Press release on the results of the Organisational Session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on ICTs in the Context of International Security 2021-2025
The Organisational Session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on ICTs in the Context of International Security 2021-2025, established at the initiative of Russia under UN General Assembly Resolution 75/240, was held on June 1.
The Group’s Mandate prioritises the further elaboration of norms, regulations and principles of the responsible conduct of states in the information space and ways of implementing them, as well as amending them whenever necessary or formulating additional rules of conduct; reviewing the initiatives of states aiming to ensure security in the field of using ICTs; and organising regular institutional dialogue with a wide range of participating states under UN auspices. In addition, the OEWG is called on to continue elaborating a joint perception of the study of current and potential threats in the area of information security, including safe data storage, and possible joint measures to prevent and counter threats, as well as a common understanding of how international law applies to the use of ICTs by states, confidence-building and potential-expansion measures.
Meeting participants approved key aspects of the Group’s activities by consensus. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the UN in New York, was elected its Chair. They approved the Group’s agenda and rules of procedure, including the consensus-based method for approving decisions. The Chair is to coordinate other organisational matters during wide-ranging consultations with UN member states and to approve them at the Group’s first substantive session in New York on December 13-17, 2021.
The event was held in a constructive atmosphere and continued the effective work of global cyber-diplomacy: the approval of the concluding reports of the first Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on International Information Security and the specialised Group of Governmental Experts, and the launching of a special committee to draft a universal international convention, under UN auspices, to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes.
All session participants agreed that the OEWG was a popular and promising format for the further discussion of various matters regarding ensuring international information security within the UN framework. The states supported Russia’s perception of the Group’s activities in line with the principles of universality, openness, transparency and democracy, as well as a striving to achieve practical results.