01 Oct 2019

Cybersecurity digest (September 2019)

This extract is taken from the September 2019 issue of The digest, GPD’s newsletter. Sign up here.


GPD was in New York last month for the first substantive meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace (OEWG), which saw wide-ranging discussion on the Group’s mandate and areas of focus.

Overall, things seem to have gotten off to a good start, with broad agreement on many issues—“80%” by the estimation of one state. The remaining 20% may prove more difficult to resolve. And, despite some promising words on stakeholder engagement going forward, many questions still remain. See our report back from the meeting for more detailed takeaways and analysis.


  • A cross-section of 27 states delivered a joint statement ahead of the September UN General Assembly session. In the statement, they highlight an “evolving framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace”’—referring to the last consensus report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE)—and confirm their commitment to working together on a voluntary basis to implement the framework. Notably, the statement also includes a reference to human rights, reiterating “that human rights apply and must be respected and protected by states online as well as offline, including when addressing cybersecurity”.
  • The deadline for attending the December OEWG intersessional—which is dedicated to non-government stakeholders—has now passed, and we’re hoping more information on how the December session will be run is shared soon so that participants have time to prepare. We’ll update the UNGA First Committee hub as soon as we know more.
  • The NGO accreditation process for the upcoming OEWG substantive sessions in February and July is apparently being reviewed. Hopefully this will give non-ECOSOC accredited groups a better chance at attending…
  • Turning to the parallel GGE process, we’re hoping to have some information to share on its final two regional consultations—the ASEAN Regional Forum (1-3 October) and the African Union consultation (11 October)—in the next Digest.