Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Mr. Andrey Belousov, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation, on the Russian draft resolution “Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security” during action phase on Other disarmament measures and international security in the First Committee of the 78th Session of the UNGA

Mr. Chair,

The Russian Federation consistently advocates for shaping a system of international information on a solid legal basis, building upon the principles of sovereign equality of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. We assume that only collective efforts of the whole international community can help ensure peace and stability in the global information space and effectively counter the whole range of existing and potential threats in this domain. With these objectives, for 25 years now, we annually submit a draft resolution “Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security”.

The purpose of the document L.11 tabled by Russia is to safeguard the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) as the only decision-making mechanism on issues related to security in the use of ICTs under the UN auspices, as well as to ensure strict fulfillment of its mandate as set out in the UNGA resolution 75/240. Our document stipulates that the decision on a future regular institutional dialogue on ICT security should be taken on a truly universal basis – within the current OEWG. It also contains a request to the UN Secretary-General to prepare a report summarizing the views of all States on how they see the format of negotiations on information security after the end of the Group’s mandate in 2025.

The draft resolution is unifying and depoliticized in nature. It is based on the previous agreements reached within the OEWG and on UNGA resolutions. It complements and further develops the draft decision tabled by Singapore, which Russia fully supports, to endorse the Group’s second annual report. Any attempts to present our initiative as undermining the work of the OEWG and its Chair are untenable; these assumptions simply do not correspond to reality.

If anything indeed undermines the Group’s work, it is the attempts to prejudge its outcomes and “pull apart” ICT security issues into parallel and duplicating formats, which runs against the interests of a large part of the international community. In this context, we are concerned by the actions of Western countries. While publicly declaring their full support for the OEWG, in reality they are promoting their own draft resolution on a Programme of Action aimed at replacing the Group with an alternative format that is beneficial only for themselves. Simultaneously, they are trying all means to counter the adoption of the Russian document that has been now put to the vote for obvious merely political reasons, including one of its key preambular paragraphs (PP3) on the prevention of conflicts in information space.

We regret that the agenda of international information security is becoming more and more politicized every year. As you can see, this is by no means our fault. When making decisions, it is important to rely on the long-term national security interests of States, rather than on momentary geopolitical circumstances.

We call on the UN Member States to support the Russian draft resolution L.11 – as a whole and the separately disputed paragraph. A vote in favour of our document is a vote in support of the OEWG as the sole negotiation mechanism on information security in the UN, which acts on the basis of consensus and ensures that interests of all States without exception are taken into account. Now, just as at the time of the creation of the Group, it is important to unite in defense of this mechanism, which is the asset of the entire world community.

Thank you for attention.