In July 2023 the EU:CD Fellowship cohort travelled to New York to participate in the 5th session of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on the security of and in the use of information and communications technologies (OEWG).
With a five-year mandate until 2025 and the participation of all UN member states, the second OEWG in the UN first committee remains the dominant venue for multilateral cyber diplomacy. In the 5th session from 24 to 28 July 2023, delegations discussed and adopted the second Annual Progress Report, which summarises the concrete progress made at the OEWG and sets out a roadmap for further discussion.
During the OEWG session, fellows participated in the negotiations and attended various briefings with stakeholders involved in the working group. In particular, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs provided background information and an overview of the process and outlined the goals and challenges of the negotiations. In a cyber threat briefing, fellows had the opportunity to discuss the evolving threat landscape and how cyber diplomacy and multilateral fora like the OEWG can counter the malicious use of ICTs.
The fellowship programme also included a public side event on the human-centric approach to cybersecurity in the context of the OEWG which was co-organised by EU Cyber Direct and Cyber Resilience 4 Development (Cyber4Dev). This expert-led workshop provided insights into how States and other stakeholders have approached the human perspective of cyber threats and risks, key concepts, and the international and regional legislative frameworks that underpin it, primarily related to human rights.
Finally, the EU Delegation to the United Nations presented its work in the multilateral context, particularly with regard to ongoing cyber diplomacy discussions including the OEWG and the Global Digital Compact.
Alongside other side events on Internet governance, cybersecurity policy, and cyber capacity-building, the agenda included a reception for fellows to meet delegates and stakeholders involved in the process.
Following the visit to New York, the EU:CD Fellowship will conclude its inaugural cohort with a visit to Brussels in autumn 2023.