Results of the accreditation of stakeholders to the OEWG 2021-2025 raises concerns

Accreditation results of stakeholders for the OEWG 2021-2025 raise concerns, with only 54 out of 86 entities approved to participate. Vetoed organizations include notable names such as Microsoft and the World Economic Forum, prompting 28 organizations to pen a letter urging the Chair to reconsider the decision and allow broader multistakeholder involvement in the process.

Open-Ended Working Group on the security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG) has disclosed the list of non-governmental entities approved to participate in its work. Following the modalities of stakeholder participation previously agreed upon by the Member States, the list of interested parties that requested to participate in the work of the OEWG was circulated for the consideration of Governments of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations on a non-objection basis. As result, only 54 organisations out of 86 that registered were accredited, in addition to the 17 with the ECOSOC Consultative Status. Among the organisations that were vetoed by some of the Member States are Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Chatham House, CyberPeace Institute, Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), Microsoft, World Economic Forum, as well as Kaspersky, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In response, 28 organisations and companies from all over the world have signed a joint letter addressing the Chair of the OEWG, Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, to “express deep regret with the recent decision of a few member states to exclude over 30 members of industry and civil society” from the workings of the OEWG. The signatories urged the Chair “to seek conversation with relevant parties in the OEWG to reverse the recent decision that prevents the contribution of many members of the multistakeholder community to the OEWG process”.