join other delegations in congratulations to his Excellency Ambassador Burhan Gafoor Permanent Representative of Singapore on his assumption of duty as a Chair of this working group. I am confident that under his able leadership, our work will lead to fruitful and tangible outcomes. My delegation will give its full support to you Mr. Chair during the course of this session. My delegation also wishes to thank his Excellency Ambassador Jurg Lauber of Switzerland for his able guidance that led to the success of the previous OEWG. The successful conclusion of the previous OEWG, and of the sixth iteration of the GGE has laid down concrete steps for this new OEWG to build and expand upon. Together with the successful adoption of the UN GGE resolution developments in the field of information, and telecommunications in the context of international security, tabled by the Russian Federation and the United States and co-sponsored by Thailand, these important developments also reflect that with mutual trust among member states, we can achieve much more. Mr. Chair, the emerging and potential threats emanating from the misuse of ICTs by both states and non state actors have increasingly become a serious threat to international peace and security, especially when reliance upon ICTs has expanded in our increasingly digitalized, interconnected and technologically driven global economy, malicious attacks on critical infrastructures and critical information infrastructures can potentially result in severe humanitarian impacts, amongst others, especially for developing countries. This issue thus requires cooperation on a global scale. To foster such cooperation, we need to achieve a common understanding and seek clarification on the pending issues. While states generally subscribe to the 11 voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behavior, and the international law applicable in cyberspace, we still lack a common understanding on how international law applies, and whether the gaps exist, as well as how to operationalize these norms. There is a need to further develop guidance and recommendations on how to put these norms into practice. As such, as much as these issues should be discussed within the OEWG, states should also utilize regional mechanisms to further elaborate on these issues. Now as the first regional organization to subscribe in principle to these 11 voluntary non-binding norms, ASEAN has embarked on a process of developing a matrix for ASEAN’s plan of action on the implementation of norms of responsible states behavior in cyberspace. Through this process, Thailand is working with other ASEAN member states to translate these norms into practice. This is part and parcel of collective efforts to contribute to a safer and more secure ASEAN community. These efforts together with other mechanisms and capacity building efforts within the region, such as those carried out by the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Center in Bangkok, serve as regional confidence building measures. Thailand encourages similar practices in other regions, and we also support the establishment of cross regional CBMs as they would play an important role in encouraging and solidifying CBMs globally. Mr. Chairman, capacity building can play a significant role in mitigating the impact of malicious cyber activities, and at the same time, empowering all states and other relevant actors to implement the relevant norms and international law. Capacity building also increases state’s capacity to engage meaningfully in the discussion, and thus helps the international community to better develop a common understanding on these issues. At this OEWG states should further discuss how the UN can play a role in fostering international cooperation and productive engagement of all states and relevant actors on this issue. In the implementation of capacity building efforts, Thailand urges all states to be guided by the principles contained in paragraph 56 of the final report of the previous OEWG. In particular capacity building must be a sustainable process, politically neutral, transparent, accountable, undertaken with full respect for the principle of state sovereignty, demand driven and confidentiality of national policies and sensitive information must be ensured. Mr. Chair, Thailand welcomes further details on this specific proposal that has been made with regard to the establishment of a new mechanism aimed at promoting regular institutional dialogues among states. We look forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with other states on this matter. We believe that in order for this mechanism to be effective, it should be inclusive, pragmatic, and action oriented. In conclusion, this five OEWG presents an opportunity for all states to engage in the issues of cybersecurity, in particular, discuss how we can move forward and the direction in which we are moving towards. Thailand is fully committed to engage with all parties to enhance global cybersecurity in order to promote an open, secure, stable, sustainable, accessible, interoperable and peaceful ICT environment. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, Ambassador for your statement, and I’ll give the floor to the delegation of Venezuela. You have the floor please.
