Session 2-6 Transcript
(OEWG 2021-25)

This is an unofficial transcript

Ambassador Gafoor  

Good afternoon, distinguished delegates. The sixth meeting of the second substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of ICT, established pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 75/240 of 31st December 2020, is called to order. This afternoon, we will begin consideration of agenda item 5, sub-item relating to how international law applies to the use of ICT by states. The floor is now open for speakers, and as I indicated earlier in the morning, I would encourage delegations to keep within a time limit of three minutes for each statement so that we are fair to all delegations and we can make progress on the range of issues that we need to address in the working group, and also in accordance with the decision made yesterday with regard to working on the basis of an informal mode I now suspend the meeting and we will continue the work of the working group in an informal mode in order to hear the list of speakers on agenda item 5 sub-item relating to how international law applies to the use of ICTs by states. I give now the floor to Ghana, to be followed by Iraq. Ghana, please. 


Mr. Chair, thank you for giving me the floor, my delegation reaffirms the applicability of international law, including the United Nations Charter to the use of ICTs by states. The principles of state sovereignty and jurisdiction stipulates that equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, among others, as enshrined in international law should be adhered to in the use of ICT. In that regard, we believe that it is essential to discuss how international law applies to cyberspace. Mr. Chair, the United Nations Institute for Disarmaments Research Cyber Index of 2013, entitled ‘International Security Trends and Realities’, a publication that assessed cybersecurity programs around the world based on publicly accessible information, sited 47 countries at the time as having military cybersecurity programs. While this demonstrates the useful role that ICT plays in international peace and security, it also necessitates the need to ensure that states comply with and abide by given laws to guarantee that they are not used in a way that compromises international security. Furthermore, in our opinion, the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal, which serves as an interactive reference for policymakers and experts can be a capacity building tool to further facilitate the exchange of national views on how international law applies to the use of ICTs. I thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much for the statement. Iraq, please.


Hello, Chair. Good afternoon everyone, first of all our apologies, we have not yet spoken about point A, so I would like to make a statement on that first section. Concerning the first item on strengthening rules norms and principles of responsible behavior of states, in this regard my country is convinced that strengthening rules and criteria as well as principles for behavior of states as well as bringing about peace and modernizing these tools will allow us to adopt more responsible behavior. This will further strengthen stability within cyberspace and the creation of partnerships. So, we would like to say the following in that respect. Iraq has implemented a document on norms concerning data and data sharing. We’ve done so by adopting the following ISO standards, ISO001, ISO27001 with standards PCI-DSS and COVID, these criteria will be applied through a national group on cybersecurity. This group is cooperating with international and national groups to carry out studies at the local level, and analyze the use of ICTs in the public and private sectors, in order to establish conditions that will respond to international policy in the area of ICT regulation. We should also launch inter-institutional dialogue regulated within the UN framework, so that we can look at the various eminent dangers within the area of ICTs. We have to implement measures in the area of cooperation with other countries in this area. Thirdly, Iraq would like to reiterate what is said in paragraph 13 of the GGE report on ICTs in the framework of international security from 2015. We believe that these recommendations are insufficient and should be revised and revisited, so that we can better respond to current challenges and promote the best possible environment for the use of ICTs, so that we can develop our measures in terms of countering malicious use of ICTs. Stakeholders must implement these norms adopted at the national and international levels. Chair, concerning item 3, international law and its application are areas where we must reinforce respect for human rights and we have to further analyze recourse to digital tools. There must be no obstacle to analysis when it comes to making progress for the peaceful use of these ICTs. Iraq further believes that we must carry out periodic revisions of national policy in this area, so that we can respond to the dynamic nature and constantly changing challenges of ICTs, while taking into consideration international regulation in that regard. We would like to reiterate the importance of regulating and responding to the challenges that come from digital tools in the area of ICTs, in such a way that they might more further align themselves with the United Nations declarations in these areas. These instruments are necessary to establishing the proper conditions to address digital matters. This will allow us to fight against digital challenges. That’s why Iraq is doing the following. We are applying the necessary parameters by adopting national strategies for cybersecurity. We also have information sharing policies that are applied in all international institutions and that take into consideration the legal aspect of this matter, among others. These are all pursuant to international law and international conventions. Iraq is currently developing a legal project on cybercrime. It will be based on national and regional policy in this area. So, in that context we propose the following: we should strengthen capacities in the area of data security and ICT security; we must strengthen capacities in the areas of digital tracing, monitoring; and to conclude, I would like to insist on the adoption of national legislation that might obligate stakeholders to implement the relevant actions. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. I’d like to kindly urge all delegations to keep within the three minutes, please and I give now the floor to Iran to be followed by Belarus. Iran, please.


Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and good afternoon to you and colleagues. Mr. Chair, the well established principles of international law including principles of the UN Charter encompasses respect for sovereign equality, the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, non-aggression, the prohibition of the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of the states apply in the ICT environment. What is left is a legally binding instrument that may lead to more effective global commitments and a strong basis for holding actors accountable for their actions. Therefore, the existing international law should be adjusted in a way applicable to the ICT environment. In its working papers submitted to the first OEWG, the Non-Aligned Movement also acknowledged the need to identify legal gaps in international law through the development of an international legal framework specific to the unique attributes of the ICT environment. There is no doubt that the principle of non-intervention is a principle of customary international law and any cyber measures aimed at, inter alia, political regime change is a serious breach of this principle. The path towards an ICT-specific applicable international law may need to engage relevant bodies within the United Nations. The International Law Commission can contribute to these efforts. ICT environment is a common heritage of mankind for which the envisaged international law should address among others, its non-appropriation and shared governance, its integrity and states’ intrinsic right to access, its preservation and utilization for peaceful purposes, the fair distribution of resources including through multilingualism, and commitment to transfer of technology. I thank you, Mr. Chair, and the full version of my statement will be submitted later. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much Iran. Belarus, followed by European Union. Belarus, please.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Given the rapid growth of advanced ICT and telecommunication technologies in the world it is evident that the issue of information security needs to be highlighted as an independent topic. Today, legal relations between states, legal entities and individuals in this area have gone beyond national jurisdictions and have evidently become the objective study for a new branch of international law. Existing generally accepted norms and principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter may be applicable to the field of ICT, but they don’t contain specific conditions for such applicability. In this regard, we believe that the practical aspects of the use of ICT should be regulated by a special universal international legal document, which would separately provide for the criteria for applying existing norms of international law to the use of ICTs and would directly indicate the need to develop new provisions to accommodate for current conditions. Belarus has consistently advocated for the development and adoption of new norms and legally binding documents in this area. In the way things currently stand, small and developing states will not be able to fully protect their cyberspace on their own and the adoption of a single international legal act regulating the ICT space seems to be vital for all of us. The absence of clear rules of the game and red lines in cyberspace gives rise to subjectivity and the temptation for individual actors to use the wide range of tools in this area, politically for informational confrontation, which results in disinformation, false accusations and political tensions. Adopted by consensus on December 6th 2021, the UNGA resolution Achievements in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security was meant to create a field for dialogue and constructive solutions in the process of developing a future universal international legal framework for ICT regulation with the participation of wide range of states, including representatives from business NGOs in the scientific community. We considered it critically important for the future document to reflect the norms and obligations of the sovereign rights of each state to independently develop their national information policy and protect information resources and critical objects from misuse and outside interference, as well as the principle of refusing to create ICTs specifically intended to harm the information resources, infrastructure and critical facilities of third countries. Thank you for your attention. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. European Union, please.

European Union

Thank you, Chair. I will do my best to stay within the three minutes, but just pre warning and hope for your mercy here. Mr. Chairman, I have the honor to speak on behalf of the EU and its member states, the candidate countries North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the country of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidate, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Georgia and San Marino align themselves with this statement. I represent 35 states. Let me start by reiterating our commitment to the application of international law in cyberspace. As one of the pillars of the framework for responsible state behavior, the application of international law together with norms of responsible state behavior, Confidence Building Measures and capacity building provides stability in international relations in cyberspace. The EU and its member states see that the Open-ended Working Group presents an opportunity to seek further understanding and consensus building on the UN framework on how international law applies to the use of ICTs. Current world events demonstrate that adherence to the clear rules of international law, not trying to replace them, but coupled with strong enforcement measures is crucial to prevent conflicts and human suffering, including in cyberspace. As the Russian Federation through its military aggression against Ukraine is grossly violating the UN charter’s prohibition on the use of force found in Article 24 and the most basic rules of international humanitarian law by deliberately attacking civilians and civilian objects such as hospitals and schools. The international community must continue to act decisively to uphold and strengthen the international rule of law in all fields of interstate affairs. The Open-ended Working Group as the only current forum in which all member states are represented to elaborate on cyber issues, in the context of international security, therefore has an obvious responsibility to promote and clarify the application of international law in the cyber context. Taking the existing acquis on international law as its starting point, the Open-ended Working Group should further clarify how international law applies in cyberspace. In particular, it should focus on issues of international human rights law, as well as elaborate on the occasion of rules of international humanitarian law, humanity, necessity, proportionality and distinction, as noted in the 2015 and 2021 UNGGE reports. Working on the application of international humanitarian law in cyberspace will advance transparency and protect our society from cyber threats. The EU and its member states reiterate that such endeavor does not encourage the militarization of or will legitimize the use of force in cyberspace. But contrast restricts cyber operations during armed conflict by protecting civilians and its critical civilian infrastructure against cyber attacks. In light of current events, it’s more needed than ever to work on the application of international humanitarian law in cyberspace. By focusing its discussions on how existing international law regulates states’ conduct in cyberspace, the Open-ended Working Group should further identify challenges on the application of international law in cyberspace. And these exchanges could also contribute to all states building global capacities on international law as well as related national legislation and policies. We encourage all states to articulate national positions on the matter, as we are working on these ourselves. With regard to the proposal contained by the Chair in its summary to develop legally binding measures or an instrument, we strongly underline the need to make sure that the achievements of the international communities of the last decades are not on their mind and will not be lost. The UN consensus reflected in the respective UNGGE reports, as well as the Open-ended Working report and numerous UNGA resolutions, that existing international law, notably the UN Charter in its entirety, should be the basis of our discussions on which we can build. Next to the significant setback in our efforts to advance international security and stability, a proposal for an international cyber treaty would lead to misunderstandings, and we also seriously would question the feasibility of such proposal in the first place. We have heard Russia as the main advocator of such treat, again advocating for this proposal, where they’re not even adhering to the UN agreements over the last two decades. And this seriously the questions the true intentions behind working on such a treaty. We view these attempts to undermine the prior achievements of our work as destabilizing and note that the Open-ended Working Group that we should continue to build on the UN Framework exploring ways to enhance its implementation, strengthen its pillars, rather than undermining it. To this end, we underline the importance of multilateral discussions in the Open-ended Working Group, as well as the practical implementation and capacity building in the context of regional, bilateral, but also global efforts. And in view of further multilateral cooperation on this practical implementation, we foresee to advance a Program of Action to advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace. And we hope to cooperate with all of you on this initiative. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much, EU. I give now the floor to Kenya, to be followed by Cuba. Kenya, please. 


Thank you, Chair. Kenya recognizes that although the existing international law does not include a specific reference to the use of ICTs in the context of international security there is room for discussion on how existing agreed frameworks included in international law can apply to ensure a peaceful ICT global environment. We affirm that states have the primary responsibility for maintaining an open, secure and peaceful ICT environment within their borders. It is important for states to work together to promote a common understanding of the international law through cooperation, transparency and accountability. And in their response to the question of how the OEWG can support the sharing of national views on this topic, the Kenyan delegation would like to propose the following. One, the formation of a special working group to facilitate submission and coalition of respective national views with member state led periodic assemblies to consider best practices and share lessons learned. And number two, to encourage members to publish their views in the approved or accredited portals such as the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research Cyber Policy Portal. On the question on how the OEWG can support state’s efforts to build capacity in the areas of international law, national legislation and policy, Kenya has already enacted legislation and policies to guide our ICT sector included the Kenya Information and Communication Act, the Cyber Crimes and the Computer Misuse Act and the Data Protection and Privacy Act, all of which are publicly accessible. And on this regard, Kenya recommends the OEWG members to share knowledge of best practices for enactments and implementation of national laws. Further, OEWG may consider supporting the establishment of a common body of knowledge at the global and regional levels that would eventually disseminate to national governments. In conclusion, Chair, we believe that the OEWG process should continue to facilitate the study and discussions on how international law applies to ICTs and we look forward to specialized working groups, which will be instrumental in framing the practicability and applicability of international law in the use of ICTs. I thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Cuba, please, to be followed by India. Cuba.


