UN OEWG issues a Zero Draft of the report

The Chair of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of ICTs in the Context of International Security (OEWG) has published a Zero Draft of the substantive report, which should serve for final negotiations on the possible outcome. Zero Draft reflects on the OEWG discussions on the six substantive issues set by its mandate (A/RES/73/27): existing and potential threats, international law, rules, norms and principles, confidence building measures, capacity building, and regular institutional dialogue. Zero Draft includes both the variety of discussion points and positions, and the related conclusions and recommendations on each issue.

While, in most its parts, the conclusions and recommendations mainly re-state previous agreements in the field, Zero Draft notably concludes that the critical infrastructure is increasingly been targeted by cyberattacks, and recommends that healthcare infrastructure in particular needs to be protected as part of the critical infrastructure; recommends that states should continue the exchanges on their positions about how international law applies to cyberspace, and particular practices contributing to the implementation of the agreed norms and confidence building measures (CBMs); recommends that states should, as CBMs, establish points of contacts and publicly re-affirm their commitment to the 2015 Report of the GGE. Capacity building appears as a cross-cutting issue throughout the Zero Draft, which in particular sets the three principles for capacity building – process and purpose, partnerships, and people – and invites for the support to states to develop national competences, not least related to diplomatic capacities. Zero Draft also recommends that further institutional dialogue would take place under the First Committee as a Programme of Action for advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace.

States are expected to submit contributions with regards to the Zero Draft. Other stakeholders may also formally submit their contributions to the OEWG, but were as well invited by Canada and its partners to express their positions through an informal multistakeholder cyber-dialogue. First Draft of the substantive report is expected to follow closer to the final meeting of the OEWG, scheduled for 8-12 March in New York.