Thank you, sir. First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your election as the chair of this group. We wish you the very best of success. You have my delegations full support. We align ourselves with a statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the NAM. The increasing impact of ICTs on all areas of human activity means that we are facing an unprecedented global challenge. While we need to make use of the peaceful use for sustainable development and the common well being, we must have a common understanding about how we use these technologies to avoid malign behavior in cyberspace, jeopardizing international peace and security. Given this challenge, there is no better way to tackle it than through multilateralism that is why the UN must continue to play a key role in promoting dialogue about the responsible behavior of states in this domain and in this regard, GA resolution 75/240 puts forward an ideal multilateral framework for us to work with all parties as relevant in an environment of inclusivity and transparency, so as to bring about a future shared by humanity in cyberspace. We believe that over the next five years, this working group must make headway in drafting a legally binding instrument to guarantee that the use of ICTs is compatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and with the standards of international law. Although, we underscore the importance of reaching consensus on that framework before 2025, we strongly reject the automatic invoking of article 51 of the charter in the domain of the ICTs in the context of international security. Mr. Chairman, the approaches, as we begin our work must be based on the consensus that we already have, with the highest degree of inclusivity and legitimacy by all members of the organization. The substantive final report of the former OEWG can be a starting point for our deliberations here. The way towards the global understanding about the tasks within this working group must respect the existing mandates and those partial initiatives that do not encompass the diversity of approaches or use narratives that are not in line with international law will only take us further away from being able to reach a common understanding in this domain. Although the complexity of the use of ICTs does require inputs from various stakeholders, in the process of bringing about internationally agreed norms for responsible behavior, states have the primary responsibility to bring about a safe and peaceful environment. That is why we think that the work of this group must keep an intergovernmental profile, and its decisions must be the outcome of periodic institutional dialogue, honoring consensus between the parties. Mr. Chairman, as resolution 75/240 sets out the final result of the working groups work must be the submission of annual reports to the GA about the progress that has been made, as well as a final report on the results of its work for its potential adoption by consensus. For specific issues to be discussed, there must be a balanced approach, looking at all items on the agenda of the working group. Mr. Chairman, Venezuela believes that an urgent priority for the international community remains that of reducing digital gaps. And this includes broadening access to ICTs and connectivity.When we address the use of these technologies, therefore, issues pertaining to international cooperation, solidarity, capacity building, technical assistance and broadening opportunities for sustainable and predictable financing, which is also non-discriminatory and not subject to any conditions could help us attain these goals. We believe that the illegal use of unilateral coercive measures, including in cyberspace, is contrary to international law. It undermines capacity building, it erodes opportunities for international cooperation and technical assistance, it only widens digital gaps, and it destroys the existing technological capacities to protect critical infrastructure at the national level and for us to address these threats pertaining to the abuse of ICTs, which takes the international community further away from being able to bring about a safe environment and a stable environment for all. Currently, the use of unilateral coercive measures pertaining to ICTs has in fact increased throughout the world. So we hope that under your leadership, this issue will be adequately addressed and reflected in the work of this new group. In conclusion, Venezuela reaffirms its staunch commitments to multilateral diplomacy, geared towards upholding international peace and security, including through the important work to be undertaken in this working group. We invite all members of this organization to show a cooperative and constructive approach to facilitate consensus that will allow us to reduce the existing threats and risks and to bring about an environment of peace and security for present and future generations. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Venezuela for the statement, I now give the floor to the delegation of Peru, you have the floor please.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to congratulate you upon your appointments to lead this democratic inclusive process that has convened all states to engage in dialogue about security in the use of ICTs. You have Peru’s full support. We are aware of the relevance of the use of ICTs and how their new applications can offer development opportunities. However, this technological progress at the same time can also be used for purposes that are incompatible with the maintenance of peace and security at the global level. We are facing a scenario in which ICTs are being developed for military purposes, and there are increasing vulnerabilities and it’s increasingly likely that they could be used in conflict settings. The potential abuse of ICTs by state ana non-state actors, including terrorists and criminal organizations is a growing and worrying trend. Critical infrastructure and critical information infrastructure can be undermined and this can undermine the delivery of public services with serious economic, social, humanitarian and security based consequences. Given these threats and major risks, Peru believes that it is crucial that we regulate international standards in this area through a multilateral and legally binding instrument that would provide for an effective implementation of the commitments that have been undertaken. We must also have a common understanding about the use of international law and international humanitarian law in this domain. That is why we need to ensure that we look at specific areas for discussion. We also have voluntary norms of responsible behavior and the implementation of these norms should go hand-in-hand with the way in which ICTs evolved over time. As a developing country, we can be more vulnerable as a result of the fact that we may lack the necessary capacity to detect the abuse of ICTs, or indeed to respond to those situations and this is something that may be even worse in the context of a crisis. Threats affect countries differently, in line with a different level of infrastructure that they may have, that is why capacity building is so important, as it would allow us to develop strategies and policies and the relevant resources so that we can increase our resilience and security. It would also allow us to protect critical infrastructure and also at the same time to make use of the benefits of ICTs. Capacity building must be sustainable, and there must be specific measures at the technical and normative level, reflecting demand and in-line with the various national priorities that exist. It also makes it possible for us to behave responsibly and to adhere to international law in this domain. These voluntary measures, such as transparency and sharing lessons learned and relevant information can also contribute to reducing tensions and misunderstandings, this could potentially reduce the risk of any conflict. Mr. Chairman, the use of ICTs involves all of the international community and that is why we need to consider the broadest participation of stakeholders in these debates, as is the case of civil society, the private sector, academia and the technical community. Only with broad international cooperation, will we be able to optimize the effectiveness of the use of ICTs, and counter the potential risks, thanks to open and periodic dialogue, as we have begun today, we will continue to develop the commitments we have and undertake new commitments so that we can guarantee international peace and security for all in this environment. Thank you.
