Q2/2019 - UNIDIR
At its annual conference on 6 June 2019 in New York, the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) discussed aspects of the preparation for negotiations between the two new UN cyber security groups OEWG and UN GGE. The one-day conference was opened by the high-ranking UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu. In her speech, she pointed out that the new working groups did not have to start from scratch but could build on the results of negotiations that had been underway already since 2004. This applied in particular with regard to norms for the behaviour of states in cyberspace and confidence-building measures. Nakamitsu called for a close coordination of work between the two groups to avoid duplication. In her view, the OEWG should concentrate primarily on confidence-building measures. One should also bear in mind that the mandate of the UN GGE was going to expire in 2021, but that the issue remained relevant for the 2020s. Nakamitsu supported the involvement of non-governmental stakeholders in the forthcoming negotiations, which is considered innovative for UN operations in New York, and expressly welcomed initiatives by the private sector, such as the Microsoft Tech Accord or the Siemens Charter of Trust. 90 percent of cyber security incidents were due to hardware and software vulnerabilities. Thus, governments would not be able to solve cyber security problems without experts. The multi-stakeholder approach should not just be a lip service, it should be filled with life. She said: "Multistakeholder approach should not just be a catchphrase. We need the public and private sector, together with civil society and academia, to work earnestly and collaboratively towards our mutual goal of cyber stability.