Thank you Chair. Concerning the matter currently on the floor, we would like to reiterate our support for the working document, which is aligned with the statement for the Non-Aligned Movement and the previous statements given. In paragraph 34 of this document we find that it’s important that we develop common additional knowledge on how international law applies to ICTs, which is an area that does not currently have consensus and analysis of this matter should start off with the fact that the main priority when it comes to cybersecurity falls to the states. We want to mention the importance of sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-intervention in internal matters of states, abstention of use or the threat of force, consideration of mutual benefits and the peaceful resolution of conflicts based on equality and mutual consent should all be considered. This must be reflected in any report developed by this group. International norms must allow for conflict prevention, guarantee peaceful cyberspace and stable development. We must avoid having cyberspace become a theater for military operations, we reject any reinterpretation or application of article 51 of the UN Charter in the area of cybersecurity. We will not accept any armed attack alleging the use of self defense in response to a cybersecurity incident. We will not accept any notion seeking to equate a cyber attack to an armed attack for justification of the use of force. We also reject the automatic application of international humanitarian law in cyberspace when it would require accepting the possibility of armed conflict in that area. This would contribute to the militarization of cyberspace and would be a first step towards equating cyber attacks to traditional armed attacks where international humanitarian law does apply. We reiterate our need to continue negotiations to adopt a broad binding document in the area of ICTs in an international context, agreed upon within the framework of the United Nations that respects international law and takes into consideration the nature of ICTs. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. I give now on the floor to India, to be followed by the Russian Federation. India, please. 


Mr. Chair, the UN Group of Governmental Experts reports in 2013, 2015 and 2021 and the final report of the UN Open-ended Working Group in 2021 mentioned that international law is the basis for states shared commitment to preventing conflict and maintaining international peace and security, and is also a key to enhancing confidence among states. The work by previous GGES and OEWG, that international law and in particular the Charter of the United Nations is applicable and essential to maintaining peace and stability for promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. These assessments and recommendations in conjunction with other substantive elements of previous reports emphasize that adherence to states to international law, in particular the Charter obligations, is an essential framework for the actions in the use of ICTs. We believe that international law is a vital deterrent in preventing conflicts and maintaining international peace and security. The principles of sovereign equality of states, non-use of force and threat of force, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, non-interference into internal efforts of the states are the foundational elements to take forward the discussion on international law to the use of ICTs during the mandate of the OEWG. It was recommended that additional neutral and objective efforts were needed to build capacity in the areas of international law, national legislation and policy matters and thereby building further common understandings on how international law applies to the use of ICTs. Application of international law to the use of ICTs by states needs to be discussed in the OEWG further with a primary focus on how specific aspects of the existing international law apply with an objective of developing a common understanding on the areas in the application of international law that would deliver diverse opinions from member states. The OEWG needs to build on such discussions to form a matrix of areas of convergence and areas of divergence to consolidate our understanding on this subject. Mr. Chair, violations of state sovereignty by another state through the use of ICTs constitutes an internationally wrongful act and entail an international responsibility of the state. Similarly, cyber operations information systems located in another states statutory or causing extra territorial effects might also constitute a breach of sovereignty. A state enjoys the right to exercise sovereignty over objects and activities within its territory. It has the corresponding responsibilities to ensure that those objects and activities are not used to harm other states. In this context, a state which is aware of an international 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 the international law. There is a need to further develop an understanding for the member states on attribution in case of harmful ICT activity of serious nature. A relative mechanism to evaluate the large scale implications emanating from such ICT activity and the options to be exercised by a member state to protect its sovereignty and take appropriate measures to protect its critical infrastructure. Mr. Chair, the attribution of an internationally wrongful act, including an international harmful ICT activity to sovereignty, requires a careful assessment of whether and how malicious activity conducted by a person or a group of persons or legal persons can be considered as the act of a state. OEWG should discuss the impact of harmful ICT activity on people, social economic conditions, and economic development of a member state and whether such activity can be attributed to a state under international law, wherein the activity was conducted by an organ of the state by persons or entities exercising elements of governmental authority or by a non-state actor operating under the directions or control of the state. Previous GGEs and OEWG final reports delivered an appreciated work in the area of how international law applies to the use of ICTs by states. However, the new and emerging disruptive technologies, especially cloud based ICT infrastructure for data processing and hosting malicious ICT activities, are posing serious challenges to the present understanding of international law. OEWG need to discuss it in the light of constantly emerging new disruptive ICT tools of exploitative nature that can be used against member states. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Russian Federation, followed by El Salvador. Russian Federation, please.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the report of the Open-ended Working Group of 2019-2021, there is a recommendation to continue studying the topic of the applicability of international law to the use of ICTs by states with a view to further deepening overall understanding of this issue. Throughout the entire period of a general discussion of information security states have yet to come to a common view on this very complex topic. We propose at the first stage focusing our work on two areas. First, how specific principles of international law can be applied to the use of ICTs and second, what gaps exist in existing international law and what legal relations between states in this area remain unregulated. Specifically, we could discuss the practical applicability of the international legal principle of state cooperation in the sphere of ICTs use. At the current stage of ICT development unmistakably identifying the source of harmful activity does not appear to be possible without an in depth. Reform of the protocols of the functioning of the internet and organizing the necessary cooperation between states. In this regard, establishing clear cooperation mechanism between authorized state bodies, CERT to CERT cooperation, is highly relevant. It is about promoting such consultations that paragraph 23 of the GGE report talks about. The OEWG could develop concrete modalities for the interactions of contact focal points as recommended in the report of the first group. In the absence of such mechanisms, we are concerned by the use by certain states of a tactic of public and unjustified attribution of responsibility. It seems strange to us that those who accuse our country of attacks very rarely use existing channels for such contacts. Our National Computer Emergency Coordination Center sees its main task as joint activities with international partners to counter unlawful activity with the use of ICTs. We conclude that those countries who accuse Russia of all possible sins, while avoiding cooperation through official channels, are not interested in true interaction and they are instead using a alleged threat from Russian hackers for their own political purposes. Over the past two days of the session, we have all seen rabid attempts to paint a specific state as a violator of the rules and norms of international law in the absence of any sort of evidence. Given the conclusions of the OEWG and the GGE stating that all accusations must be founded, in our view it is high time to have a serious discussion on what sort of evidence a state must present in order to accuse another state of unlawful activity. And what sort of standards should be applied to that evidence? Developing specific answers to these questions agreed at the international level would facilitate resolving potential inter-state conflict and confrontations in this area through peaceful diplomatic means. Today, as we see the number of unresolved issues relating to the applicability of international law to the use of ICTs is very large indeed and there’s practically no framework for a legal regulation of the international ICT sphere. We support the positions of the EU, Pakistan and Nicaraguan, and we believe that it is critically important to develop a universal legally binding instrument in the area of information security in the format of a convention. Another issue that remains unresolved but very relevant is developing universal terminology in the area of ICT security. We propose compiling a list of terms used in consensus UN documents and are prepared to make our contribution to this. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for this statement. El Salvador, followed by Austria. El Salvador, please.

El Salvador

Chair, concerning the item that we’re looking at now, El Salvador aligns itself with the other delegations saying that what we have to do is define how international law applies to cyberspace. We find it important to continue working in dialogue at the state, regional and international level, to talk about how we each interpret international law as applicable, especially when it comes to sovereignty, respect for human rights and fundamental rights. We respect international law and principles, so we urge everyone to respect the right to territory, especially when it comes to cybersecurity and not interfering in internal affairs of other states. We believe that due diligence must consider the previous elements as central, with a view to promoting the peaceful use of ICTs in all territories without affecting neighboring countries. Concerning the applicability of international humanitarian law within cyberspace, we know that protecting critical infrastructure is necessary when it comes to conflict contexts, but we need more information on how international humanitarian law can be applied in cyberspace specifically. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Austria, followed by Paraguay. Austria, please. 


Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. In addition to the statement made by the European Union, I would like to make some additional comments. Briefly, still on norms of responsible state behavior, and particularly international law. In response to your questions, we are very much interested to discuss specific proposals to facilitate the implementation of the agreed norms of responsible state behavior. In our view, the key elements must be a clear commitment of all states to comply with the normative framework and clear consequences for a failure to do so. We do not need new norms, but full observance of the existing ones. In particular, for small and medium sized countries like ourselves, respectful for the rules based international order is of fundamental importance. Mr. Chairman, regarding your questions on how the Open-ended Working Group can support the efforts of states to strengthen the application of international law and cyberspace we have made already a number of proposals at our first meeting, in particular to have future meetings of the Open-ended Working Group with a focus on international law, in order to allow for more in depth discussions among experts on some key questions. For instance, the rules of state responsibility and the principle of due diligence. Current events underscore the importance to discuss the respect and implementation of international humanitarian law in cyberspace. In particular, how the principles of humanity, necessity, proportionality and distinction apply to the use of ICTs per state situations of armed conflict. Discussions to consolidate our common understanding of and to strengthened respect for IHL in cyberspace serve only one goal: to limit the effects of armed conflict and to protect those who do not, or not any more, participate in hostilities, in particular civilians. Doing so in no way legitimizes or encourages conflict. As we can see right now, armed conflict is not triggered by international norms applicable during armed conflict, but by decisions of irresponsible political leaders. Further work on the application of IHL in cyberspace is needed to clarify restrictions for cyber operations beyond armed conflict in order to protect civilians and civilian critical infrastructure against malicious cyber activities. Also, in situations of armed conflict, ICT services and critical infrastructure must continue to function so that the civilian population has continued access to essential public services, including energy supply, health care and education. Thank you so much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Paraguay, followed by Switzerland. Paraguay, please.


Thank you very much, Chair. Since this is the first time that I take the floor, first off, allow me to welcome you and your team’s efforts in this process, your unceasing efforts in our project to succeed in our work. I will be referring to various topics in my statement. First of all, we would like to highlight your efforts to reach consensus, so that we can have participation by all stakeholders and continue with our central body of work. We align ourselves with what has been said previously, so that we can move forward with our work. Concerning contribution by all stakeholders, we believe in inclusive and transparent methods of communication that will allow for comprehensive participation by stakeholders in our work and which will allow us to have a flow of communication and confidence so that we can reach our goals. In that regard, it’s important that we highlight our position in this matter. Paraguay recently developed its first national plan on cybersecurity with participation by over 120 organizations involved in this area. Those were public private organizations, professional associations. We had support by the OAS as well in this process. As you know, and this is another example in this regard, there are various initiatives that seek to deliver assistance and cooperation for capacity building measures. Many delegations have already mentioned both during the previous and the current sessions, we believe that the OEWG should be a joint effort that will allow us to advance towards the construction of mechanisms that will contribute to the full implementation of the norms that have come from previous sessions and that are the foundation for the current working group. So for example, for the implementation of the 11 norms on responsible behavior adopted by all states. Also, we would like to see rich feedback from other organizations like the OAS, the international communications agency, and also the Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime in order to duplicate our benefits and make the best use of these spaces. We should also mention that in addition to considering the perspectives of various countries in this area, we are a developing maritime nation and would like to see specific focus being given to these areas for the benefit of our population. We welcome all the efforts by the GGE as well as all of the norms that have been presented for responsible behavior, and we would like to see the adoption of these norms and their implementation at the international level with particular consideration of international humanitarian law. We would like to see additional capacity building as well. However, despite great progress, we would like to see more work to achieve the necessary consensus and fine tune matters where we continue to see differences. Our actions must consider the implementations already in place. We consider that the Action Plan proposed by France and Egypt, that is now co-sponsored by over 50 member states, that many approved reports make reference to, is currently without objection and it is fully oriented towards action, towards confidence building and capacity building which adds to that which has been established thus far. In that regard, we want to take advantage of this space, this working platform, to further analyze these matters and their implications. And in that sense, we have also added our name to the list of co-sponsors. Thank you very much, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Switzerland, followed by Sweden. Switzerland, please. 


