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
5-9
December2022
Informal, inter-sessional meetings
New York/hybrid
6-10
March2023
Fourth substantive session
New York
23-26
May2023
Informal, inter-sessional meetings
New York/hybrid
24-28
July2023
Fifth substantive session
New York
11-15
December2023
Sixth substantive session
New York
4-8
March2024
Seventh 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

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 FOR RECEIPT OF REQUESTS FOR ACCREDITATION AHEAD OF THE SEVENTH 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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Side Events

SEVENTH SUBSTANTIVE SESSION

1. The Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Cyberspace

Co-hosts: African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) with the support of Global Affairs Canada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Chatham House and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy

Date and Time: Monday 4 March 2024, 13.15–14.45 EST, Hybrid

Location: Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations

Registration: In-person attendance is welcomed. Virtual attendees should kindly register by email to tdias@chathamhouse.org

2. Advancing opportunities and responsibilities for a peaceful, safer and rights respecting cyberspace: Reflecting on the international law multistakeholder compendium

Co-hosts: Mexico, Microsoft and Temple University’s Institute for Law Innovation and Technology

Date and Time: Tuesday 5 March 2024, 08.30–09:30 EST, In-person

Location: Microsoft UN Affairs Offices

Registration: Please contact csonu@sre.gob.mx

3. Protecting Civilians Against Digital Threats During Armed Conflict: The Role of International Humanitarian Law

Co-hosts: Brazil, Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross

Date and Time: Tuesday 5 March 2024, 13.15 EST

Location: UNHQ Conference Room 12

4. Tackling the Proliferation and Irresponsible Use of Commercial Cyber Intrusion Capabilities

Co-hosts: Paris Peace Forum, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France

Date and Time: Tuesday 5 March 2024, 13:15–14:30 EST

Location: Microsoft UN Affairs Offices

Registration: Please contact pablo.rice@parispeaceforum.org

5. Subsea Communications Cables as Critical Infrastructure: What’s in a Designation?

Co-hosts: The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC)

Date and Time: Tuesday 5 March 2024, 13:15–14:30 EST

Location: UNHQ Conference Room 7

Registration: Please find more details and the link to register here

6. Operationalizing the Cyber Capacity Building Principles

Co-hosts: The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Date and Time: Wednesday 6 March 2024, 07.45-09.30 EST, In-person

Location: Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations

Registration: Please contact ASwali@chathamhouse.org

7. Getting Ready for the Global PoC Directory and CBM Implementation

Co-hosts: The open, informal, cross-regional group of the OEWG Confidence Builders: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechia, Fiji, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Singapore and Uruguay

Date and Time: Wednesday 6 March 2024, 13.15–14.45 EST

Location: German House, 871 UN Plaza

Registration: Kindly confirm your participation here  

8. Hacking the Boundaries of Trust: Deciphering the Full Potential of Multistakeholder Involvement in Cyber Diplomacy

Co-hosts: EU Cyber Direct, European External Action Service

Date and Time: Wednesday 6 March, 13.20–14.40 EST

Location: European Union Delegation to the United Nations

Registration: Please register here

9. The Geneva Manual on Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace: The Role of Non-State Stakeholders in the Implementation of Norms

Co-hosts: Switzerland, Canada, Chile the Kingdom of the Netherlands and DiploFoundation

Date and Time: Thursday 7 March 2024, 13.15–14.45 EST

Location: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations

Registration: Please RSVP to genevadialogue@diplomacy.edu 

10. Operationalizing a Global Database of Cyber Incidents - Successes, Challenges and a Potential Way ahead at UN-Level?

Co-hosts: Denmark, Germany and the European Repository of Cyber Incidents (EuRepoC)

Date and Time: Thursday 7 March 2024, 13.15–14.45 EST

Location: German House, 871 UN Plaza

Registration: Delegates should register their interest by email to ks-ca-ext-gtz@auswaertiges-amt.de until 6 March 2024. Please note that spaces are limited.

11. Open Dialogue: Stakeholders Contributing to Multilateral Cybersecurity Discussions

Co-hosts: Canada and Chile

Date and Time: Friday 8 March 2024, 13.15–14.45 EST

Location: UNHQ Conference Room 8, Hybrid

Registration: Virtual connection details in attached concept note

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