Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations Open-ended working group on information and telecommunications in the context of international security: Capacity building

New York, 19/11/2020 - 17:04, UNIQUE ID: 201120_8
Statements on behalf of the EU

19 November 2020, New York – European Union Statement on Capacity Building at the United Nations OEWG on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security - Third round of Informal Meetings

  1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States. The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
  2. The EU positions presented in April remain valid and our comments build upon this written contribution.
  3. The EU and its Member States agree with the important function of capacity building to enable the implementation of the normative framework for stability in cyberspace, and to strengthen cyber security and global resilience. Throughout the pre-draft report, as well as during our exchanges in the formal and informal sessions, it was underlined that the adequate capacities are critical to support the three main pillars. Therefore, we suggest to capture the importance of capacity building for the normative framework in the introduction of this chapter. Indeed, the international community’s ability to prevent or mitigate the impact of malicious ICT activities, as well as to advance stability in cyberspace depend on the capacity of each State to be guided by norms of responsible state behaviour in the use of ICTs, apply international law and implement confidence-building measures. Existing initiatives, like the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), could play a meaningful role in building global cyber capacity and expertise.
  4. The EU and its Member States strongly agree with the need to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the implementation of capacity building activities and suggest to underline that this should be also ensured in the design of capacity-building projects. More specifically, as outlined in para 57 of the report, specific activities should be results-oriented while supporting the shared objective of an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. We encourage to clearly express the support to an open, free, stable and secure cyberspace, where human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are fully respected. We underline that human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the relevant international instruments apply and must be respected and protected equally online and offline. This is also emphasized in the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) statement on cyber security and human rights, which stresses that human rights and cybersecurity are complementary, mutually reinforced and interdependent.
  5. In this same para 57, we also support to recognize, in the list of principles, that capacity-building activities for an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment must go hand-in-hand with activities to implement the normative framework for stability in cyberspace.

 

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