May saw an interesting new blog from Dr. Eneken Tikk, arguing that national laws and strategies can be an important source of inspiration for new cyber norms.
This relationship between abstract norms and how they operate “on the ground” is a preoccupation for GPD. Alongside our engagement with the GGE and OEWG, much of our bread and butter work on cybersecurity is supporting the development of National Cybersecurity Strategies (NCSS)—so far this year, we’ve run capacity building workshops with local stakeholders in Belize, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Kenya, with more scheduled. As well as (hopefully) making individual NCSS processes more open, inclusive and transparent, our engagement is also helping us build an international repository of good practice, which we’ll be unveiling later this year. You can read some interim findings here.
For those following the development of cyber norms, June is set to be a big month—with the organisational session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), UNIDIR’s annual Conference (which GPD is attending), and the submission of the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation’s final report to the UN Secretary-General. The OEWG session will be especially relevant, as it should hopefully settle a number of uncertainties around the Group’s agenda and modalities for stakeholder engagement.
In anticipation of these events, stakeholders have been ramping up their preparation efforts. In May, GPD took part in an informal consultation with the UK government focused on the First Committee processes, where we shared our thoughts and concerns from the perspective of human rights and stakeholder engagement.