10 November 2020, New York City – The Philippines highlighted the importance of a global platform to support efforts in confidence-building measures and capacity building to address issues on information and telecommunications in the context of international security.
The Philippine Delegation to the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) articulated this view at the OEWG’s third round of informal virtual meetings from 17 to 19 November 2020. The themes of confidence-building measures and capacity-building were the focus of the third round.
The Philippine delegation consisted of representatives from the Philippine Mission to the UN, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Director Jose Carlos P. Reyes of the Cybersecurity Bureau of DICT participated in the three-day session.
The Philippine delegation stated that to be able to advance the implementation of confidence building measures, one major consideration should be on building states’ cyber capabilities in the relevant areas and finding ways to improve transparency to ensure that all countries meet certain baseline levels that will enable them to participate meaningfully.
The Philippine delegation also stressed the need to reach out to specialized bodies like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and to other stakeholders such as the private sector, as they create a dynamic and realistic environment for policy to be in sync with, and even predictive of, the rapid rhythm of cybersecurity issues.
In taking note of the importance of global coordination, the Philippines took note of the important work of regional organizations reflected in the pre-draft of the OEWG’s outcome document. The Philippines earlier welcomed the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN’s Cybersecurity Coordinating Committee, which was held on 5 November 2020. The Philippines delegation suggested to the OEWG that it consider this regional coordination mechanism as a model for a global platform on cybersecurity, particularly on the areas of capacity building and confidence building measures.
The OEWG was established through resolution 73/27 of the General Assembly, and in which all UN Member States are invited to participate. The Group’s mandate is to continue to develop the rules, norms, and principles of responsible behavior of states, discuss ways for their implementation, and to study the possibility of establishing regular institutional dialogue with broad participation under the auspices of the UN. In addition, it aims to continue to study existing and potential threats and possible cooperative measures to address them and how international law applies to ICT use. It also aims to examine confidence-building measures and capacity-building.
The Group convened for the first time in 2019 and reported back to the General Assembly in 2020. The OEWG process also provides the possibility of holding intersessional consultative meetings with industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. The Group, chaired by Ambassador Jürg Lauber of Switzerland, will convene its final substantive session from 8 to 12 March 2021. END