Mr. Chair. In light of the current events, Switzerland would like to emphasize that it is more important than ever, that all states adhere to international law, in particular to the rules laid out in the UN Charter to international humanitarian law and the human rights law. This is vital in the physical world, but also in cyberspace. We have seen multiple actors engaging in cyber operations. This comes with the danger and potential for serious damage to critical infrastructure of states. The potential for unintended or spillover effect has thus increased. It is therefore all the more important that all actors respect existing international law, rules and voluntary norms. All states have a common interest in ensuring that cyberspace is used for peaceful purposes and governed by the rule of law. Regarding the proposal of a new treaty, we cannot support that proposal. We support the statement made by the EU and others. In times when the most fundamental rules are violated our efforts must be directed towards ensuring respect for the existing rules. Moreover, states should first find a common understanding on how to apply existing rules before discussing new ones. Only then will it become clear whether we need new ones. We welcome the efforts of the Chair to strive for more concrete proposals and discussions. Sharing national views and building capacity in this Open-ended Working Group is important and we encourage a more systematic and detailed discussion on how internet law applies in cyberspace with a view to build common understandings. With this purpose in mind, Switzerland welcomes the publication of national positions as annexed to the last GGE report. We would like to invite all states that have not yet published a position to consider doing so. Understanding the views of other states constitutes an important basis for discussions and is the first step towards reaching a common understanding on how international law applies to cyberspace and will contribute to its implementation. We propose the following are not mutually exclusive options. Firstly, using the Open-ended Working Group as a forum to discuss the application of international law in cyberspace. To do so we propose to identify specific aspects of international law that states would like to prioritize for discussion and to work with a more detailed agenda proposing time slots for particular topics. Secondly, it could be helpful to organize expert briefings and side events on topics of common interest. Finally, there is the possibility of a call for non-papers of state and non-state stakeholders, and to use such non-papers as a basis for further discussion. Switzerland wishes also to flag the Program of Action initiative supported by more than 50 states. In our view it could be useful to to foster more common understanding on issues of international law. Mr. Chair, let me say a few words on the following topics that are of particular importance for Switzerland regarding more concrete discussions on international law in the Open-ended Working Group. The distinction between binding international law and non-binding voluntary norms of responsible estate behavior should be clear, respected and guided by discussions of this group. Switzerland considers that the peaceful settlement of disputes could be an important topic to be further explored in the work of this group. Switzerland sees great merit to discuss international humanitarian law as one of the priorities within the Open-ended Working Group. Recent events show that cyber operation in the context of an armed conflict are real and can have serious implications. Developing common understanding about how IHL regulates and limits such operations in wartime are therefore more urgent than ever. Existing IHL places important limits on cyber operations in the context of an armed conflict. Notably, the rules and principles governing the conduct of hostilities. Any cyber operation linked to an armed conflict needs to comply with these rules and principles. Recall that in accordance with IHL, an attack must be directed at a specific military objective and that its affects must be limited as required by IHL. This also applies to text using cyber means. Switzerland maintains the human rights to deploy offline or apply online. Human rights are a key pillar in the international regulatory framework for digitalization, and they must be respected and further elaborated in the work of the Open-ended Working Group. Therefore, states in ensuring the security of ICTs must guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms by fully complying with their obligations and commitments under international human rights law, and considering, developing and applying National Cybersecurity tools, policies and legislation. Switzerland considers the applicability of human rights to cyberspace to be an unequivocal principle. However, new questions may arise when considering how human rights in cyberspace apply in individual cases. Switzerland is committed to systematic consideration and integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda at bilateral and multilateral levels. In this context, Switzerland is striving for a better consideration of gender aspects in the area of cybersecurity on the one hand and of information and communication technologies and cybersecurity in national action plans for implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda on the other. This aspect could be reflected in the future work of the Open-ended Working Group. Switzerland welcomes that the law of state responsibility was reaffirmed in the 2021 Open-ended Working Group report. Switzerland underlines that legal attribution is governed by the law of state responsibility. Countermeasures are subject to several important preconditions and procedural requirements. Switzerland would encourage that these legal constraints should be further analyzed in the work of the Open-ended Working Group. Finally, Switzerland is of the view that due diligence is part of customary international law and applicable to cyberspace. Switzerland would encourage that the principle of due diligence is reflected in the future work of the Open-ended Working Group. We look forward to contributing constructively to the discussions on international law and in particular in those areas that I’ve mentioned. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. Once again, I encourage delegations to do their best to keep within the time limit. I give now the floor to Sweden, followed by Costa Rica. Sweden, please.


Mr. Chairman, thank you. Sweden fully aligns itself with the statement by the EU, but we would like to make the following addition in a national capacity. Sweden welcomes this opportunity to address how international law applies to the use of information and communication technologies. The applicability of existing international law, including the UN Charter in cyberspace have now been unequivocally confirmed by states. State behavior based on compliance with international laws fosters stability in international relations. Sweden supports the sharing of national views on the topic of how international law applies in cyberspace and will present its own position later this year. Sweden also encourages other states to do so. A better understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace contributes to the strengthening of an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyber environment. The Open-ended Working Group offers an important opportunity to clarify the application of international law in cyberspace. Basing itself on the existing acquis, the Open-ended Working Group could explore the application particular areas of international law in cyberspace. One of those areas is international humanitarian law, IHL, a topic specifically addressed by the Group of Governmental Experts in its report of 2021. Mr. Chair, Sweden is of the view that IHL applies to cyber operations during armed conflict. An armed conflict may be of an international or non-international character. The application of IHL is not limited to kinetic force and includes the use of cyber as a means of warfare. However, to fall within the scope of IHL, a cyber operation must show significant nexus with the armed conflict. IHL is not concerned with the legality of war and does not, as such, legitimize the use of force between states. IHL aims to regulate the conduct of hostilities and to protect those who are not or no longer participate in hostilities, thereby reducing risk and potential harm to civilians and civilian objects as well as persons recognized to be [unclear] combat. Existing IHL, in particular its fundamental principles, places important limits on cyber operations in the context of an armed conflict. Current events make the need to address the application of IHL in cyberspace particularly clear. Sweden looks forward to coming discussions on how international law applies in cyberspace during this and coming sessions of the Open-ended Working Group. Thank you, Mr. Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Costa Rica, please.

Costa Rica

Chair. Costa Rica will now respond to points one and two of the guiding questions. Concerning the first question, we believe that the group can recommend or designate a place so that states can share national opinions on how international humanitarian law applies in cyberspace, whether that be the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal, or any other mechanism, for example by the OEWH. Having some kind of a repository would be useful so that all of these perspectives are available to other stakeholders and thereby promotes transparency. We had explained previously that international law applies in cyberspace and it’s crucial that states reiterate their commitments and obligations to defend international law in this area. We must share specific national perspectives on how international law applies in cyberspace and that requires us to take a further step forward with our commitments. Concerning the second item, Costa Rica believes that this group is an inclusive and transparent forum for exchange among states on how international law applies to the use of ICTs. Perspective exchange between states and other experts could help to build mutual understanding and knowledge on international law among all states. Within the five year mandate we suggest that we have sessions or establish groups to address specific questions of international law, like the protection of human rights and the use of ICTs by states or establish a debate on the degree to which established juridical statutes apply to ICTs during times of armed conflict. We should have entire sessions on specific themes which will help us to prepare ourselves and bring the relevant experts to this space. We should share perspectives and work to arrive at a shared understanding of how international law applies to cyberspace. Only then will we be able to identify the steps to be taken in the legal and political context at the national level, so that we can guarantee that we’re all fulfilling our obligations. To conclude, cyberspace and its key associated dimensions, like existing and potential threats, norms, principles and rules for responsible behavior by states in cyberspace. The implementation of international law on ICTs, capacity building, should not be interpreted as isolated. All of these are a part of a bigger sum, which evolve with technology and inventions coming in the future. Thank you very much.  

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. Canada, to be followed by the Syrian Arab Republic. Canada, please. 


Chair, Canada considers international law a vital element in the work of this OEWG, and now more than ever. Current events that we all read and hear about daily, in particular in Ukraine, underscore the discussions here at this OEWG on how international law applies in cyberspace are of real world and real time significance. Chair, Canada would like to share our views today on how this OEWG can best make real progress on international law in accordance with its mandate and thus to help build stability and security in cyberspace. We will first respond to the two guiding questions, Chair, that you have asked us all to consider. We will then speak briefly to some of the substantive international law topics that we see as most relevant for our OEWG to explore in more detail. We’ll follow this with some ideas on how the OEWG might engage constructively on these and finally we’ll conclude with some suggested elements on international law for the first of the annual progress reports this OEWG is mandated to produce. On the guiding questions Chair, your first question concerns the sharing of national views to build common understandings. Canada has long supported the development and publication of national views. Canada has benefited greatly from the study of the national statements issued to date. Since this OEWG last met in December, Canada has continued to work hard to complete our own national statement, which we expect to issue shortly. Once it is available, we will be sure to forward it to be posted on the UNIDIR portal where we are pleased to see a growing number of national statements available. Chair, turning now to your second guiding question on how this OEWG can support capacity building, the importance of capacity building on international law and related areas, was recognized in the consensus report of the previous OEWG, which included some very specific recommendations on this. This present OEWG can play a valuable role in sharing information about capacity building needs and resources. Here, I would mention the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise the GFCE, playing a valuable role already sharing information and matching capabilities of needs to available support. The work of the GFCE is complementary to our OEWG and we should take advantage of their expertise and experience to advance their own interests. For our part, Canada continues to support capacity building actively by funding courses on international law applicable to cyberspace for public officials from the growing number of states. Additional courses are planned for this year. Two of these may be of interest that will be held in April for the Women in Cyber Fellows that Canada and others are proud to sponsor. Chair, having these talented group of women cyber experts from many states, many of whom are with us in the room today. Doing this kind of training together builds national capacity on international law. And it enables more states to engage more meaningfully in building common understandings on international law. Beyond that, it also serves as a confidence building measure in itself. In this sense, it reinforces our OEWGs potential as a confidence building measure, Chair, as you have described it. Turning to substantive legal topics, we joined in support of the suggestion that this OEWG moved from general statements and select together and explore in more detail, a number of international topics that are most relevant. They don’t need to be the topics that we are most likely to agree on, but they do need to be topics that we all agree are important. We would suggest four. The first, obviously would be the peaceful settlement of disputes. Now more relevant than ever. As many colleagues have mentioned, this obligation for peaceful settlements of disputes appear in the UN Charter, and of course, appeared in previous reports here at the UN. Secondly, the law on state responsibility building on the work of the UN International Law Commission. Thirdly, IHL, which of course was agreed by consensus in the most recent GGE report. Canada considers that it is timely for IHL to now be considered not just by a number of states of the GGE but here in our Open-ended Working Group by the full community of member states. All of us being party to the main IHL treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions of 1949. IHL has been identified as a topic of interest by many states such as El Salvador, Sweden and Switzerland today, and it’s a topic that merits our further attention. Finally, international human rights law has also been cited as being especially vital now, and its importance has been recognized in past reports of the OEWG and the GGE. A fifth topic, Chair, for consideration might be accountability for unlawful cyber activities. On how we might explore selected topics further we should consider possible intersessional efforts that would advance our agenda. This could include for example, virtual discussions and workshops with expert briefers, cross regional groups could perhaps come together to facilitate discussion and exchange on selected topics. We find Kenya’s proposals to be of interest in this regard, that is a focus groups that would look at topics one after another. We support the suggestion of Costa Rica and others for dedicating meeting time to specific topics and issues. Finally, Chair, let me conclude the suggestions for elements to include in this year’s progress report. The first two perhaps go without saying the report should affirm the acquis on the applicability of international law to state behavior in cyberspace. Secondly, we should affirm our shared support for the discussion and recommendations on international law from the consensus OEWG report of 2021. And in particular cite paragraphs 34 through 40. That should not require much negotiation at all. Thirdly, we can report that this group has continued discussions and exchanges in follow up to the recommendations of the last OEWG report, in particular on the two topics you have identified, Chair, in your guiding questions. And then finally, we can indicate in our report, a progress report that we plan to continue our work with more in depth and focus consideration of specific topics and we can list some of those that have been agreed by states as warranting further attention. In closing, Chair, Canada firms our view that this OEWG can and should vigorously and constructively engage on international law. In doing so, we can together foster the development of vital, common understandings of international law that are essential to our common security. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement, and I still do encourage delegations to do their best to stick to the time limit and circulate their statements to delegations and upload them on e-deleGATE. Thank you for your understanding. Syrian Arab Republic, to be followed by Brazil, please.