Thank you very much Peru, for this statement, and I’ll give the floor to the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. You have the floor please.
I congratulate you on your assumption of leadership, our group and extend my gratitude to the Secretariat for its support in organizing this meeting. I aligned myself with the NAM statement made by Indonesia. We are happy to witness the realization of a request to enter parallelism and to lead the ICT process through the OEWG the UN’s first ever inclusive, transparent and multilateral intergovernmental process. Iran has been the victim of a number of cyber attacks including the 2010 Stuxnet malware attacks against its critical infrastructure by the US and Israel. Since 2010, these illegal acts have intensified and still continue. We believe that this group is in the best position to adjust this irresponsible behavior and build upon the desire to end such reckless activities. Mr. Chair, among other factors, the group’s success is contingent on consistently adhering to its mandate. We remain committed to our stances on major concerns, which have been articulated repeatedly during the previous OEWG. Given the ongoing discussions on developments, Iran underlines the following essential points: respecting the sovereignty of states non-interference in the internal affairs of states using ICTs; accountability of platforms and transnational corporations; avoiding action-oriented recommendations without due attention to the set principles they need for codifying and implementing a legally binding instrument and developing the current international law as well as further norms of responsible state behavior; the non-compulsory designation of repositories; applying ethics and justice to ICTs; responsible behavior of non-state actors, including digital platforms; ensuring and facilitating the cooperation of the relevant digital platforms and transnational corporations with the states; application of ICTs exclusively for peaceful purposes and rejecting justification of threat or use of force using ICTs; and last but not least equal status of all national initiatives within the OEWG. In addition, while principles of international law as well as the principles and purposes of the UN Charter applied to the ICTs in the context of international security we believe that the existing international law cannot adequately meet the requirements of cyber security such as securing safe cyberspace. Therefore, to fill numerous legal vacuums in this field, we need a legally binding instrument in which the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders can be defined in a balanced manner. In this way relying on customary international law, and limiting discussions on the implementation of the eleven norms should not overshadow the need for legally binding obligations, reiterating the mandate given to the previous OEWG as contained in resolution 75/240. We underline the need for further discussions and development of the issues of concern. This includes the consideration of any relevant outcome of the GGE by members and non-members of the GGE alike. Reminding of our previous proposals to establish subgroups as envisaged by resolution 75/240 we suggest to commence the discussions on this proposal in the legal subgroup within the OEWG. This in turn will contribute to confidence building measures. In the context of the said resolution, it is necessary to adopt further new rules, norms, and principles on the responsible behavior of non-state actors, including the digital platforms. Given the number of unresolved issues and ambiguities around the developments in the ICTs, in the context of international security, any recommendation on such action oriented outcome is completely premature and the implementation phase should resolve when those issues are resolved. A practical method to address this issue is to start negotiating the outstanding issues reflected in the final report of the previous OEWG and the annex there of. Our proposal regarding the next rounds of substantive sessions on a rolling text basis of the negotiations remains on the table. It needs to be emphasized that all the national initiatives and proposals should be treated equally. Finally, it is unfortunate to note that the host country has once again failed to issue a visa in a timely manner for the only member of my delegation from the capital. This is unacceptable. We urge the UN family and the Secretariat to use all available means to call upon the host country to implement the headquarters agreement in good faith. I thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Ambassador for the statement. I give now the floor to the delegation of Cuba, you have the floor please.
