Statement on the Veto to the CyberPeace Institute’s Accreditation at Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG)

Stéphane Duguin
CyberPeace Institute

The CyberPeace Institute was dismayed to learn that it would not be able to formally participate at the the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 as an fully accredited NGO , further to a veto during the accreditation process. It is our belief that this is not in line with the judicious use of veto as outlined in the adopted modalities which encourage Member States to utilize the non-objection mechanism judiciously, bearing in mind the spirit of inclusivity.  

It is particularly unfortunate as the Institute had important expertise and knowledge to contribute that our direct participation would have facilitated. Despite this significant barrier to an inclusive multistakeholder participation, the Institute is continuing to contribute and to inform the discussions and decisions taken as constructively as possible.

As an NGO working with and on behalf of vulnerable communities to advance responsible behavior in cyberspace, the CyberPeace Institute will continue to focus where it matters most, which is advancing an open, safe, secure, and stable cyberspace for all in line with our previous substantive contributions. 

These include, among others, ‘Statement on the value of multistakeholder engagement in the OEWG process (2021-2025)’ and recommendations for Member States participating in the OEWG II. that has set out three key action areas comprising protection of the healthcare sector, improving governance and accountability in the use of spyware, and the specific considerations for impacts of cyberattacks on individuals. 

Meaningful and substantive participation to the OEWG of organizations, such as the CyberPeace Institute, that can provide perspective on human equities in discussions about ICTs, study the impact of insecurity on individuals and work with victims of cyber attacks  does not mean a meeting on the sidelines, or sporadic intersessional or informal meetings. The formal inclusion is imperative at the time when these discussions happen, to provide timely and relevant perspectives and not merely comment or reflect on what has already been discussed by governments. 

We would also like to draw attention to our recent work undertaken with regard to the protection of the healthcare sector from cyber threats. For more than one year, the government of the Czech Republic, the CyberPeace Institute and Microsoft worked together to build a global multistakeholder community with a shared commitment to advance the implementation of UN cyber norms through concrete action.

This multistakeholder approach has provided constructive, inclusive, and action-oriented contributions that can inform and assist states implementing cyber norms pertaining to protecting one of the most vital critical infrastructure sectors, the healthcare sector. We hope that this approach inspires cooperation in other areas and we invite you to the Compendium launch which will take place on the margins of the third substantive session of the OEWG. 

In the situation where we have been vetoed from full participation in the process, we are hoping that those committed to multistakeholder engagement will promote regular institutional dialogue and engage to enable organizations like ours to be accredited to engage in the process. 

The recent vetoes only reiterated the importance of having an established inclusive process promoted and maintained by States, including a coordinated approach to regular institutional dialogue that involves non-state actors so that together, we can move the implementation of the normative framework forward. 

The CyberPeace Institute, an independent and neutral non-governmental organization,  is ready to work in its expert capacity in  close collaboration with governments and other relevant partners to support the achievement of objectives of the OEWG II.

Stéphane Duguin is the Chief Executive Officer of the CyberPeace Institute.

© Copyright 2023: The concepts and information contained in this document are the property of the CyberPeace Institute, an independent non-governmental organization headquartered in Geneva, unless indicated otherwise from time to time throughout the document. This document may be reproduced, in whole or in part, provided that the CyberPeace Institute is referenced as author and copyright holder.


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