Thank you, Mr. Chair. On the sub item under discussion my delegation would like to stress the application of IHL and the UN Charter in cyberspace. We would also like to stress the importance of digital sovereignty, human rights, fundamental freedoms when it comes to the use of ICT. My delegation would like to underscore the importance of convening meetings regarding legal mechanisms that we need for matters that are not regulated, in order to make sure that we have a stable cyberspace and to prevent any arms race or weaponization of ICT. We’d like to attach importance to the formulation of a legally binding universal instrument under the auspices of the UN. And we need to make sure that the use of language is consistent, and we need to have a glossary of key terms including critical information, infrastructure and digital space. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. Brazil, to be followed by South Africa. Brazil, please. 


Thank you, Mr. Chair. In the first OEWG, states reaffirmed that international law is applicable and essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. Having already established the ‘what?’, now it is up to this group, Mr. Chair, to advance on the ‘how?’ As a contribution to this discussion, Brazil would like to refer to its national position, stated in document A/76/136. We will continue to inform the Secretary General of our national views and assessments, in line with paragraph 38 of the first OEWG report. Regarding your first guiding question, Chair, my delegation supports the use of the Cyber Policy Portal to facilitate the sharing of national views. I agree with a distinguished delegate of Canada that we all learn from studying each other’s position. These unilateral submissions, however, should not be seen as an end in themselves, but as conducive to strengthening our multilateral common understanding of how international law applies to the use of ICTs by states in line with paragraph 40 of the OEWG report. This question is unavoidable. We are only in the beginning of the digital era. And the earlier we make progress on these understanding the more chances we have to actually fulfill our commitment with a secure, open, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. Mr. Chair, our delegation believes that Switzerland and Costa Rica’s proposals to establish a timeline site events and dedicated sessions to specific topics is the best way forward and would enable our discussion to be more concrete and focused. Regarding the list of possible topics, we are flexible, and we think it should be in line with the proposals made in the room and also last year and registered in the Chair’s report that accompanies the final OEWG report. I would just like to conclude pointing out that any capacity building exercise should be in line with paragraph 39 of the first OEWG report, meaning it should be neutral and not politicized, in order to build trust in the process of discussing international law. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. South Africa, to be followed by the UK. South Africa, please.

South Africa

Thank you, Chairperson. To govern the use of cyberspace and especially the threats posed to international peace and security. South Africa continues to support the applicability of international law, and specifically the United Nations Charter in its entirety. South Africa, therefore, welcomes the consensus conclusion of the first OEWG that international law applies to cyberspace and the recognition that more work is needed to reach common understandings on how international law applies, as our Brazilian colleague has stated. South Africa believes that the current discussion on cybersecurity should build upon work done by the existing agreements such as the African Union convention on cybersecurity and personal data protection. South Africa also understands that several states are developing language proposals on the application of international humanitarian law in the context of cybersecurity. We encourage such discussions to be channeled to the OEWG in order to achieve the common understandings necessary for a successful and consensual outcome to our work. Leveraging the expertise of all relevant bodies and stakeholders, such as the International Law Commission would enrich the OEWG’s work towards reaching common understandings on how international law applies to cybersecurity. South Africa is therefore proposing that the OEWG consider requesting an opinion from the ILC. Thank you.

Ambassador Gafoor

Thank you very much, South Africa. UK, to be followed by the United States. UK, please.

United Kingdom

Thank you, Chair. The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government and it’s a clear breach of international law and the UN Charter. Just last year, Russia agreed to report on the 2021 GGE, which notes that international humanitarian law applies in situations of armed conflict. The group recognized the need for further study on how and when these principles apply to the use of ICTs by states. We support a focus on discussions of specific rules and principles such as these to build on the GGE report and develop a deeper understanding between states on how international law, and in particular international humanitarian law and international human rights law, apply to state activities in the cyber domain. The world must stand together to promote the application and observance of international humanitarian law, both in the physical and virtual worlds. Humanitarian actors and human rights defenders are crucial to collecting evidence of unlawful activity so that those states that breach international law, and those individuals committing the most serious international crimes, can be held to account. In the modern world, much of that evidence is digital. Yesterday, Russia spoke about various cyber activities and said, “no one had thought about measures to countermand this previously”. I point colleagues towards the existing rule prohibiting interventions in the domestic affairs states, both under Article 27 of the Charter and in customary international law. The practical application of the principle in this context would be the use by a hostile state of cyber operations, to manipulate the electoral system to alter the results of an election in another state, intervention in the fundamental operation of our parliament, or in the stability of our financial system. This principle may be a useful focus for future discussion. Further, in the current context, we reiterate the importance of continuing to share national views on how international law applies to state activity in cyberspace. We have, in recent months revisited the contributions made to the GGE by participating member states and found them helpful. As previously announced, the UK and partners have supported a package development for UNIDIR’s Policy Portal, to allow it to act as a repository for national positions on the application of international law to state behavior in cyberspace. We encourage states to action the recommendation of the consensus OEWG report, to share their national position to the portal. To enable this, states must continue to develop human capacity to participate in these conversations. And as such, the UK is proud to contribute to this effort through the Women in Cyber fellowship. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. United States, followed by the Czech Republic. US, please. 

United States  

Thank you chair. Given the threats we face, it is essential that all states understand how international law applies to states use of ICTs and that they uphold their international legal obligations when using ICTs. That includes international obligations under the UN Charter, which requires all member states to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other states and in the context of armed conflict it includes obligations under international humanitarian law, including the principles of necessity, distinction, and proportionality. None of this is news. The international community has consistently affirmed that international law, including the UN Charter in its entirety, applies to state behavior in cyberspace, including most recently through its adoption of the 2021 GGE and OEWG reports. But even as we sit in this room, one member state continues to wage an unjustified unprovoked war of aggression against another member state, and has used cyber tools in that conflict. It would be unconscionable for us to discuss furthering state’s understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace, without acknowledging the stark reality outside this room. What is happening now only underscores the vital importance of deepening our shared understanding of how international law applies to state conduct in cyberspace and how we can work together to ensure that states uphold their international legal obligations in the use of ICTs. Among other things, it should be recalled that international law provides a framework for victim states when considering how to respond to another state’s malicious cyber activity. This was reflected in many of the very thoughtful and interesting national contributions on how international law applies in cyberspace that were submitted as part of the last GGE. The official collection of those statements is a remarkable and important achievement, and one that we should build upon going forward. International law also guides states on how they should use their own capabilities responsibly including with respect to protection of civilians in the event of armed conflict. We hope and we expect that member states will respect international law when using ICTs even as we continued to advance our understanding of exactly how international law applies in cyberspace. Our common understanding of how international law applies to state behavior has deepened over time and has been enriched. Initially, in 2013, we reached consensus on a simple statement confirming its application. The 2015 GGE expanded on that position by providing some explanation of how international law applies, including in the areas of jurisdiction, peaceful settlement of disputes and human rights. Adding to this body of work, the 2021 GGE affirmed unreservedly the applicability of international humanitarian law to cyberspace, and acknowledged that armed conflict can occur in the context of state’s use of cyber capabilities. Given all that we’ve achieved, the United States has modest but important goals for the OEWG on the subject of international law. The OEWG should raise awareness of international law’s applicability to state behavior in cyberspace and the related consensus that we’ve achieved. The OEWG should also encourage legal and policy capacity building on this issue to help states more fully understand its importance. In addition, states should be encouraged to develop and to publish national positions on how international law applies to state behavior in cyberspace. Sharing of such national positions is a critical confidence building measure that decreases the risks of misperception and misunderstanding between states. It also contributes to capacity building as states further develop their own understandings of how international law applies. The OEWG could encourage the creation of a database of national positions for ease of access. The UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal could be used for such a purpose. Given its foundational importance, international law must remain central in our work on the framework of responsible state behavior. We look forward to working with OEWG participants on these issues. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. I give now the floor to the Czech Republic, followed by Singapore. Czech Republic, please. 

Czech Republic  

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Czech Republic aligns itself with the EU’s statement and wishes to highlight the following. Mr. Chair, distinguished colleagues, the tragic events of recent months demonstrate that compliance with rules of international law, together with strong enforcement measures, is of the utmost importance if we are to prevent conflict in cyberspace and avoid potentially devastating humanitarian consequences such conflict could have in the physical world. In this context, we are deeply concerned by the recent wave of cyber-attacks against Ukraine, including those that are getting its critical infrastructure delivering essential services to the public, which as many colleagues mentioned yesterday already have significant negative spillover effects on other states. Such irresponsible and indiscriminate attacks threaten not only the stability of the European continent, but may well produced serious repercussions throughout the world. We are equally appalled that humanitarian organizations are now being deliberately targeted by advanced persistent threat actors in cyberspace, in blatant violation of Geneva Conventions, as described yesterday in chilling statements of our colleagues from the ICRC and Switzerland. We condemn the attack on the ICRC in the strongest possible terms and call on all states to take practical steps to ensure humanitarian organizations enjoy the same protection online as they do offline. Mr. Chair, in response to your questions, we reiterate our suggestion from last December to hold thematic discussions on different areas of international law. This would help us to structure our discussions and allow us to deepen our shared understanding of how international law applies to state conduct in cyberspace. This systematic approach would also help us to identify potential gaps, if any. In the light of current events, the Czech Republic believes it is more than ever necessary to advance our work on applicability of international humanitarian law in cyberspace, especially in the context of increasing cyber attacks against humanitarian organizations and critical infrastructure, including hospitals. The events of the past few months sadly show that the non-militarization discussion train has left the station. Wartime cyber operations are no longer an abstract construction, but a grim reality we must all face and respond to together. Now that the 2021 GGE report affirm the applicability of IHL to cyberspace, the OEWG should build and elaborate upon this work. A failure to do so, now, especially in the context of Russia’s aggression, risks paving the way to a future impunity for indiscriminate cyber operations, and a blatant disregard for existing IHL principles of humanity, distinction and proportionality. We strongly believe the time is now for the international community to send a clear signal that violations of IHL through cyber means will not be tolerated. In this context, we commend Liechtenstein and a number of other partners, for producing a report of the Council of Advisors on the application of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to cyber warfare, which could be leveraged for our future discussions. In light of escalating cyber-attacks against Ukraine, emanating from the territory of the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic also joins France and other previous speakers in highlighting the need to have more in depth discussions in the OEWG on the duty of due diligence, which calls on the states to take practical steps to ensure their territory is not being used for malicious cyber activities. Mr. Chair, by way of concluding, allow me to reiterate Czech Republic’s commitment to comply with all principles of international law in cyberspace, including the principles of sovereignty, due diligence, international humanitarian law and international law of human rights. Given Russia’s failure to comply with the existing international law, including its conduct in cyberspace, we have serious doubt as to its sincerity or intention to comply with any future instrument it is proposing, whether on cybersecurity or cybercrime. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Singapore, to be followed by France. Singapore, please. 