Mr. Chairman, we align ourselves with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Mr. Chairman, we’d like to commend you on your leadership of this group and we support the work of this group. We remain available to work to seek solutions to the challenges that we have in the domain of security and in the use of ICTs in the context of international security. We are convinced that because of its inclusive, democratic, and transparent nature, the Open-Ended Working Group is the appropriate format for us to reach solutions based on consensus to these challenges and to enable an open, safe, stable, accessible, and peaceful environment in this domain. Mr. Chairman, for the international community, the abuse of ICTs remains a matter of great concern. That is why it is critical that we address the increasing threats that are found in this area. We wish to speak out about the abuse of communication media platforms including social media and radio broadcasts as a tool for interventionism by promoting hate speech, incitement to violence, subversion, destabilization, the dissemination of fake news, and the manipulation of reality for political purposes, and as a pretext to unleash war, the threat of or the use of force, which is a violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. We reject the non-conventional methods of war deployed by the US against Cuba, including through the use of new ICTs and other digital platforms to destabilize and discredit our country. We also reject the Internet Task Force for Cuba. We reaffirm the right and the duty that states have to within their constitutional frameworks to combat the dissemination of fake news, which can be interpreted as an interference in the internal affairs of other states, or indeed, as being damaging to the promotion of peace, cooperation, and friendly relations between states and nations. We can’t overlook the fact that the increasing development of cyber offensive operations could make cyberspace a new scenario for conflict. We wish to reiterate our concern about the US’s cyber strategy, which since 2018, has authorized the use of offensive cyber weapons and cyber offensive operations, including giving the light to preventive cyber attacks to deter their adversaries. We reject these aggressive doctrines that consider the use of force as being a legitimate response to a cyber attack. We are also opposed to the use of unilateral coercive measures, which like the embargo imposed on Cuba, by the government of the United States, impede or hamper the universal access to and the peaceful use of information and communications technologies for the well being of our people. Mr. Chairman, the success of this group will depend to a great extent on it strictly adhering to its mandate, which is laid out in GA resolution 75/240. The concerns of all countries must be heated, including those of developing countries and the NAM. This inter-governmental process must contribute to filling the legal vacuum that exists with binding norms, leading to the adoption of a broad legal instrument on ICTs in the context of international security. In order to move towards building common understanding, the report that was agreed by the former Open-Ended Working Group must be used as the foundation for the discussions to be held within this new group, because it is the only document that was agreed with consensus that member states have up to now. We believe that it would be inappropriate for the report of the GGE from this year to be used as the foundation for our deliberations or negotiations. Lastly, Mr. Chairman, we would like to reiterate our commitment to contribute actively to the work to be undertaken within this new Open-Ended Working Group for the next four years. Thank you.
Thank you, Cuba for the statement. I give now the floor to the delegation of Korea, Republic of Korea, you have the floor please.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. It is with the high expectation and renewed commitment that my delegation is addressing this first session of Open-Ended Working Group. Let me begin by appreciating the chair for organizing this meeting, despite challenging circumstances, we are confident that under your leadership, we will have a productive discussions in the coming years. This OEWG represents a continuation of our past achievements, as well as a new chapter for further progression. Earlier this year, we adopted the final reports of the first OEWG, and sixth GGE by consensus, we should reaffirm and build on these outcomes, especially the governance by international law of state actions in cyberspace, and the additional guidance offered by voluntary norms for responsible behavior. Our takeaway from the previous OEWG is that we were able to identify and distinguish what needs to be further discussed and what can be implemented now. The distinction has a direct bearing upon how and what kind of end products we can pursue, the former requires more dialogue to narrow existing differences, while the latter can produce more action oriented progress. Our aspiration for action oriented outcomes indicates a mismatch between what is expected of us and what has been operationalized. My delegation believes that the question is not a lack of idea, but rather a lack of will to practice, just as we are open learning by doing, we can build trust and even bridge some of positional differences, when we prioritize implementation. The suggested ideas of exchange of views, repository, and guidance notes can serve as a practical ways to deepen our understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace, as well as how we can implement the agreed norms. Additionally, in the areas of capacity building and CBM, the previous OEWG recommends several useful measures, including a national survey, and