On 16 June, the EU Cyber Diplomacy Initiative, the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, and the European External Action Service organised a regional consultation in reference to resolution 77/37 on the 'Programme of action to advance responsible State behaviour in the use of information and communications technologies in the context of international security' adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 7 December 2022.
The purpose of the consultation was to provide an opportunity for the EU, participating States, and interested stakeholders to share their views on the programme of action, including on the scope, structure and content as well as preparatory work and modalities for its establishment, with a view to the General Assembly’s further consideration of this proposal. The consultations are also intended to enrich the General Assembly’s consideration of a future United Nations programme of action by fostering a deeper understanding of regional and subregional perspectives.
Through resolution 77/37, the General Assembly welcomed the proposal to establish a United Nations programme of action to advance responsible State behaviour in the use of information and communications technologies in the context of international security, as a permanent, inclusive, action-oriented mechanism to discuss existing and potential threats; to support States’ capacities and efforts to implement and advance commitments to be guided by the framework for responsible State behaviour, which includes voluntary, non-binding norms, the application of international law to the use of information and communications technology by States, confidence-building and capacity-building measures; to discuss and further develop the framework, if appropriate; to promote engagement and cooperation with relevant stakeholders; and to periodically review the progress made in the implementation of the programme of action and its future work.
By virtue of the same resolution, the General Assembly requested the Office for Disarmament Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat to collaborate with relevant regional organisations whose members are also States Members of the United Nations to convene a series of consultations to share views on the programme of action.
In advance of the seventy-eighth session of the UN General Assembly and the UN Open-Ended Working Group on ICTs, the consultations took place in Brussels and featured an opening address from the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and the chair of the OEWG, briefings from UNODA and two external experts, as well as moderated discussions between EU member states and stakeholders.