Thank you, Mr. Chair. Singapore reaffirms that international law, and in particular the Charter of the United Nations, is applicable and essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment as stated in the report of the inaugural OEWG. As a small state, Singapore has always supported the rules based multilateral system and the role of the United Nations as a foundation for international law, rules and norms. It is important to build a rules based international order in cyberspace, especially given rapid digitalization and recent geopolitical developments. The OEWG is a useful platform for dialogue on this important issue of international law, and we should encourage states to submit their national contributions on the application of international law in cyberspace as Switzerland and many others have mentioned. These national submissions could be uploaded on the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal. While dialogue at this web platform is useful, it is important to read the full depth, detailed and nuanced from these written submissions, especially because they cannot fit within the three minutes time limit. Singapore has submitted our national contribution. Growing such a shared repository of knowledge could help to foster common understanding of key rules and principles governing how states should behave in cyberspace. We recognize the importance of equipping member states with the necessary expertise to participate meaningfully in discussions on the application of international law in cyberspace. To facilitate this process, the OEWG could continue to serve as a platform where member states share and describe their capacity building initiatives on international law, to open doors for potential exchanges and collaborations amongst experts. As a specific example, in partnership with Australia and the Netherlands, the ASEAN Singapore Cybersecurity Center of Excellence organized several courses on the international law of cyber operations for ASEAN member states between 2019 and 2021. These workshops and courses helped participants to better understand how various different international law regimes apply in cyberspace, in a nonpartisan, neutral and objective manner. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you, France, to be followed by Colombia. France, please.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and I would like to add a few remarks in my national capacity. The successive working group established by the General Assembly on the issue of international security and the use of ICTs reaffirmed the applicability of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and its essential rule in ensuring security and stability in cyberspace. These groups have also made major efforts to propose initial efforts for a common understanding of the way in which international law applies in cyberspace. Pursuing these efforts is more urgent and necessary than ever at a time when regrettably, as was recalled by High Representative Izumi Nakamitsu, the use of cyber capacities to support hostilities is no longer a possibility, it is a reality. Mr. Chairman, I would like to briefly recall our position on the idea that has sometimes been mentioned in these debates and in the Chair’s summary of the previous OEWG to develop a new legally binding instrument. First, we are highly skeptical of the apparent desire of the Russian Federation to develop legally binding norms as we see this country, a permanent member of the Security Council, wage a war of aggression to redraw internationally recognized borders, thus violating one of the highest principles of international law. Moreover, on a more substantive level, we believe that humanitarian law must remain as unified as possible and that it is never good to excessively narrow it down in terms of the area of application. There is also a possibility for a future development of legally binding norms, but we ask for a frugal approach to developing any new norms. We underscore however, that they can only be developed on the basis of consensus. Yet, the divergent positions of states on this topic today show that the conditions for such a discussion are not yet in place. This is why we believe that we must above all, explore specific means to improve the implementation of international law in cyberspace. And to conclude, I would like to propose several responses to the questions that you’ve put to us. Regarding your first question, my delegation would like to make two points. The Open-ended Working Group must continue building on the work of the previous groups and encouraging states to share documents with their national view on the use of ICTs. During the first session of this group, many states including France, disseminated documents expressing their positions and we hope that other states will do the same. The Open-ended Working Group could in the future consider publishing an updated compendium of states positions shared voluntarily as we did in the GGE. In addition, future meetings of our group could be used to organize more specific discussions on aspects of international law, the application which to cyberspace requires an in depth consideration. In your summary of the December session, Mr. Chairman, you identified some topics, such as due diligence, for example, human rights, and of course international humanitarian law. Your future guiding questions could invite states who wish to do so to share their positions on these aspects of international law in order to facilitate in depth specific discussions. My delegation has not forgotten, Mr. Chairman, can be highly technical, and they will be democratic, inclusive and transparent, only if all states take ownership of existing frameworks, strengthen their expertise and develop their own positions. That is why my delegation would like to make two suggestions to respond to your second question, the Open-ended Working Group could continue highlighting and encouraging the use of tools, such as the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal. These can be used as Confidence Building Measures by improving transparency on national positions and legislation. They can contribute to capacity building by promoting sharing of expertise and legal knowledge. And we would be grateful, Mr. Chairman, if during this session, UNIDIR could make a presentation on this very valuable tool. Finally, the Open-ended Working Group could encourage the implementation of capacity building and cooperation programs that would help beneficiary states to improve their legal competence and national application of laws. It could also support states in developing regulations and legislation that would allow it to nationally implement frameworks for responsible behavior and to better exercise their sovereignty in cyberspace. And we’ll come back to this during the debate on capacity building. I thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. Colombia, to be followed by the ICRC. Colombia, please.


Thank you. We should reiterate that our presence here at the United Nations and our discussions during these sessions have international law as a base and the UN Charter which applies to the different spheres of international relations, including cyberspace. We must have dialogue among states in the search for common understanding when it comes to how international law applies to the use of ICTs. For that, we need a strategy that will allow us to compile and exchange national perspectives. And that will allow us to focus on generating an environment of trust. And we must be able to take into consideration various perspectives. This should be done objectively and independently, we need true moderation that will facilitate the development of processes that are within this mandate and that will allow us to apply evaluation of cases that would be exemplary in this situation. We need to support states in strengthening capacities in the areas of international law, legislation and national policy in order to have similar understanding, development of international tools for ICTs, etc. We should mention that efforts carried out in that regard should be objective and neutral. And they should be carried out with the principles included in paragraph 56 of the final report of the last OEWG. That capacity strengthening would contribute to clarifying dialogue, foster the development of common understanding, and also contribute to the creation of consensus in genera. We should continue to incentivize the exchange of opinions and national practices using existing tools, like for example the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal. We should mention that when it comes to recognizing the mandates that are applicable to ICTs in different member states, this is an area that requires greater analysis. This is why we think that the most technologically developed nations should share their practical experience in this area so that general legal statutes can be best applied in cyberspace. It is of great relevance that we continue our conversation on the  applicability of international humanitarian rights in the area of ICTs. We must ensure that our conversations do not encourage militarization or legitimize conflict in any of these areas. We must have uniform interpretations, avoid misinterpretations and promote stability. We would call for greater study of certain themes. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you for the statement. ICRC, to be followed by Australia. ICRC, please. 


Good afternoon Chair, ladies and gentlemen. Since the establishment of the first Open-ended Working Group in 2019, the ICRC has repeatedly expressed concern about the growing use of cyber operation during armed conflict, the potential human cost and the disruptive effects on civilian infrastructure. This concern are today as relevant as ever. As a matter of law and practice, and as highlighted in the 2021 GGE report, there can be no doubt IHL applies only in situation of armed conflict. Established international legal principles and rules protecting civilian and combatants, impose [unclear] limits on the conduct of cyber operation. The principle of distinction prohibits cyber-attacks directed against civilian objects such as hospitals, critical civilian infrastructure and civilian public administration. The principle of proportionality, [unclear] attacks including cyber attacks, which may be expected to cause excessive, incidental harm to civilian and civilian infrastructure, especially in cyberspace, accidental harm risks being widespread and transcending national borders. This rule applied to state armed forces, other state agents, non-state armed groups, but also to those who directly participate in hostility during armed conflict, including volunteer actors and other civilians. Mr. Chair, to turn to your question. We believe that the ongoing exchange in this OEWG, and the publication by states of national views on the application of international law as such are an important element of capacity building. We hope that the coming session will enter into further detail on the law and facilitate dialogue, thereby strengthening mutual understanding among all states. A number of states have published national views on how international law applied in the information environment. These publications provide a unique source of official views on international law that all states can consult and consider when forming their own views on the subject. In its whole, as guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC plans to publish short notes explaining key legal issue relating to cyber operation during armed conflict, which we hope will support states when drafting national position, inform the discussion of this group, and help find common ground. Finally, the OEWG provides a global and unique forum to present work conducted by states in different region. Last December, Mexico and Estonia reported that they conducted regional consultation in partnership with the ICRC on cyber operations during armed conflict. The ICRC stands ready to partner with other states to organize additional consultation in other regions of the world. This was an abridged version, the full statement is available online. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. I give now the floor to Australia, to be followed by Japan. Australia, please. 


Thank you very much, Chair. Australia very much greatly appreciates the value and the opportunity to discuss the application of international law to cyberspace, which provides states with a toolkit to identify breaches of international legal obligations, attribute those acts to the responsible state, seek peaceful settlement of disputes and where the victim state deems appropriate, take lawful measures in response. Australia believes that deepening our understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace is an iterative process. One that involves states forming national views and exchanging positions as this landscape and the threats that exist in it continued to develop. I’d also like to note Australia’s support for the proposal from Switzerland and from several others including Colombia, Canada and South Africa that this OEWG should take forth efforts to deepen the understanding of how international humanitarian law applies in cyberspace, and commends the efforts of the ICRC to help us do that. We also especially value and pay attention when we hear development or confirmation of positions from states. For example, in December, we heard India in the first substantive discussion provide the position on how international law applies in cyberspace. And we also note that in the first substantive session, a number of states  provided several complex questions regarding the application of international law in cyberspace, which are very pertinent to the ongoing work of this forum. And I’d welcome states to continue to pose those questions, because this is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss and respond to such questions. But in the interest of time, I will simply refer to the GGE annex of the 2021 GGE report on some of Australia’s positions on some of those questions. Not all, we don’t have answers to all of them. I wanted to take this opportunity today to address a number of statements that have been made this week. First, I note the point that was made by the esteemed delegate from China that substantiated facts might be required for attribution under voluntary norm B. Australia wants to underscore that there’s no international legal obligation on states to substantiate attribution decisions, including by revealing evidence on which attribution is based, and nor does the 2021 GGE report recommend under its norms guidance, that substantiation necessarily be made public. However, we note, and I think we agree with China on this point, that it is very much in state’s interest to be very careful before making any attribution decision. This is because, for example, if a state takes a countermeasure on the basis of an incorrect attribution, that countermeasure will be illegal and unlawful entailing legal consequences, and a right for a state against which countermeasures were taken to respond with its own countermeasures. Earlier this morning, we heard some states call for a new legally binding instrument to address responsible state behavior in cyberspace. I won’t go into the points that I made earlier on Monday about the legitimacy of the calls from the Russian delegation in this context, but I do think that this is a point that I’d like to address on substance. Australia does not share this view. It is Australia’s firm position that existing international law, treaties and customary international law, complemented by the norms of responsible state behavior, provide a comprehensive and robust framework to address the threats posed by state generated and state sponsored malicious cyber activity. And this is the key point when it is comprehensively implemented and adhered to. Negotiating a new convention would not give us greater certainty or clarity. This is because, just as with existing international law, we still need to work out the ‘how?’ of new treaty text if it applied to cyber incidents. Therefore, before creating any new laws, Australia suggests that the path forward is to understand and implement the law that we already have. That is customary international law, the United Nations Charter in its entirety, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and other conventions to identify whether there are any gaps that could benefit from further elaboration. Finally, I’d like to also express Australia’s full commitment to this OEWG’s implementation of the recommendation from the last OEWG, that states should support in a neutral and objective manner, additional efforts to build capacity in the areas of international law, national legislation and policy so that all states can contribute to building a common understanding of how international law applies to the use of ICTs, and to contribute to building consensus within this international community. I thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. I give the floor to Japan, to be followed by Indonesia. Japan, please.


Thank you, Chair. Japan would like to reiterate its position that existing international law, including United Nations Charter in its entirety applies in cyberspace. In addition, there are certain principles of international law that are especially important in cyberspace. They are the obligation not to violate the sovereignty of another state, the principle of non-intervention, state responsibility, due diligence, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. At the most basic level a state must not violate the sovereignty of another state by cyber operations. The difficulty in applying international law in cyberspace relates the difficulty of making judgment on attribution. If an act cannot be attributed to a state, the relevant obligation under international law cannot be applied. However, it should be possible to hold the state responsible for due diligence obligations if it can be shown that a cyber activity originated from the territory of that state, even if the cyber activity cannot be attributed to that state. Japan is of the view that it is important for governments to make public their basic position on how international law applies in cyberspace. It will increase transparency on how respective governments view cyberspace. The accumulation of state practice will deepen shared understanding on how international law applies in cyberspace. We also believe that the application of international law in international and domestic courts and tribunals will deepen understanding on how international law applies to cyberspace. This will clarify which activities in cyberspace constitute a violation of international law and which tools are available under international law for states whose legal interests have been infringed by cyber operations. A better understanding of how international applies in cyberspace will promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace and will help deter malicious activities in cyberspace. We can use the portal site of UNIDIR as well as the annual reports of the OEWG to share the national positions that have been made public. States with more experience in the field of international law can provide capacity building assistance to states that need it. In order to promote understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace, states could have discussions based on specific scenarios. Holding such a discussion as a side event that the OEWG could be helpful. We also commend the effort by the government of Estonia to compile the Tallinn manual, which is an extremely useful resource for how international law applies in cyberspace. Thank you very much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Indonesia, to be followed by Chile. Indonesia, please. 