left many proposals unexplored, we can pick up where we left with some of those programmatic proposals and put them into practice. In the same vein, the Republic of Korea believes the Programme of Action for advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace, has a great potential to contribute to norms implementation and capacity building. We call for all member states interest and participation in the POA. Mr. Chair, my delegation expects the new OEWG to be more inclusive and transparent than the previous one, and to have more interactions with the multistakeholders. Cyberspace itself embodies a multifaceted domain characterized by participation of diverse actors. These multi-stakeholders are not just victims of cyber attacks, but also partners in countering malicious, ICT use as well as a source of innovative solution. Just as the pandemic has told us, partnership with multistakeholders are essential for the ultimate success of this endeavor. Mr. Chair, threats in cyberspace are constantly evolving in nature and severity, with potentially devastating impacts on our critical infrastructure. This reality should rekindle our sense of urgency, and keep reminding us whether our efforts here are relevant, and our corporate measures sufficiently effective to meet the expectation of those yearning for a peaceful cyberspace. With this in mind, the Republic of Korea is committed to building an open, secure, stable, and peaceful ICT environment through integrated inclusive, transparent efforts at the global regional and sub-regional level. Again, my delegation hopes that for the next five years, the new OEWG will engage all member states and relevant stakeholders in a result oriented dialogue and make concrete action based efforts to ensure ICT are used for purpose consistent with the objectives of maintaining international peace, stability, and security. Thank you.
Thank you, Republic of Korea for the statement. I give the floor now to the delegation of Belarus. You have the floor please.
Mr. Chairman, first of all, please allow me to thank you and your team for your tireless work to ensure that we have the conditions for the negotiating process within the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and the use of Information Communication Technologies. Taking into account the gigantic progress has been made and when it comes to the most advanced ICTs, we realize that time is ripe to make sure that international information security becomes a self-standing topic. The legal interaction today among states legal and physical persons have become a new area of international law which is being studied. Delegation of the Republic of Belarus has consistently spoke in favor of adapting new norms and legally binding documents in this area. Today, small and developing states will not be able on their own to ensure the safety of their cyberspace if they only use their own resources. Having a single international legal document regulating the ICT sphere is for us of vital importance. The absence of clear rules of the game and the red lines here leads to the temptation on the part of some actors to use the tools existing for political purposes as a tool for confrontation, use, allegations, deniability, leaks, and fakes. We know the significance of creating the Open-Ended Working Group on the security open, the use of ICTs under the aegis of the UN, which brings in a wide number of states as well as a business circles NGOs and scientific experts. We’re thinking that in very short time, the opinion of scientists and major corporations will become decisive in ICT, we are convinced that each is sovereign state can have jurisdiction as regards the information sphere in line with a domestic law. The issue of threats is something that undermines democratic institutions values and law and order and damages sustainable development. We understand how important this area is for people and society and we therefore undertook a number of measures to make sure that we have a systematic approach here. The main development here is that in 2019, we passed the concept of information security of Republic of Belarus. It contains the main provisions here, we also constantly working in the country to introduce amendments and changes to our national laws as a function of the challenges that arise. We welcome the consensus adoption on the 6th of December of 2021 of GGE resolution on the development in the field of information to telecommunications, in the context of international security, and promoting responsible state behavior in using ICTs. This resolution yet another step to creating a robust and resilient media landscape, which should be a forum for dialogue and constructive solutions. We are convinced that adopting an international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes, will be a significant contribution towards obtaining an effective mechanism to fight cybercrime. I thank you.
Thank you very much, Belarus for the statement, distinguished delegates, it’s about 5 minutes before 6 and I wanted to take this opportunity to remind delegations about the invitation that I had extended to all of you for an in-person reception at the Mission of Singapore. I hope very much that you will be able to accept the invitation and I hope that I would have a chance to meet as many of you as possible over a glass or a drink. I’d like to take one last speaker for the day, and I’d like to apologize to the remaining speakers, that we will have to continue tomorrow, so I’d like to take the delegation of Argentina this evening, and then we will conclude and France will be the first speaker tomorrow morning., followed by the rest of the speaker’s list. I hope this is acceptable., and I give now the floor to the delegation of Argentina. You have the floor please.
