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General Assembly - First Committee Meeting on the occasion of the Opening of the First Substantive Session of the ”Open Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security"

Date:

09/10/2019


General Assembly - First Committee Meeting on the occasion of the Opening of the First Substantive Session of the ”Open Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security

Statement delivered by Min. Plen. Laura Carpini, Coordinator of the activities related to Cyber Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on the occasion of the Opening of the First Substantive Session of the ”Open Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" ---

Mr. Chairman, you Exellencies, distinguished delegates,

Allow me to congratulate you, Ambassador Lauber, on your election, to assure you on Italy’s support and to wish you the best of success on this important appointment

We look forward to working with all countries in the OEWG.
Italy fully aligns itself with the statements of the representative of the EU.

In addition, let me offer a few additional remarks.
ICT and the Internet are one of the greatest human achievements of all times: they have already reshaped our lives by offering unprecedented opportunities of societal well-being, economic growth, sustainable development and prosperity that can thrive only in a global, open, free, stable and secure cyberspace.

We are therefore committed to support the efforts of the international community towards a cyberspace based on the respect of international law and where security, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights fully apply and are all intertwined. This vision is guiding us through our national policy and diplomatic action in this field.

We value the work accomplished by the Groups of Governmental Experts and would like to recall that General Assembly resolution 70/237 confirms the conclusions of the GGE in its 2013 and 2015 reports and calls upon Member States to be guided in their use of information and communications technologies by the 2015 report.

We will uphold this principle while contributing to the Open Ended Working Group. Complementarity between the work and results of the two bodies is therefore necessary and we will continue to be committed to the implementation of the UNGGE's reports as endorsed by the UNGA while calling on all States to work together to this end in a spirit of consensus and mutual respect.

Universality is a value added for the Open Ended Working Group as it will maximize the impact of its complementarity with the UNGGEs; it will help to reach out, raise awareness, and exchange views and perspectives on the progress of that work with the entire membership and other stakeholders- civil society, private sector and academia- to build a stronger consensus on accomplished results.

On the merits of ICTs in the context of international security, others before me have pointed out that malicious cyber activities and incidents are on the rise and a reason for serious concern. Such activities could have a destabilizing effect on international peace and security. International cooperation and multilateralism continue to be THE tool to achieve our common goal of a global, open, free, stable and secure cyberspace: at the same time, a truly universal cyber security framework cannot but be based on existing international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law as well as UN GGEs agreed norms of responsible State behavior. We believe that the OEWG will also support this framework and hopefully the UN Membership too. As others have already pointed out, we believe we should devote more attention to effective implementation of existing rules, rather than engaging in negotiations on new norms that might create uncertainty on applicable legal framework.

Cooperative approaches will also contribute to the fight against the use of cyberspace by non-State actors for terrorist and other criminal purposes.

The OEWG should serve as an opportunity to increase our mutual understanding and ensure full compliance with existing international law and norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace.

Confidence Building Measures are of paramount importance in an ever changing cyber environment and the relatively new territory it represents. CBMs have the potential to enhance security and stability in the cyber domain. They can contribute to reduce the risks of conflict stemming from the use of ICTs by promoting further transparency and cooperation among our States.

Finally capacity building should be a priority for this Group’s discussions, as others and the European Union have pointed out before me. Since, as I said in the beginning, ICT is an achievement of humanity, our duty is to make sure that it is peacefully enjoyed by all.

I thank you for your attention.

 


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