Thank you, Chair. On behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, we wish to reiterate the importance of ensuring that the use of ICT is fully in accordance with the proposals and principles of the UN Charter and international law. NAM also stressed that the development of any international legal framework to address issues related to the use of ICT with implication on international peace and security should take into account the concern and interests of all states, and be based on consensus and pursued within the United Nation with the active and equal participation of all states. Chair, on our national capacity, Indonesia welcomes the acknowledgement of all member states regarding the application of international law in cyberspace. We believe it is an essential component to ensure protection and predictability of states on their use of ICT. Chair, to answer your first guiding question, we believe that the group needs to initiate discussion to get layers of understanding on the application of international law in the use of ICT, including taking stock and providing understanding on which international law elements appear crucial during ICT incidents. We can replicate the successful report of the past GGE in building such layer of understanding for the norms section. Moreover, we encourage the group to accommodate a systematic and detailed discussion of a number of thematic issues in international law, such as the issue of sovereignty, attribution and implementation of provision of international humanitarian law. My delegation hopes that the report of our deliberation this session can help us to identify issues as well as various challenges and limitations that each states face. Moreover, this can also be taken into consideration into the formulation of capacity building issues in the aspect of international law and policy. Finally, we hope that our work in discussing the application of international law may also be enriched with the involvement of other stakeholders, especially think tank and academics. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Chile, to be followed by Uruguay. Chile, please.


Thank you very much, Chair. We believe that international law and in particular the UN Charter represent the applicable normative framework that should regulate state behavior in cyberspace, including international humanitarian law, human rights, and all those mandates that are pertinent in this area because they are essential to maintaining the necessary peace and stability that are necessary for maintaining the same conditions in cyberspace. Chile finds that additional norms that could appear in the future to regulate to state behavior in cyberspace should be pursuant to current international law. Our country has established within our own legislation that planning, conducting and executing actions in cyberspace should strictly respect public international law and international humanitarian law. We believe that the OEWG could carry out a more detailed analysis on behavior in cyberspace in order to gain better common understanding, analyzing malicious threats that our countries face. Similarly, the group could identify specific aspects of international law that states should prioritize for the discussion. In that regard, it might be beneficial that we work with a more detailed agenda on specific themes including informational sessions with experts and parallel events. Chair, international humanitarian law should be one of the key aspects to be discussed during this group’s sessions, knowing how important it is that we develop a common understanding on how international humanitarian law and international law regulate behavior in cyberspace. So, we would like to promote through surveys, workshops, exercises, and other kinds of events, we would like to use those events to promote greater participation by stakeholders in this area. Also, we should identify priority areas at national and international levels going forward. We believe that inter-regional collaboration could be beneficial, so that states might understand and compare experiences in other regions. This group could contribute to capacity building, for example, through training courses, and awareness raising in the area of international law at all levels, along with the promotion of benefits that come with development of national policies in this area. This, with capacity building could be promoted with the support of regional organizations keeping in mind the Women, Peace and Security agenda of the United Nations. We find this to be an elemental piece in our steps forward. In order to highlight what we’ve seen thus far, in the framework of the OAS, for example, and the work that we have carried out in our own region and the creation of Women International Security and Cyberspace Fellowship by the Government of Canada as another example, have allowed us to see greater participation by delegates in this meeting, including that of Chile. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Uruguay, to be followed by New Zealand. Uruguay, please.


Thank you Chair. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you, since this is the first time that I take the floor during this session. My delegation values your efforts concerning modalities of participation by stakeholders, and we are aware of all the contributions made thus far. We understand that the participation by those stakeholders is important because it enriches our work. We also understand that the group’s sessions should be formal so that we can fulfill the mandate of resolution 75/240. So, we will support you in your search for a solution to this situation so that we can move forward with following sessions. Concerning the agenda item, Uruguay believes that the work of this group should continue to be guided by principles of transparency, inclusiveness, shared responsibility, confidence and the promotion of an environment of sharing information in peace and stability. We support the consensus that we have reached in during previous sessions of the OEWG. We find that, when it comes to the use of ICTs, we must see respect for international public rights, international humanitarian law, and everything laid out in the UN Charter. So, without exception, state sovereignty must be respected in all decision making processes, we should also thereby apply the principles of international law going forward. We support the defense of human rights and we don’t think that cyberspace is an exception. The application of human rights in cyberspace and when it comes to the use of ICTs especially, the right to freedom of expression, privacy online, are the pillars that our state’s must not ignore. On the contrary, these must be further secured and promoted. The 11 non-binding norms that are a part of the 2015 GGE report are necessary when it comes to regulating states’ behavior in cyberspace. In that regard, we believe that this group should base its work on implementing the norms in that report. I’ll continue with some additional comments and some items that had been mentioned previously and I might refer to some statements by other delegations. We align ourselves with the concern shared by various member states concerning the vulnerability that we see in health infrastructure, when there is malicious use of ICTs involved. Especially in the context of the pandemic, something that my country continues to go through and much of my region. The use of ICTs to attack critical infrastructure is a real and growing threat, which could require greater cooperation among states, the public and private sectors, in order to protect its integrity, its operation, its operability and its existence going forward. We must continue to implement preventive measures in that regard, and we have to support capacity building in various countries to be better prepared. And to better address the malicious use of ICTs going forward. It would be of great help to member states if we had a space for exchange of best practices when it comes to applying these norms for responsible behavior, as expressed by various states. This group could be a perfect space for that, so that we can share experiences with the rest of the membership. In that regard, we think that the UNIDIR portal is very helpful and we will support the proposals by Australia and co-sponsors and hope to join the list of its supporters. We recognize that the UN plays an important role in developing these fundamental measures and at the global level, as we have seen in previous reports, it is of great importance that we approve everything by consensus. We believe that regional and sub-regional organizations have gone to great lengths to contribute to confidence building and that can be seen in the work between Uruguay and the OAS. We believe that we should further consider possible mechanisms or initiatives that could develop cooperation and experience and best practice exchange among different regional and sub-regional organizations in this area, as I believe the delegation of Canada mentioned. As a starting point, when it comes to capacity building, we also agree with previous reports in this area and believe that every state must seek to mitigate the effects of the malicious use of ICTs. So everyone should be able to prepare adequately for that possibility. We hope that we’ll be able to cooperate towards that end on specific items on a periodic basis. We would also like to see greater focus on capacity building when it comes to offering training programs for member states within the United Nations to participate in. We also agree with Chile’s statement concerning mechanisms that had been mentioned, which could be of great use to our entire region and the participants of this forum. When it comes to the proposals made by delegations that have taken the floor thus far, we will gladly analyze and we hope to express ourselves concerning those statements going forward. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. New Zealand, to be followed by The Netherlands. New Zealand, please. 

New Zealand  

Thank you, Chair. Mr. Chair. Aotearoa New Zealand, supports an international rules based system which promotes an open, secure, stable and accessible and peaceful online environment and encourages responsible state behavior in cyberspace. As we know, recent advances in cyber capability and a rise in malicious activity online raises novel questions about how international law applies to state activity in cyberspace. We have been grateful for the expert consideration of these questions in a number of contexts, including by the GGE, by the last OEWG, and by our colleagues here today. In December 2020, New Zealand was proud to issue a national statement on the application of international law to state activity in cyberspace. This included New Zealand’s view that international law applies to cyber activities, and confirmed that international humanitarian law applies to cyber activities in situations of armed conflict. A common understanding of how international law applies in cyberspace is important to our mandate of promoting security and preventing conflict in cyberspace. This work has real world implications. Conflict, including that conducted in the cyber domain is causing suffering across the world as we speak. The situation in Ukraine is a tragic example, as has been highlighted by many of our colleagues here today. Aotearoa New Zealand, considers civil society groups like the International Committee for the Red Cross, and national authorities responsible for cybersecurity should apply international law to state sponsored cyber attacks, and view cybersecurity through an international law lens. If cyber attacks occur in situations of armed conflict, international humanitarian law applies to them. And we should use the same language and concepts as we would for kinetic attacks. On the basis of this, we believe that the international framework is well placed to deliver what we need, a treaty is not necessary. It is time to focus on implementation. That is New Zealand’s focus for the OEWG. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this important matter and would encourage delegates to refer to Aotearoa New Zealand’s national statement, which is published online. We shall submit a more detailed statement in written form. And we congratulate those states who have already issued national positions recently. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Netherlands, to be followed by Estonia. Netherlands, please. 

The Netherlands  

Thank you Chair. My delegation aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and we would like to make additional remarks in our national capacity. Chair, states must meet their international obligations under international law. In accordance with the law on state responsibility, the state is responsible for an internationally wrongful act when it breaches an international obligation that can be legally attributed to the state, unless an internationally recognized justification applies. Allow me to emphasize the importance of legal attribution in the context of international law. This is an absolute requirement for this law of state responsibility, and should not be controversial. It simply means that we only hold states accountable for the actions they themselves carry out, and in order to establish whether they can be deemed to have carried out a particular action, international law provides a number of criteria, notably, the effective control requirement. Legal attribution should be distinguished from technical attribution and political attribution. Chair, we are appalled by the horrors of armed conflict in Ukraine and urge all parties to comply with international humanitarian law, the purpose of which is to regulate the conduct of hostilities and to protect those who are not or no longer taking part in hostilities. Like others have stressed, such as Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, the principles of IHL should apply to all military operations both online and in the physical domain. Chair, we all agree that fundamental freedoms apply online as well as offline. The OEWG deepen the understanding of the application of human rights in cyberspace. A good start would be to recognize the interdependence and complementarity of human rights in cybersecurity, and the need to fully respect international human rights law when designing, developing and implementing cybersecurity laws and policies. This means that cybersecurity measures should be proportionate and necessary and strike a fair balance between security interests and fundamental rights. Chair, in the context of our [unclear] discussion, we have recognized the prevalence, complexity and intensity of cross-border malicious cyber operations are on the increase. This also has very real human rights consequences. Operations against hospitals, energy providers, schools and other institutions affect real people. Now, under human rights law, the states on whose territory those persons find themselves have an obligation to protect them against violations of their fundamental rights. In addition, we feel it’s very important and increasingly urgent to call upon states to respect fundamental rights and freedoms when conducting cyber operations beyond their own jurisdictions. Finally, Chair, we would highlight the necessity to afford special attention to vulnerable groups. States have an obligation to protect them against violations of their rights, and to reasonably accommodate their special needs and interests. Let me end by saying that the Netherlands looks forward to discussing these and other legal aspects of responsible state behavior in the use of ICTs with our partners here at the OEWG, with a common goal of advancing a true rule of law in cyberspace. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. I give the floor now to Estonia, to be followed by the Republic of Korea. Estonia, please. 


Thank you, Mr. Chair. Estonia aligns itself with the statement of the EU. But in addition, a couple of points here. At the outset, allow me to express Estonia’s strong view that existing international law, including the UN Charter in its entirety, international humanitarian law and international human rights law provide comprehensive guidance for state behavior, regardless of the domain, be it online or offline. This means that when states or non-state actors engage in malicious cyber activities, their actions are governed by law, and there are legal consequences attached to their behavior. This is not to deny that there is a certain uniqueness to cyberspace, which calls for a clearer and common understanding on how particular provisions of international law apply in practice. The current OEWG offers us an opportunity to do exactly that. Estonia has made its position public and we encourage and welcome efforts by many other states presenting their views on these matters. It has been especially positive to hear that many states are continuing the work to share their views for the first time. And we encourage those who haven’t done so, to do it. And let me express my appreciation to the ICRC for its address in this regard. All this would also facilitate that the idea presented by the French delegation to compile the positions of different countries, thus also promoting transparency. And in this regard, the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal has proven a useful platform where states can have quick and timely access to best practices shared by states. Given the length of the current OEWG, this platform should find even wider endorsement and used by member states as a knowledge hub and transparency measure, by offering an additional platform to share as well as study positions on international law. In addition, the OEWG could explore additional informal workshops together with multistakeholder partners. These are not just theoretical questions that we’re dealing with here. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, is a gross violation of the UN Charter and international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and its continuing use of cyber means for its warfare shows the urgent need to further promote and uphold international law. Estonia stresses that the use of offensive cyber capabilities must be subject to obligations deriving from international humanitarian law taking into account the four international humanitarian law principles noted in the 2015 GGE report. The severe restrictions Russia has set to the freedom of expression, freedom of association and media freedom, in its attempt to create an alternate reality at home for the Russian public and justify its aggression against Ukraine underlines the need to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms online as well as offline. Finally, in response to proposals advocating the development of a legally binding instrument in the area of ICT security we fail to see the value in such an initiative. It rather contributes to confusion and misunderstandings. Our efforts should focus on implementing the existing ones. Thank you so much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Republic of Korea, followed by Ireland. Korea, please. 


