First UN Open-Ended Working Group convened to further develop norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace

Following a December 2018 UN General Assembly resolution, the first UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security starts is convened in 2019 and concludes its work in March 2021. A second group – renamed OEWG on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies – is established in 2021, following a December 2020 General Assembly resolution. The group is tasked, among other issues, with further developing the rules, norms, and principles of responsible behaviour of states in cyberspace.

First International e-waste day

The first international e-waste day was introduced in 2018 by the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum to raise awareness of the need for e-waste recycling worldwide. The first e-waste day was commemorated on 13 October 2018. Since then, international e-waste day takes place on 14 October every year. 

High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation established by the UN Secretary-General

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres establishes a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to enhance cooperation between relevant stakeholders working in the digital field, including governments, the private sector, the technical community, academia, and civil society. The panel’s objectives also include addressing the opportunities and challenges of digital technologies, and engaging in discussions on how to secure an inclusive and humanistic digital future for all. The final outcome of the panel’s work, the report The Age of Digital Interdependence, was launched in June 2019. The report outlines five key recommendations related to advancing an inclusive digital economy and society; developing human and institutional capacity; promoting human rights and human agency; advancing trust, security, and stability; and strengthening global digital cooperation. On the matter of digital cooperation, the Panel recommends that the UN Secretary-General facilitates an agile and open consultation process to develop updated mechanisms for global digital cooperation, using as a starting point three architecture models outlined in the report: an IGF Plus, a Distributed Co-Governance Architecture, and a Digital Commons framework.

The signing of Letter of Intent

On 21 March 2018, at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and six other UN entities signed a Letter of Intent, which served as a basis for the creation of a UN E-waste Coalition and better coordination of global e-waste management efforts.

IANA stewardship transition

The IANA stewardship transition process, which spanned over two years, concludes with the expiration of the IANA functions contract between ICANN and the US government, and the transition of the IANA functions stewardship to the global internet community. The process started in March 2014, when the US government announced its intention to delegate its oversight role to a global multistakeholder community. Starting October 2016, the IANA functions are performed by the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of ICANN.

WSIS+10 High-level meeting

The WSIS outcome documents and the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/252 resolved to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015. The WSIS+10 review process culminated with an intergovernmental high-level meeting at the United Nations in New York on 15–16 December 2015, which, among other issues, decided to renew the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum with a further 10 years. Other elements tackled in the outcome document of the meeting include: (a) bridging digital divides; (b) human rights in the information society; (c) building confidence and security in the use of ICTs; (d) internet governance; and (e) enhanced cooperation. The document further calls on the General Assembly to hold a high-level meeting on the overall review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes in 2025.