OEWG 2021-2025 held its second substantive session

The second substantive session of the OEWG 2021-2025 was held from 28 March-1 April 2022, in-person in New York (with a webcast through UN WebTV). Using an informal mode, the group discussed substantive issues under its mandate: the existing and potential threats in the ICT sphere and data security; rules, norms, and principles of responsible behaviour of states in cyberspace; how international law applies to the use of ICTs by states; confidence-building measures; and capacity building.

The discussions were overtaken by an organisational issue: the modalities of stakeholder participation. The Ukraine conflict heavily impacted the discussion on threats. Importance of the existing framework of responsible behaviour was re-affirmed, yet discussions about the necessity of developing a new legally binding instrument continued. Main progress was made in the area of confidence building measures, where several proposals got general support (such as the implementation of the national survey of implementation of the UN framework, and the establishment of the points of contacts directory. Programme of Action, as a possible second process running in parallel with the OEWG, gained support of more countries, but it’s format and mandate is not clear yet.

For more, read the analysis of the second OEWG session, and look at the in-depth expert report.