UNGA First Committee Info Hub

20190829 13:25:02

In 2018, the UN First Committee set up two mechanisms to discuss responsible state behaviour in cyberspace: the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG). 

The outcomes of these processes may end up having a significant influence on trends and policies in cybersecurity globally—with implications for privacy, freedom of expression, and other human rights. It’s therefore crucial that human rights defenders engage closely with them.

To guide and support engagement at the First Committee, we’ve set up this dedicated info hub. It offers:

  • All the key news and developments at the GGE and OEWG, including timelines for both;
  • Explainers and guides setting out information about the UN First Committee, the GGE and OEWG, how they work, the issues being discussed and their impact on human rights, and how to engage;
  • Detailed, accessible briefs on the more specialised and technical issues that are being discussed at the GGE and OEWG; and
  • Links to other useful websites and information sources.

You can also get a monthly digest of developments at the GGE and OEWG by signing up to GPD’s newsletter here.

If you have any specific questions about the GGE or OEWG, you can also email our Programme Lead Sheetal Kumar (sheetal{at}gp-digital.org) using the subject line “UN GGE and OEWG.”

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Updates

A group of non-governmental stakeholder and member states have organised a virtual dialogue series, which will take place on 4-10 December. The dialogue aims to gather non-governmental stakeholder perspectives on the OEWG’s revised pre-draft, and create opportunities for in-depth dialogue between states, civil society, technical experts and the private sector on the themes of the OEWG. Registration is open to all, and the event can also be followed on livestream without registration: find out more here. [Nov 2020]

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In November, the UN First Committee approved a resolution extending the OEWG for a five year period, from 2021-2025. However, the tense paragraph-by-paragraph voting on the cyber resolutions at the UN First Committee, showed disagreement on the way forward for cyber-related discussions at the UN and make it more likely that discussions as part of a new OEWG will be rocky to begin with. Reaching Critical Will did an analysis here. [Nov 2020]

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The Chairs of both the OEWG and the GGE provided a briefing at the UN First Committee on 26 October, a summary of which can be found here. [Oct 2020]

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A group of non-governmental stakeholders have submitted joint feedback on OEWG norms proposals. The input provides good practice guidance and examples for the implementation of the agreed 11 norms. [Sept 2020]

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UNIDIR has held its annual “Cyberstability Conference” on the topic of “future institutional dialogue”. [Sept 2020]

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The Chair’s letters and programme of work for each of the informal intersessionals set up to discuss the different thematic areas of the OEWG report (which will be carried out from June to December 2020) can be found on the OEWG webpage. [Sept 2020]

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The Chair of the OEWG published a new roadmap for the work of the OEWG in July 2020, outlining a series of virtual informal meetings on each of the areas of the revised pre-draft. [July 2020]

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Based on feedback received on the pre-draft and non-paper, the Chair of the OEWG has released a revised pre-draft and revised non-paper of the OEWG report. [May 2020]

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New technical brief, unpacking international law in the context of the GGE’s framework around responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Read it here. [April 2020]

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Consultations on the OEWG pre-draft report have just been extended to 16 April (you can read our submission here). For information on submitting as a non-governmental stakeholder, contact the NGO liaison Allison Pytlak (allison.pytlak@wilpf.org). [April 2020]

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Ahead of the February OEWG session in New York, the Chair has published a series of documents, including a working paper with guiding questions and a draft structure for the report: which can be accessed here.

Two important GGE documents are now available online on the Office of Disarmament Affairs website: a summary of the informal consultations with non member-states on 5-6 December 2019; and a summary of the consultations which took place with regional organisations in June-October 2019.

[Jan 2020]

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The UN has published all the submissions into the OEWG December intersessional meeting (including one from us). Read them here. [Jan 2020]

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Read our key takeaways from the December 2019 OEWG intersessional meeting in New York here, and our official input into the meeting here.

We’ve also just published a new explainer, looking at cyber norms in the context of the GGE’s framework on responsible state behaviour. Read it here.

[Dec 2019]

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GPD has contributed to a multistakeholder input into an informal intersessional meeting of the OEWG. Read it here. [Dec 2019]

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We’ve published a new explainer, unpacking confidence building measures in the context of the GGE’s framework on responsible state behaviour. Read it here. [Nov 2019]

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Looking to attend the December intersessional meeting of the OEWG as an NGO? Some funding has become available. Applications close on 28 October. Details here. [Oct 2019]

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Some key takeaways from the recent African Union GGE consultation. [Oct 2019]

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We’ve published a new resource, unpacking capacity building in the context of the GGE’s framework on responsible state behaviour. Read it here [Oct 2019]

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The deadline for NGOs to register for the December intercessional meeting at the OEWG has been extended to 25 November. Full details here. [Oct 2019]

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Last week we were in New York for the first substantive meeting of the OEWG. Read our highlights here. [19/09/2019]

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The OEWG’s first substantive session (09 – 13 September) has concluded. Watch coverage of it here and consult the statements made by the member states and inter-governmental organisations.

You can also read the statements by NGOs on Reaching Critical Will’s dedicated webpage. [16/09/2019]

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We’ve published a detailed guide to engaging in the UNGA First Committee, GGE and OEWG as a human rights defender. Read it here. [09/09/2019]

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The UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) regional consultation for the Americas took place from 15-16 August in Washington DC. It was organised by the Organization of American States (OAS) to coordinate input from stakeholders across the region into upcoming GGE discussions. Read our recap and key takeaways here. [23/08/2019]

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Two important events in New York took place this month (June): the first organisational meeting of the OEWG and the UNIDIR Cyber Stability Conference. Read our key takeaways here. [12/06/2019]