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 Seventh session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025 under agenda item “Capacity-building”

Mr. Chair,

We consider capacity-building in the field of ICT security as one of the key aspects of the OEWG’s mandate. We assume that our work in this area should result in the elaboration of practice-oriented recommendations and proposals for assistance programmes. It is important to ensure that such measures meet the needs of States and are in line with the universal principles in this field, as set out in the annex to the second report of the Group, primarily, respect for State sovereignty.

We take note of the vigorous efforts by the Chair of the OEWG, in particular, the initiative to hold a global round table on capacity-building in the field of ICT security on 10 May this year. For our part, we are currently working on the level of participation and composition of the Russian delegation at the event. We expect it to be held in a professional and depoliticized manner with due respect for the central role of States and with the participation of other interested parties.

In this context, we would like to comment on the Mapping exercise to survey the landscape of capacity-building programmes and initiatives within and outside the UN and at the global and regional levels conducted by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. We regret to note that we have serious concerns about the document both in terms of its content and structure.

Russia, as well as a number of States, has provided an extensive national contribution to the paper which, unfortunately, has not been adequately reflected therein. Moreover, we have noticed obvious bias in favor of efforts by certain countries, while many other States listed among the participants of the Mapping exercise are either mentioned briefly in the text or not named at all.

We do not see any logic in the current division into sections (two main substantive segments – “regional cooperation” and “thematic areas”). As a result, the document represents a confusing compilation of odd ideas, contains repetitions. We do not understand the reason why certain sections of the document cover such issues as gender and youth which are highly controversial and even not related to the mandate of the OEWG. The subsection on international law mainly cites the approaches of States and organizations without specifying efforts to assist countries in developing national positions in this regard. 

Finally, it is completely unacceptable for us that the contributions of States that play the central role in the negotiation process are mixed up with the opinions of international and regional organization and let alone private entities.

In general, the current version of the Mapping exercise requires radical revision. We suggest structuring it by assistance providers (States, international organizations, regional and subregional organizations, private sector) and specific forms of such assistance (seminars, research and development, personnel training, technology transfer etc.). We expect that an updated version of the document will be prepared and distributed promptly so that States can familiarize themselves with the final product well ahead of the round table to be held in May.

As for Russia’s efforts in the field of capacity-building, our country pays special attention to this matter. This issue has a prominent place in the Russian annual draft UNGA resolution on international information security, which tasks the OEWG to develop specific mechanisms to meet the needs of States in this regard, including financial ones.

In our national capacity, we focus on personnel training in the field of information security. Foreign students from countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America study at the Russian universities within the main programmes of higher education and additional professional education. We expect that comprehensive information on this matter will be reflected in the updated edition of the Mapping exercise.

Thank you for your attention.

Video of the statement