Russia, along with four like-minded countries, submits new convention on international information security to the UN

The convention advocates for a legally binding treaty to fill gaps in current international law andemphasizes trust-building, cooperation, and data exchange to enhance cybersecurity capabilities and facilitate conflict resolution.

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Russia, together with four like-minded countries (Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria), has submitted an updated concept of the Convention on International Information Security to the UN.

The revised version is guided by principles such as sovereign equality among states and non-interference in internal affairs. Russia has been calling for a legally binding treaty for many years, and this updated concept starts with opening paragraphs where Russia and co-sponsors contend that such a treaty is needed to fill the gaps in current international law. Some other states (e.g. the USA, most EU member states, Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom and others) oppose the necessity for a convention and argue that there are no such steps. They also add that further implementation of agreed normative frameworks and further clarification of existing international law is needed. At the same time, all countries have agreed previously to the applicability of the UN Charter to cyberspace.

In the updated concept, Russia and its co-sponsors emphasise the need to enhance trust and foster cooperation in international information security. One of the proposed measures is the exchange of data on national legislation about information security. Additionally, prompt information sharing regarding crisis events and cyber threats is vital. Developing a standardised set of technical information for transfer is recommended to facilitate effective incident response. Regular consultations between countries are also encouraged to promote collaboration and address emerging challenges.

The primary objectives of this convention include conflict prevention and resolution, fostering interstate cooperation, and enhancing cybersecurity capabilities in developing countries. However, garnering support from the majority of the UN member states may face challenges, as previous iterations of this proposal encountered opposition from Western countries, and the ongoing Ukraine conflict casts doubt on the fate of this latest submission.