Ahead of this week’s meeting of the UN’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on cybersecurity, more than 30 non-governmental entities have been denied participation in the discussions. Member States have rejected stakeholders across industry and the civil society, who combine to represent the views of more than 150 organisations in the tech sector.
At the end of last year, the OEWG was committing to enhancing cooperation across stakeholders. It was recognising the need for cross-sectoral collaboration to agree norms for peace and security in the cyberspace that meet international expectations and that can be implemented by all parties impacted.
Some Members States’ decision now is not only precluding joint agreement on practices that need to work for all, but will also lack the insights of excluded cyber communities. This includes expertise on safeguarding critical infrastructure, incident response, prevention of targeting, and on the tools and techniques used by attackers. The industry and civil society members are critical partners in capacity strengthening efforts and have critical knowledge for designing frameworks that will be fit for purpose as technology evolves over the coming years.
While Access Partnership has accreditation to participate in the Working Group, it supports the collective call for inclusive and cross-sectoral dialogue. Conflict and instability online are rising at a pace at which the international community is not equipped to respond. This requires accelerated coordination across stakeholder groups and jurisdictions. Some Member States’ decision to exclude participants is preventing progress on vital issues for which unified and urgent action should be the common denominator.
For more information on the UN’s negotiations on cybersecurity and how that impacts your business, or to contribute your views to the OEWG on developing norms and practices that work internationally, please contact Gordon Mackay at [email protected] or Luminita Tuchel [email protected].