Global POC directory established by OEWG on ICT security

The establishment of the PoC marks a significant step towards enhancing international cooperation and resilience in addressing cyber threats, with 92 member states already nominating such points of contact.

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The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) announced the operational launch of the global points of contact (POC) Directory and its online portal in the context of the UN Open-Ended working group (OEWG) on the security of information and communications technologies (ICTs).

Recognised as a confidence-building measure, the directory aims to enhance interaction and cooperation between States, leveraging existing regional initiatives to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment.

On 8 January 2024, UNODA invited all member states to nominate points of contact to the directory. As of 9 May 2024, 92 States have already responded by nominating points of contact. The first ping is planned for 10 June 2024.

In a bid to streamline processes and enhance engagement, UNODA is reviewing plans to develop the ‘POC 101’ online tutorial, aiming for availability by August 2024. Furthermore, UNODA is seeking interest from States to provide extra-budgetary funds for the development of tailored e-learning modules, to be developed in the second half of 2024.

Having circulated a note verbale on 7 February 2024, soliciting written inputs with a deadline of 15 March (later extended to 20 March), UNODA has received responses from 17 member states, including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, France, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Sudan, and Switzerland. All submissions are available on the official website.

The received responses have also been shared as a preliminary overview, where conclusions and recommendations from these inputs include a call for strengthening national coordination processes, maintaining directory integrity, facilitating continuous skills-building opportunities for points of contact, and fostering exchanges between existing directories and networks.