From 2-4 December 2019, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs brought together governmental and non-governmental stakeholders from more than 110 organisations to the informal intersessional consultative meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on cyber issues. Chaired by Singapore, the meeting provided an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to share views on the issues within the OEWG’s mandate outlined in General Assembly resolution 73/27.
While States have a primary responsibility to avoid conflict in cyberspace, non-governmental stakeholders have an important role to play, with many of them taking initiatives to promote the peaceful use of ICTs. The intersessional meeting of the OEWG provided an opportunity for various groups of stakeholders to discuss their views on and contribution to stable and secure cyberspace, in particular the cyber threats landscape, rules, laws and norms of responsible behaviour, confidence-building measures, and capacity building. Much of the discussion revolved around the implementation of norms, with a broad consensus over the value of multistakeholder engagement in this process.
The EU Cyber Engagement support program funded by the European Union brought over 40 participants from 30 different countries to participate in this meeting and thus increased the diversity of perspectives in the debate. Side events hosted by the European Union were dedicated to increasing awareness about the UN process and the EU’s role in cyber diplomacy, including numerous possibilities for engagement between the EU, partner countries and the civil society.
Our project partners and collaborators also delivered statements in the Intersessional meeting.
François Delerue set the scene on the state of international law in cyberspace
To read more on the topic, find the following papers on how and why international law in cyberspace matters and the European way of dealing with the application of international law in cyberspace.
Xymena Kurowska made a case for norms contestation
To read more on the topic, find the following paper on strategic narrative contestation.
Hannes Ebert discussed the role of think tanks to support stakeholders with research.
Nathalie Van Raemdonck explained how protecting the core of the multistakeholder approach should be part of the norms discussion