Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement By Mr. Andrey Krutskikh, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the Field of Information Security on «Other disarmament measures and international security» Сluster of the 73rd Session of the UNGA

Distinguished Chair,

Distinguished colleagues,

The world today is totally dependent on information and communication technologies (ICTs), and it is simply impossible to deal alone with the problems related to their malicious use.

The situation in the global digital environment is worsening day by day. ICTs are becoming a tool in the hands of criminals, hackers and terrorist groups, and sometimes even individual countries. They are increasingly being used for political purposes – to undermine the sovereignty and national security, to interfere in internal affairs of states, to violate the rights of their citizens.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that a number of countries literally boast about building-up their offensive capabilities, which is in fact provides an opportunity  for the first cyberstrike. Under these circumstances the rest of the world, being aware of its vulnerability, has to develop protective mechanisms in case of cyberwarfare.

In this situation after the failure of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on International Information Security (IIS) in 2017 the UN has no negotiating mechanism on ICTs.

We are convinced that the UN should play a leading role in addressing the IIS issues.

The twentieth anniversary of the respective negotiating process within the UN Russia  suggests to bring it to a qualitatively new level. We introduce to the
73rd session   of the UN General Assembly the draft resolution with a real added value.

Firstly, in contrast to addressing the IIS issues in a limited format «by rich and famous» we want process to be truly democratic, inclusive and transparent. All interested states should be directly involved in this process regardless of the degree their technological development. This will enable them to fully realize their national sovereignty and will provide the basis for a just world order that would guarantee protection of all states without exception.

The point is to establish the UN open-ended working group. Its mandate is to address as a priority three crucial topics: norms of responsible behaviour of state, applicability of international law to the information space and assistance to capacity-building in developing countries in ensuring cybersecurity.

The open-ended group guarantees participation of all interested states in negotiating process on IIS allowing every country to make its personal contribution in the discussion of this subject and taking appropriate decisions. We believe that a view of every member of international community should be taken into account.

Secondly, our draft records has an initial list of basic norms of responsible behaviour of states in cyberspace. It is a kind of «traffic rules» without which the order in the digital environment can not be achieved.

The rules that we propose envisage the use of ICTs for exclusively peaceful purposes, efforts of the international community to be directed at prevention of conflicts in information field, adherence to the principles of respect for state sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, prevention of digital divide among them, non-use of proxies in the context of malicious use of ICTs. It is also essential that accusations of parties in such an activity should be substantiated, not provocative and not to be used as a pretext for the use of force against states.

We are grateful to those countries that have sponsored our document. We are counting on its broad support by other states. It is important to understand that the fate of all members of the international community depends on the outcome of the vote. Finally in conclusion I would like to sound a slogan: “Vote or you’ll lose!”

Thank you for attention.