Thank you, Chair. My delegation reaffirms international law as a whole applies to state conduct in cyberspace, and also that the imminent and outstanding question is not whether we need a new treaty, but how we can clarify the application of law in a uniform and harmonious manner. Absence of treaties simply cannot be an excuse. Mr. Chair, we recognise that cyber attacks often take place in a hybrid format alongside conventional military operations. Nonetheless, our adherence to IHL must be consistent, not hybrid. My delegation believes it is imperative that IHL be part of the applicable law and also part of our discussion. As such, we suggest that we have a dedicated informational session on meeting in which experts or the ICRC provide briefings. My delegation would like to highlight two areas of international law pertinent to ICT: the peaceful settlement of disputes and state responsibility. As I mentioned at the previous agenda item, we can frame the application of law from the perspective of a targeted state. The current international law on peaceful settlement does not just impose an obligation of resolving a dispute peacefully, but also provides us with a variety of procedural options, including fact finding ones. The law of state responsibility too, can be read in this way as a process of addressing an alleged breach, rather than merely apportioning blame. This, we can seek to expound on guidance as to how a state can best address an alleged breach, step by step, in relation to other states. I believe that this could also constitute an important element of capacity building for those states exposed to cyber threats and attacks. Lastly, my delegation lenses it’s support for the proposal to make UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal repository for national views, as well as the national survey of implementation. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you. Ireland, to be followed by Germany. Ireland, please. 


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks again for this opportunity to express our views on international law, an issue of key importance to Ireland across the UN agenda including here at the OEWG. We support the statement made earlier by the European Union, with just a few comments from a national perspective. Ireland strongly supports the consensus that existing international law, including the UN Charter in its entirety, and international humanitarian and human rights law apply to state action in cyberspace. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we strongly believe that an even stronger and more urgent focus is required on the application of international humanitarian law in cyberspace in light of ongoing events and the devastating humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine. Mr. Chair, previously, when consensus reflected in the GGE, OEWG and numerous UNGA resolutions should form the basis of the work on which we can build upon. As a sole UN forum on cyber issues in the context of international security where all member states are represented, this group has a responsibility and an obligation to promote and deepen understanding on the application of international law in the cyber context in which we all have a shared interest. Now is the time for states to move forward on this issue. As we stress and explained on previous occasions in this forum, we do not see the need for legally binding measures and we’ve explained those reasons previously. Mr. Chairman, Ireland will soon publish our national position on how international law applies in the cyber domain and we encourage others to do so. We look forward to receiving the guiding notes on this from the ICRC, that the delegates spoke about earlier. We support other constructive initiatives including from UNIDIR and the Mexican-Australian led national survey initiative that was launched earlier this afternoon. That can help clarify the approaches by states in relation to the application of international law. We also support and welcome initiatives aimed at building capacity, including to promote understanding on international law and cyber, including through the French-Egyptian led Program of Action initiative, which Ireland is pleased to co-sponsor. Thank you very much, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Germany, to be followed by Egypt. Germany, please. 


Honourable Chair. In view of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which is also fought by means of cyber and online information warfare, Germany would like to recall that the principle of a state’s territorial sovereignty, as enshrined in international law applies fully in cyberspace. Due to the rootedness of all cyber activities in the actions of human beings using physical infrastructure, cyberspace is not a deterritorialized forum. In this regard, Germany underlines that there is no independent cyber borders incongruent with the state’s physical borders, which would limit or disregard the territorial scope of its sovereignty. Within its borders, a state has the exclusive right acting within the framework of international law to fully exercise its authority. This includes the protection of cyber activities, of persons involved in cyber activities, as well as cyber infrastructures against cyber and non-cyber related interferences attributable to foreign states. With regards to next steps to be taken in this working group, Germany supports the establishment of platforms for sharing of national positions on how international law applies to cyberspace. This could take the form of a database, as suggested by the US. Germany has published its national position paper in 2021, and would be happy to contribute to this exercise. Germany would also welcome the compilation of a matrix showing areas of convergence and divergence in national positions, as recommended by India. Germany endorses Japan’s recommendation to hold scenario based discussions in the margins of the Open-ended Working Group to further our joint understanding of how international law applies. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Egypt, to be followed by Mexico. 


Thank you, Mr. Chair. The previous reports of GGEs and the last OEWG have already endorsed in the view that international law and the charter of the United Nations are applicable in the ICT environment, and are essential for this environment to be open, secure, stable and peaceful. While the adherence by states to international law, in particular their charter obligations, is an essential framework for their actions in their use of ICTs. In particular, the principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, a settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, and on intervention in the internal affairs of other states, as well as achieving GGEs, are cross cutting and must be complied with in all domains including cyberspace. Moreover, it has been also agreed that states have full jurisdiction over the ICT infrastructure located within their territory and their use of the ICTs. They must observe the agreed principles of international law and the charter. The OEWG should focus on translating the existing norms and recommendations into more operational and binding measures that are tailored to specific scenarios in the ICT environment. In this vein, it is important to address the attribution issue within international law, to identify based on concrete transparent evidence and the responsibility of states/non-state actors on its own cyber incidents while states have full jurisdiction over ICT infrastructure within its territory. With regards to the guiding questions on how can the OEWG support on sharing of national views, we believe that developing the directory of point of contracts of CERTs is highly needed and UNIDIR would would play a vital role in this regard. We would also like to echo the proposals suggested by different delegations, including the ones of complying a document regarding the terminologies of the cybersecurity to address this issue. The other one also which is addressed by the Indian delegation, which is to comply or to have a compilation document to address the divergence and overlaps within the international security and cyber security. Thank you so much. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much, Mexico to be followed by Botswana, Mexico, please.


Thank you, Chair. We welcome the substantive session we’ve had this afternoon. In that regard, my delegation would like to highlight the following elements. As we’ve said previously, it’s without a doubt that international law is applicable to cyberspace. various, various consensual decisions have been made by the General Assembly, including the Human Rights Council and the previous Working Group. Today, we must reiterate that international humanitarian law and its observance for all cyberspace activities and the use of ICTs must be seen as obligatory. On the other hand, the role of international regional organizations could be relevant to implementing and developing our actions at the UN level. From our regional bodies we will be able to hold discussion sessions and other kinds of meetings that could contribute to our work. To Mexico and for many other countries inter regional dialogue and efforts to implement confidence building initiatives throughout the world is of great importance. As a sign of that Mexico currently chairs within the framework of the OAS the working group for the promotion of cooperation and confidence in cyberspace. In addition to the fact that, within the North American Leaders Summit we’ve decided to launch a project with the governments of United States and Canada to implement the general framework for responsible behavior by states. This afternoon, we participated with the mission from Australia, on the UNIDIR matter of implementing these norms, so that we can monitor the progress or obstacles to the implementation of these norms. We invite all states and entities to collaborate in this regard. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. I give now the floor to Botswana.


Mr Chair, Botswana is of the view that member states should be concerned about their activities in the cyberspace, particularly because these activities may have an impact on the sovereignty of our member states. Member states should also be concerned about the rules, norms and principles of responsible state behavior, as this directly affects global cyber resilience, cyber hygiene and the protection of human rights. As previous delegates have pointed out, Mr. Chair, there is need for concord on how international law applies in the activities of states in the cyber space. For our delegation the issues of concern are attribution, accountability and peaceful resolution of conflicts. We reaffirm the applicability of international law in the cyberspace. And that respect for international law in the cyberspace is key for international peace and cooperation. The OEWG already supports the sharing of national views on international law. We are currently working on our national position on this topic, and encourage other member states to do so because it draws us closer to achieving a common understanding which is quite vital to the discharge of the OEWG’s mandates. Mr. Chair, we would like to acknowledge the UK, the EU, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and the GFCE for sponsoring and supporting a number of women including the Botswana delegate in enhancing their capacity in international law. Given the rate at which technology is changing on a daily basis, capacity building in international law should also be agile. Capacity building must be prioritized by both states and the OEWG. The OEWG is implored to use firm and direct approach to assist capacity building between and within states. The OEWG should play a facilitatory rule in capacity building in the area of international law and its application to the use of ICTs and linked the developed countries with developing countries to achieve this endeavor. Finally, Chair, Botswana aligns itself with Switzerland and other delegates that call for a detailed and constructive discussion on how international law applies to states conduct in the cyberspace, which Botswana will keenly participate in. Thank you, Chair. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. I give the floor now to Guatemala followed by Fiji. Guatemala please.


Chair, since this is the first time that we take the floor, first off allow me to wish you and your team recognition for your ceaseless efforts to reach some kind of have a common position. We have full support in your guidance in this substantive session as well as your efforts to reach a successful consensus. Our delegation believes that the applicability of international law to cyberspace including international humanitarian law and non-binding mandates on the behavior of states and the implementation of trust building measures remain crucial. In this context, the main comment I want to make is that we must protect critical infrastructure and essential services. After having seen the current gaps between countries when it comes to security and defense in cyberspace, we give special interest in my country to capacity building measures so that we can play on a more equal playing field. Guatemala recognizes that regional organizations play a crucial role in this regard. We see great contributions by organizations like the OAS, and seek to has contributed to the knowledge base of the experts in this area, especially when it comes to the framework of the behavior of states in cyberspace. As has been expressed by Uruguay, Chile and other delegations, we recognize that the complex interconnected nature of cyberspace requires joint efforts by governments and the private sector, civil society and the academic sector to address the challenges of cybersecurity comprehensively and in a balanced fashion. As was said by the delegate by Costa Rica, cyberspace and its key dimensions, as well as challenges and threats that we see in cyberspace, the application of humanitarian law to ICTs, measures for trust building are not isolated efforts, or elements. All of this is homogenous, and interacts in a way that will affect technologies and be affected by those technologies in the future. We must establish a promotion mechanism to guarantee responsible behavior by states when using ICTs. And guarantee its full implementation. So that we can dialogue on implementation and further developments, we need an ideal mechanism like this, a Program of Action. Guatemala is a co-sponsor for this initiative, and we think that it could be a permanent, inclusive instrument that will be focused on acting towards operationalizing this framework, and it can act as a platform for further discussion on new threats and challenges. Finally, Chair, we support the suggestion of establishing groups to analyze specific themes. Given that the OEWG has a five year mandate we have time to evaluate where we want to go and how we want to continue our work, especially on a matter as relevant as ICTs. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Fiji, to be followed by Malawi. Fiji, please. 


Chair and colleagues. Fiji, like all fellow member states commends you, Chair, on your decisive leadership and the Secretariat in progressing this meeting during this challenging period. Chair, with regard to your guiding question on identifying the practical implementation of international law, Fiji reaffirms that international law and the UN Charter in its entirety is applicable in cyberspace. And this is cemented in the foundational work since 2004, which resulted in the 2013, 2015 and 2021 UNGGE reports, and the 2021 OEWG report. Fiji aligns to the various delegations in reaffirming that existing international law and the voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behavior are presently sufficient to guide all states behavior and that adherence by all is imperative. There are two areas that I would like to focus on. Firstly, drawing from Miss Izumi Nakamitsu’s statement on the need to identify what constitutes critical infrastructure in cyberspace. This identification exercise is a prerequisite to ensure that all states are on equal footing, and will provide a platform for sustained and common understanding on enhancing security and resilience of ICT critical infrastructure. Fiji proposes that this area is given priority by the OEWG, and welcomes in depth discussions on this identification exercise, which in turn will enable the identification of have best practices, lessons learned and areas for improvement. This leads me to my second point, resilience of ICT infrastructure by urgently ensuring that it is climate resilient. In recent years, our countries have contended with multiple, natural and climate induced disasters, such as cyclones, droughts, volcanic eruptions, flooding, tsunami, king tides, landslides, and other hazards. Earlier this year, Fiji was also impacted by severe flooding caused by tropical cyclone Cody. This is our lived reality in the Pacific as we continue to deal with the ongoing effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and cyber threats, which further complicates disaster response and recovery, and we look forward to further targeted cooperation in this regard. In closing, Chair, Fiji welcomes and supports initiatives such as the Program of Action, the Tallinn manual, National Survey, official compendium of national statements, the Women and International Security in Cyberspace Fellowship and the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal as effective and enabling tools. Thank you for the opportunity. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much. Malawi, you have the floor. 


