Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Representative of the Russian Federation Ms.Irina Tyazhlova at the fourth substantive session of the Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025 on Organization of work



Dear colleagues, 

We welcome all participants of the fourth session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on security of and in the use of information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs) 2021-2025.

Increased threats and instability in the global information space are more than ever highlight a demand for joint work of States on strengthening security in the ICT-field. To solve these problems, a professional expert dialogue within the Group was intended. During the first year of the OEWG, we have already managed to achieve the results that were enshrined in the consensus progress report of July 29, 2022. The recommendations contained in the document allow us to address the strategic goal of establishing an international legal regime in information space and developing specific confidence-building and cooperation measures.

However, one gets the feeling that not all participants to the negotiation process understand the importance of these efforts. Once again, the United States groundlessly, in a rude manner, refused to issue visas to some members of the Russian interagency delegation. Such a step was previously taken against the head of the delegation. This is a gross violation by Washington of its obligations to host and support the work of the UN Headquarters.

Representatives of our country in the OEWG are known as competent, result-oriented negotiators. They enjoy the trust of colleagues and the Chair of the Group. It is no secret that Russia was the initiator of the establishment of the OEWG and is making a constructive contribution to its work. The creation of obstacles for the participation of delegations in the work of the OEWG, in fact, is undermining the principle of the sovereign equality of States, one of the key principles of the UN Charter.

As far as we know, the practice of refusing to issue the American visas is also applied to delegations from other countries. As a result, the UN Member States find themselves in an unequal position in the negotiation process: the United States actually influences the formation of national delegations. Despite the obstacles put in place, we are sure that all participants to the OEWG see who is really committed to developing universal solutions, and for whom the politicization of the process and “dirty tricks” are more important.

Representatives of the Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accredited to the OEWG once again faced the problem of non-issuance of visas. They are cut off from the possibility of full-time participation in a specialized session for NGOs. I would like to ask the representatives of the United States: what are their authorities so afraid of when they refuse visas to participants who have a consultative status? Are such actions the norm for the so-called “civilized” world?

In this regard, we would like to appeal to Mr. Chair and the UN Secretariat with an urgent request to take measures to stop such harmful practices. Our priority is to ensure true equality among the members of the OEWG.

In the context of the statement of Ms. I.Nakamitsu, I would like to recall that we consider unacceptable the attempts to politicize the discussion within the OEWG, especially taken by the international official of such a high rank. The Group has a clear mandate, enshrined in the UN General Assembly Resolution 75/240, and the agenda and program of work proposed by Mr.Chair, which we have just supported. We presume that the OEWG should continue its important work in a professional, depoliticized manner.

With regard to the issue of participation of NGOs in the activities of the OEWG, the relevant decision is the sovereign right of States. Russia carefully considers all applications for accreditation of other interested parties – businesses, NGOs and academia. The position on each candidate is taken after a thorough analysis of information and observations about the activities of non-state actors. We are guided, first of all, by the criteria of professionalism, technical expertise, readiness for a depoliticized dialogue, compliance with the mandate of the OEWG and the added value for interstate discussion.

Unfortunately, many “independent” representatives of non-state actors often distort the facts and make biased opportunistic conclusions. In other words, they are fulfilling a political order.

We are convinced that such pseudo-experts should have no place in the OEWG. The participation of such organizations in the negotiation formats on international information security within the UN and other international organizations will be suppressed.

We note that the applications of all Russian organizations were rejected ahead of the fourth session of the OEWG without explanation. Moreover, the host country of the UN Headquarters has once again refused to issue visas to experts of the Russian NGOs already accredited to the Group. We see this as a flagrant attempt to cut off the scientific and academic community of our country, which has the necessary expertise in the field of international information security, from discussions in the OEWG. Once again, we urge Mr.Chair and the UN Secretariat to take the necessary steps to stop this unlawful discriminatory practice by the United States.

Thank you.