Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy
identifies the activities of malicious cyber actors as a “growing challenge”. Following the adoption of the ‘Protecting Canadians from Online Crime’ Act, Canada acceded to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention in 2015 and has since consistently promoted
the instrument as the “best tool to fight cybercrime at the international level”. Canada has specifically
“encourage[d] countries to bolster their anti-cybercrime efforts by becoming Parties to the Convention, or using it as a model to implement their own cybercrime laws”. Moreover, upon Canada’s initiative, the Quintet of Attorneys General (which brings together Attorneys General from Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) issued a public statement
at their July 2019 meeting, expressing their support for the Budapest Convention as a “necessary basic framework for fighting cybercrime” and for the work of the United Nations Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Group on Cybercrime (UNIEG). Being part of the ‘like-minded’ group of states, Canada voted against the Russian-sponsored UNGA Resolution 74/247
aiming at establishing an alternative cybercrime instrument; upon the passage of 74/247 and its follow-up UNGA Resolution 75/282
, however, Canada has been a vocal member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime. Prior to the Committee’s May 2021 organizational session, the Canadian position paper
on the Implementation of 74/247 noted that the Committee must “ensure consistency with existing UN treaties in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, in particular the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention against Corruption and take into account multilateral instruments that have already proven their usefulness in the fight against cybercrime, in particular the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime”. In the same document, Canada emphasized the need for an “inclusive, transparent, constructive, and consensus-based process that will lead to a fair outcome to the benefit of all”. The first session
of the Ad Hoc Committee will be held in New York from 17 to 28 January 2022. Canada’s perspective on the scope, objectives, and structure of the convention was submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee in advance of the start of the first negotiation session (E
The EU has been an early champion of the Budapest Convention signed under the auspices of the Council of Europe, given the overlapping membership of the two organisations. Much of the EU’s cyber diplomatic efforts have focused on promoting the Convention as the main instrument of choice for fighting cybercrime on a global level. EU member states have consistently opposed Russian bids for replacing this regime with another legal framework.
The Union is represented in the recently constituted Ad Hoc Committee established by UNGA resolution 74/247 by its Member States and is currently focused
on ensuring that the process is inclusive, transparent, consistent with the progress of the UNGGE and OEWG processes, and committed to legal consistency.
Brazil originally refrained from signing the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and had expressed scepticism
in response to invitations to accede. The argument advanced
was that the treaty is Western-biased and lacking in inclusivity, given that Brazil was not part of the original drafting process. During voting for UNGA Resolution A/74/401
, the Russian-sponsored proposal for a new binding Cybercrime Convention, Brazil abstained; during meetings with the BRICS leaders, however, Brazil had endorsed
Russian pleas for a new cybercrime instrument to replace the Budapest regime. Upon invitation by the Council of Europe, Brazil finally initiated the process of accession
to the Convention in December 2019 and is now an observer country.