Thank you, Chair. As we are taking the floor for the first time we would like to assure you of our support. And as others before us, Malawi would like to affirm that existing international laws, including the UN Charter, in its entirety apply to cyberspace and the use of ICTs. And that any unclear issues on its application should be issues that can easily be clarified in forums like the OEWG, as well as an area where capacity building should focus on. Malawi, therefore supports Japan and others that highlighted that capacity building on international law is very crucial, and that developing states would benefit a lot from countries that have advanced in this area. That is why Malawi, like Botswana, would like to commend countries like the UK, EU, Canada, Netherlands, and others that has made it possible for countries like us, Malawi, to be present here today and to learn and participate in this forums. We therefore, also welcome and commend the Australian Government and UNIDIR for establishing a portal, which we believe would assist in offering best practices, as well as offer a self-assessment and progress tracking tool. Like others before us stated, we look forward to detailed trainings in international law and undertake that we shall fully participate and implement any lessons that we can learn. On that note, Chair, Malawi would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity. Thank you. 

Ambassador Gafoor  

Thank you very much, Malawi. We heard the last speaker with regard to this sub item on international law. And I must say that we’ve had a very rich discussion this morning, as well as this afternoon on norms and rules and now international law. It’s been very heartening to hear delegations who have not previously spoken. So thank you all for your contribution. And of course, there were also contributions from others who had participated yesterday, very rich, detailed discussions and proposals, a fair number of ideas that overlap and resonate with other delegations. These are very useful for reflection as we look at how we collect, collate and compile them for our annual progress report, and I and my team will certainly go through these statements gain. It’s 5:45. It’s my intention now to move on to the next sub item, which is Confidence Building Measures, because, do recall that we are still trying to catch up on our work schedule. So it’s important that we use every available time to get on to the next sub item, which is Confidence Building Measures. And in the program of work, which of course was not adopted, I had made provision for a briefing by UNIDIR. It’s a video statement from UNIDIR, which I am told will take 15 minutes. So I’d like to invite all of you to receive this briefing. I know it’s late in the day, but since there’s been several references to UNIDIR, also in the context of the Cyber Policy Portal, in the context of international law, and the UNIDIR clearly is an important partner for work here. So I’d now like to ask the Secretariat to play us the video on the briefing by UNIDIR. So, please sit back and enjoy, but don’t close your eyes. I know it’s late in the day, there’ll be a quiz after that. Thank you very much. Secretariat, please. 

UNIDIR Video  

Chair, Excellencies and dear colleagues. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the invitation to address the group and to present Cyber Policy Portal. The portal was established and is maintained by UNIDIR, an autonomous research institution within the UN that conducts independent research on disarmament and international security issues. This includes also the investigation of the impact of the contemporary developments in science and technology on international peace and security. And this particular field is under the domain of the UNIDIR’s security and technology program. We have enthusiastically followed and supported the past international processes dedicated to the international ICT peace and security. And this year is no different. We welcome the convening of the new OEWG and the continuation of this important United Nations process, on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies. Please allow us to start this presentation of the Cyber Policy Portal with a short video.

The Cyber Policy Portal, UNIDIR’s confidence building tool, maps the cybersecurity policy landscape of all 193 UN member states, as well as the group of intergovernmental organizations and instruments and frameworks. Our day to day activities consists of desk research, verification of information with governments, outreach, as well as communication with our developers to advance new features on the portal.

The Cyber Policy Portal has been recognized by both UN processes on cyber that concluded in 2021 as an important tool to foster transparency in the cyber age, contributing to the achievement of a more stable and secure digital environment for all. Come and have a look at it yourself. Visit

Thank you for your attention. As mentioned, UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal is a single global repository of publicly available national policies related to international security and the cyber domain. It provides accessible overviews of cyber policy and regulatory frameworks of all 193 UN member states, as well as those select regional and international organizations and multilateral frameworks. Each of the 193 country profiles features information pertaining to four categories: cybersecurity strategy documents and implementation frameworks; cybersecurity legislation; key dedicated structures and positions in charge of cybersecurity policy; as well as the international cooperation declarations, initiatives and various activities. Cyber Policy Portal was developed and is maintained by the UNIDIR security and technology program. Initial dataset was compiled and verified in 2018 and the portal was officially launched in January 2019. The portal has been very well received. And I must confess, it’s reassuring to hear some very encouraging and positive feedback coming from a variety of stakeholders and portal users, be it from the governments to academia, policymakers, security policy experts and so on. What is more, the portal has been recognized by the 2021 consensus reports of UN processes dedicated to the developments in the field of information and telecommunications in a context of international security, GGE and OEWG. Cyber Policy Portal is first and foremost a confidence building tool. As such, it promotes transparency and facilitates information exchange, attempts to dispel the ambiguities or doubts and as such, hopefully contributes to reducing of the tensions amongst nations in cyberspace. Aside from being a confidence building tool, it also assists with the capacity building efforts of the states by providing examples of existing state practice.

Cyber Policy Portal has a number of features to help researchers work effectively with the content on the portal. Namely, we have the filter feature, the compare feature and the built in glossary. The filter feature has 13 advanced filters based on the various categories and subcategories on the portal. The filters provide a quick overview of the states based on the content of their profiles. From strategy documents to views on international law subcategory, including official documents outlining state’s position towards application of international law to cyberspace. As a tool for converting analysis, the compare feature allows you to compare profiles of up to three states or up to three organizations. The analyzed profiles can also be exported in the form of a PDF. The built in glossary on national and organizational profiles helps with an easy access and understanding of the various categories and subcategories on the portal.

A word on our methodology and how we obtained the data for the Cyber Policy Portal. I’m happy to report that we are seeing a growing number of governments working with us on the updates to the portal. They provide us with links to the relevant documentation or simply validate our desk research results. Indeed, the large part of the information on the Cyber Policy Portal comes from the data collected during the test research of our portal team. Once the profiles are updated, we notify the government. This is usually done through the permanent representation to the UN in Geneva, and asked for their help in validating the updates.

Data on the portal is drawn from official open source and voluntarily submitted material. A small number of documents which have been shared and approved for publishing by the relevant authorities are hosted directly on our servers. We regularly send requests to states, international organizations and partner organizations to review the relevant profiles on the portal. Our feedback mechanism helps to ensure accuracy of information and allows for timely updates. We are grateful for any suggestions we received. And we would like to invite you to submit your feedback via the dedicated form on the portal or at

You heard from my colleagues before how great the Cyber Policy Portal already is, and all of the different features and functionalities already present on it. However, we’re always looking for opportunities to further develop it and make it more useful and more user friendly for all of the range of stakeholders that are interested in it. With this idea in mind, we have developed quite a sophisticated enhancement plan, basically targeting four different objectives. First, we want to increase our reach, we want to make sure that the number of new and returning visitors continues to increase. And it’s much more diverse and continues to focus on both geographic and gender diversity, but also type and sector. We want to improve the quality and the validity of the data making sure that the information that is on the website remains as much as possible up to date. We want to improve overall the user experience by simplifying data accessibility, improve the data manipulation, so what users can do with the data once they found it, and analysis, as well as trying to be more user friendly through the use of tutorials and information boxes. And last but not least, we want to increase the efficiency of the process that allows us to deliver to you an always up to date and high quality service. To achieve these objectives, we have prepared two development packages. The first is in its very final stages of development and will be launched by the 1st of May and includes four different features. First of all, we really made an effort in trying to make the portal more globally accessible and available with the use of translations. Translations of both the portal interface, which has been translated in all UN official languages by official UN translation service, as well as the portal content so the summaries, all of the different bullets included in national profiles for examples, where those will be translated using translation plugin. In addition to the translation, we’ve also developed a basic search functionality on the portal that complements the already existing filter functionality. The search will allow you to conduct text based searches and pull out all of the relevant national or organizational profiles that contain specific strings of text that you are interested in, for example, critical infrastructure, or international law. And last but not least, we have developed and integrated in the Cyber Policy Portal, the National Survey of implementation of the UN recommendations on responsible use of ICTs by states in the context of international security. We also have a second development package, which is currently under development and we hope to launch by the next session of the OEWG. Now in the next slides, let’s start to have a look at what some of these new implementation features would look like. First, regarding the translations, let’s try to clarify quickly what we mean between interface and content. Well, you can see everything that has been highlighted in red represents the interface, so all of the static contents that allows you to navigate between the different parts and pages and subsections of the portal, that is the interface. Inside the green box is the actual content. So when it comes to the actual documentations and the summaries that we make, that is what we refer to as the content. As you can see, the interface of the Cyber Policy Portal can be easily translated in the six official languages, simply by choosing from the drop down menu on the top left, the language of choice. If you’re interested instead, in translating the actual content of national or organizational profiles, you can choose the language using the Google Translate option that is highlighted in the red box. Now, just as a word of caution, these are automatically generated translations, therefore they haven’t been checked vetted by the UN official translation office. When it comes to the search function, you can see how by simply adding a string of text, the example shows critical infrastructure, you can select whether you want to search it for country profiles or organization profiles, and then the system will automatically pull up all of the profiles and specific sections in the profiles that contain the desired string. As mentioned, the Cyber Policy Portal will now also feature a dedicated section for the National Survey of implementation of the UN recommendations on responsible use of ICTs. This is a whole new initiative. In the interest of time, I will not explain too much, but I will invite you if you haven’t done so already, to register for the side events that we will be organizing in collaboration with the Government of Australia this afternoon 13:3 to 14:30, where we will do a dedicated presentation on the survey, how it works, how it relates to the Cyber Policy Portal, and show you how you can compile it and make the most out of it. As mentioned, there is a second development package which is currently under development and we hope to be able to launch before the next session of the OEWG. This development package will change quite significantly, the nature of the Cyber Policy Portal itself. By now, you’re all familiar with the content and how it looks, where national and organizational profiles have summaries of documents in bullets of various lengths, and then links to the actual documents and the original sources. What we’re currently developing is an actual database. All of the documents will be hosted in a library in the Cyber Policy Portal instead of being redirected to the original source. This will basically allow the user to not only conduct searches within the summaries that are already present on the profile, but conduct targeted searches within the actual documents. And we know how sometimes summaries have to paraphrase concepts and paraphrasing doesn’t really work, for example, when dealing with issues of international interpretation of international law, where language matters and the way in which concepts are formulated is really important. So we felt that it was time for us to offer this new type of resource to you and to all of our stakeholders. The creation of a fully searchable database within the portal and the development of a more advanced search function that would allow you to extract information directly from within the original texts, going forward, hopefully also in multiple languages. Finally, allow me to take a moment to thank all of the donors that have supported us since 2019, with the developments, the maintenance and the update of the Cyber Policy Portal under the umbrella of the security and technology program at UNIDIR. As you know, UNIDIR is a voluntary funded organization. And therefore, everything that we do, including Cyber Policy Portal is only possible because of the generous contributions of our donors. With that, I’d like to start by acknowledging the program donors of the security and technology program that have been with us since 2019, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and Microsoft. I would also like to extend our gratitude to the governments that supported us in the enhancement of the Cyber Policy Portal with the various packages that I just presented: the G7, so Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States. And last but not least, Australia, that has been championing the development of the national survey. With that, I thank you for your attention. I hope to see many of you at the side event this afternoon. And I wish you a great continuation of your day.

Ambassador Gafoor

Thank you very much delegates. I think there was a time lag between Geneva unless Australia is doing another event tomorrow and giving us lunch again. Excellencies, delegates, thank you very much for the productive day. I now resumed the formal meeting of the second substantive session and adjourn the meeting till we meet again tomorrow at 10am at the General Assembly Hall, where we will begin with the speakers list for Confidence Building Measures. The meeting is adjourned.

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