Overview

Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies

On 31 December 2020, the General Assembly adopted resolution 75/240 establishing an Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021–2025. The Open-ended Working Group will meet for 11 substantive sessions in New York.

13-17
December2021
First substantive session
New York
28-1
March-April2022
Second substantive session
New York
25-29
July2022
Third substantive session
New York
6-10
March2023
Fourth substantive session
New York
24-28
July2023
Fifth substantive session
New York
11-15
December2023
Sixth substantive session
New York
4-8
March2024
Seventh substantive session
New York
8-12
July2024
Eighth substantive session
New York

Background

In 2020, the General Assembly through resolution 75/240, established a new five-year open-ended working group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021–2025. The group is mandated to further develop the rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of States; to consider initiatives of States aimed at ensuring security in the use of information and communications technologies; to establish, under the auspices of the United Nations, regular institutional dialogue with the broad participation of States; to continue to study, with a view to promoting common understandings, existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security, inter alia, data security, and possible cooperative measures to prevent and counter such threats, and how international law applies to the use of information and communications technologies by States, as well as confidence-building measures and capacity-building.

Officers

The Chair of the OEWG is H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations in New York.

Secretariat

Office for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Katherine Prizeman

Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, Mr. Alexander Lomaia

Side Events

Eighth substantive session (July 2024)

1. Protecting the Cybersecurity of Civilian Nuclear Infrastructure: Threat landscape, international law and policy

Co-hosts: Chatham House and Microsoft

Date and time: 9 July 2024, 08:00-09:30

Location: Microsoft UN Affairs Office

Registration: https://forms.office.com/r/NGFdZ6cutA

2. Unpacking Gender-Based Vulnerabilities in International Cybersecurity

Co-hosts: Canada, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, OAS/CICTE Cybersecurity Program and UNIDIR

Date and time: 10 July 2024, 13.15-14.30

Location: UNHQ Conference Room 5

Registration: Please register here

3. Good Practices on Developing a National Position on the Interpretation of International Law and State use of ICTs

Host: UNIDIR

Date and time: 11 July 2024, 13.15-14.30

Location: UNHQ Conference Room 5 and Hybrid

Registration: Please register here

Information for Participants

The Open-Ended Working Group has reached agreement to apply the modalities for participation of non-governmental entities (stakeholders) as set out in the Chair's proposal contained in his letter of 22 April 2022.

The period to apply for accreditation ahead of the Eighth Substantive Session is now CLOSED.

Agreed modalities for the participation of stakeholders

Member States of the OEWG are committed to engaging with stakeholders in a systematic, sustained, and substantive manner.

Relevant non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council in accordance with resolution 1996/31 would inform the Secretariat of the OEWG of their interest to participate in the work of the OEWG.

Other interested non-governmental organizations relevant and competent to the scope and purpose of the OEWG should also inform the Secretariat of their interest in participating by submitting information on the organization’s purpose, programmes and activities in areas relevant to the scope of the OEWG. These organizations would accordingly be invited to participate, on a non-objection basis, as observers in the formal sessions of the OEWG.

Accredited stakeholders will be able to attend formal meetings of the OEWG, make oral statements during a dedicated stakeholder session, and submit written inputs to be posted on the webpage of the OEWG.

Encourage Member States to utilize the non-objection mechanism judiciously, bearing in mind the spirit of inclusivity.

Where there is an objection to a non-governmental organization, the objecting Member State will make known its objection to the Chair of the OEWG and, on a voluntary basis, make known to the Chair of the OEWG the general basis of its objections. The Chair will share any information received with any Member State upon its request.

The Chair of the OEWG will organize informal consultative meetings with stakeholders during the inter-sessional period, building on the practice of the previous OEWG.

The OEWG is an inter-governmental process in which negotiation and decision making are exclusive prerogatives of Member States.

The modalities for this OEWG shall in no way create a precedent for any other UN process.

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