After the collapse of talks at the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) last year, many spectators (including us) had thought that the conversation on cyber norms had stalled – perhaps for a long time.
Developments over the last month suggest that this diagnosis might have been premature. From Microsoft’s Digital Peace Initiative, to rumoured proposals from ITU member states for a new convention on cyberspace (see p.5), and the inaugural meeting of the new UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, there’s a renewed sense of momentum on these issues. A statement by the US State Department suggests that a revival of the UN GGE may even be on the cards.
Another instance of this trend (which we mentioned in the last issue of this newsletter) is a set of proposals by Russia on cyberattacks, amounting to what’s been described as an “alternative Budapest Convention”, and posing significant risks to human rights online. It’s expected that these proposals will be tabled in the next few weeks. Chatham House Research Fellow Joyce Hakmeh has a good summary of the background and context.
- The final report of the GFCE annual meeting (which we wrote about in the last newsletter) is out. Stakeholder involvement has been singled out as a priority by the new Advisory Board.