In February, GPD was in New York for the second substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group.
As we note in our report back from the session, discussions were lively and productive—with several concrete (and seemingly popular) new proposals by delegates, the delivery of a joint statement from civil society organisations, and multiple references to the Freedom Online Coalition’s recent statement on cybersecurity.
What happens after the OEWG? The question remains open. There were strong hints that the OEWG’s mandate will be extended, for at least as long as the current Group of Governmental Experts remains in place (May 2021). But for now, nothing is certain.
The first version of the OEWG’s draft report is due to be published on the Office of Disarmament Affairs website in early March. Negotiations on the draft report will begin at the end of March, with a second round at the end of May. It’s not yet clear to what extent non-government stakeholders will be able to participate. We’ll update the UNGA hub with this information (along with the draft report itself) as soon as it’s available.
- The OEWG session also saw the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) announce the establishment of its GFCE Foundation, marking a shift in the organisation’s focus towards a more active role in coordination and implementation of cybersecurity capacity building efforts. We saw this new approach in action at the recent GFCE Pacific Regional meeting, held in Melbourne on 19 February, where a diverse range of stakeholders from the Pacific gathered to discuss cyber capacity building challenges and priorities in the region.