Very good afternoon. Thank you very much Chairman. First of all, I’m pleased to congratulate you in person for the preparatory work for this meeting. We trust in your ability to lead the work of this group. I would like to thank Miss Nakamitsu for her statement we’re also grateful for the statements delivered by Messrs. Lauber of Switzerland and Patriota of Brazil, as the chairs of the OEWG and the GGE respectively, for their contributions and for skillfully steering the work of those bodies, and for the reports that were agreed upon by consensus. We have noted your letter sir, dated 15th of November, in which you set out your programme of work. We must make sure that we have a free, open, interoperable, and safe cyberspace for people’s societies, governments, and for social, economic, and political development, both now and in the future. The major threats and challenges that we are facing, are growing real and increasingly complex in nature. We must have an open and inclusive forum, so that all stakeholders, states, representatives of civil society, the private sector, academia, and the technical sector can contribute and can help us to bring about understanding, capacity, norms, and tools for the responsible use of ICTs to bring about greater stability and predictability in cyberspace. Argentina is clearly in favor of the meaningful substantive participation of stakeholders in this group’s work. We can’t address the issue of the digital agenda without having the contributions from the civil society, private sector, and academia, because they have a lot of know-how and essential knowledge to bring to the table. With the potential exception of the very technical discussions of this same debate is relevant in other fora led by states. Mr. Chairman, we are pleased to hear your update about the informal meeting that was held on this matter earlier and we trust in your ability to reach the necessary consensus. I would now like to make some brief comments on some of the items of the agenda. State’s behavior in cyberspace has never been a matter that has occurred in a vacuum. The charter and international law have governed the behavior of states in cyberspace. The eleven voluntary norms adopted by all states provide a robust floor for common understanding. However, we know that international law isn’t automatically applied, and we need to have greater understanding about how it does apply in cyberspace. The application of other branches of international law in cyberspace also require greater understanding and discussion. For instance, we believe that international humanitarian law governs in cyberspace. But we know that there is a need for greater discussions on this matter. This universal forum is the most appropriate platform for us to try and find this understanding. We also take part in regional forums such as the OAS, and other multilateral fora that contribute to the discussion of these issues and we believe that this group should cooperate with other regional bodies. Having more understanding about this matter is critical if we are to maintain a predictable and stable cyberspace. Attribution as a result of the misuse of ICTs is linked to this matter. This is one of the most thorny items on the agenda, and it has different dimensions in how we address it. It is easy to hide the origin of a cyber incident and then there’s the matter of different jurisdictions that may apply, these are all relevant questions. But we’re not starting from scratch. This matter has also been taken up in previous groups, and we also have interesting studies and proposals by civil society, the private sector, and academia that we could look at. We think this is an important matter, and we need to go into it in more depth within the context of this group. Another critical matter for us is capacity building, capacity of all of those taking part in the use of ICTs. This concretely reflects the digital gap that exists between states and within states, and it is a cross cutting matter it reflects the divisions that can be seen in other gaps as well, the lack of skills and knowledge is a matter that can affect all countries. This, for instance, has an impact on the drafting of norms and the use of, the application of international law in the context of ICTs and in identifying threats and having confidence building measures. Capacity building is one of the practical issues that must be highlighted, and that’s why it’s on the agenda. It is a very important matter. We have made headway on this matter, with many specific proposals being tabled by states, civil society, the private sector and regional organizations. And we believe that any step forward that we can make will be extremely valuable for the entire process. Finally, we have the progress that has been made by the initiative of the Programme of Action, which more than 60 countries, including Argentina have supported. All members are aware of this initiative and greater detail will be provided about the initiative in the forthcoming sessions. Challenges in cyberspace are increasingly complex. So having an open permanent, inclusive forum under the auspices of the UN, focusing on implementing agreements and ensuring training and capacity building for all stakeholders would in our view, be a crucial tool for us to achieve stability, predictability, and confidence in cyberspace. We think that this initiative can coexist with the current OEWG. Thank you very much.
Thank you for the statement, Argentina. Distinguished delegates will resume the meeting tomorrow with the first speaker, France. The meeting this evening is adjourned. Well, thank you very much. I just reminded about the Secretariat that the venue for the meeting tomorrow is the General Assembly Hall at 10AM, tomorrow, we will resume the general exchange of views. Thank you and have a pleasant evening.