IGF 2020 WS #341 Multistakeholder Voices and the UN Cyber Dialogues

Time
Friday, 13th November, 2020 (15:10 UTC) - Friday, 13th November, 2020 (16:40 UTC)
Room
Room 1
About this Session
This session will address the current state of the multiple ongoing dialogues at the United Nations (UN) related to cybersecurity and responsible state behavior online, and facilitate a discussion about opportunities for greater multistakeholder inclusion in such dialogues moving forward. In addition, discussion will focus on the unique importance of these dialogues on cyber norms and the unique challenges to the digital ecosystem presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Thematic Track

Organizer 1: John Hering, Microsoft
Organizer 2: Sukumar Arun, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Speaker 1: Gerardo Isaac Morales Tenorio, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: CHRISTOPHER Painter, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 4: Raman Jit Singh Chima, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Kaja Ciglic, Private Sector, Eastern European Group

Additional Speakers

Raj Burli, Global Ambassador for Digital Peace Now Society, will moderate the discussion.

Moderator

Raj Burli, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Raj Burli, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Rapporteur

John Hering, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Cybersecurity policy, standards and norms:

  • What kind of progress has been made, or seems likely, in the forums currently addressing international cybersecurity challenges from multilateral and multistakeholder perspectives?
  • Should more be done to formalize the inclusion of multistakeholder voices in international cybersecurity discussions? If so, how should this be structured in a way that is constructive and recognizes the unique role states must play in discussions of peace and security?

Amid the multiple ongoing forums at the United Nations focused on responsible state behavior in cyberspace – including a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation – this workshop will seek to shed light on the progress of these respective bodies, understand how their efforts can complement and reinforce one another, and how they can further advance multistakeholder inclusion moving forward. 

SDGs

GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Description:

This session will address the current state of the multiple ongoing dialogues at the United Nations (UN) related to cybersecurity and responsible state behavior online, and facilitate a discussion about opportunities for greater multistakeholder inclusion in such dialogues moving forward. In addition, discussion will focus on the unique importance of these dialogues on cyber norms and the unique challenges to the digital ecosystem presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the virtual setting, the 90-minute panel will be split roughly evenly into two sections, with the first 45 minutes dedicated to a moderated panel discussion, and the second 45 minutes being open to questions from those in attendance. Those attending are encouraged to come prepared with questions to enrich the discussion and share their views. 

Expected Outcomes

Those participating in the session will walk away with an understanding of the current state of international discussions on cybersecurity challenges, the multiple forums working on these issues, and the different avenues which currently exist for multistakeholder inclusion. In addition, the speakers and others working directly on these issues will benefit from the input and guidance of those in attendance on how best to facilitate more robust multistakeholder inclusion in these discussions moving forward. 

Organizers will leverage the multiple avenues the IGF makes available to socialize this interactive session to encourage a wide audience of interested stakeholders to attend and to share timely information in advance – including the forthcoming OEWG report, expected in November – to enrich the discussion. The structure of the session, to include breakout discussions with differentiated focus questions, will help ensure that it remains engaging throughout and leverages the diversity of perspectives in the room.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This session’s discussion will cut to the core of Internet Governance by focusing on how understandings of international law and norms are developed in different existing forums and how these discussions can further include multistakeholder perspectives to promote the security and stability of the online world.

Relevance to Theme: Current trends in conflict and increasingly sophisticated attacks in cyberspace threaten public trust in the safety and integrity of the online world. Addressing these challenges, and improving confidence in cyberspace, means establishing clear expectations for responsible behavior via international law and norms. In order to be successful, the processes for advancing these dialogues must necessarily include multistakeholder perspectives as the digital domain is an inherently shared space across different stakeholder groups.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.

 

Agenda

Given the virtual setting, the 90-minute panel will be split roughly evenly into two sections, with the first 45 minutes dedicated to a moderated panel discussion, and the second 45 minutes being open to questions from those in attendance.

1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
Is there sufficient multistakeholder participation in the UN cyber dialogues?
How can capacity building support participation of additional states and stakeholders in these dialogues?
How has the COVID pandemic impacted the need for cyber norms and expectations for responsible behavior?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed
  • There was broad agreement that continued progress in both the UN Group of Governmantal Experts (GGE) and Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) will require greater engagement by a wide range of stakeholders, as well as the support of external forums, in order to address the scale of cybersecurity challenges facing the international system.
  • States across the digital divide should take advantage of resources available to build respective capacities to engage in the dialogues on establishing rules for responsible state behavior in cyberspace.
  • The UN Secretary General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation proposed a potential "Global Statement" on digital trust and security as a political commitment to support the UN's 2030 agenda. While there is some support for the potential of such a statement as a point of high-level alignment across all member states, it remains unclear how it could move forward. 
3. Key Takeaways
  • While the multistakeholder consultation hosted by the OEWG in December 2019 was an important and groundbreaking step forward, more needs to be done to actively include the views and perspectives of the multistakeholder community in the cybersecurity dialogues at the UN.  
  • The multiple engagements by the chair's of the respective working groups at multistakeholder forum's around the world, seeking input and listening to outside perspectives, have been well recieved and helpful in this regard. 
  • The UN dialogues themselves, while open to recieving outside input, have remained outside the public eye for the most part. There is interest in seeing the dialogues made more visibile to a wider audience, given the important of the issues being discussed. 
  • More needs to be done in order to support the resiliency of those nations and communities across the digital divide, as well as their participation in discussions what should and should not be acceptable behaviors in cyberspace. 
6. Final Speakers

All intended speakers attended

Speaker 1: Gerardo Isaac Morales Tenorio, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: CHRISTOPHER Painter, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 4: Raman Jit Singh Chima, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Kaja Ciglic, Private Sector, Eastern European Group

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

The session discussed increasing access to technologies across digital divides in societies, which also include access based on gender. 

8. Session Outputs

At the conclusion of the session, those in the multistakeholder community seeking to submit contributions to the UN dialogues on responsible behavior in cyberspace were encouraged to send materials directly to UNODA to be hosted on their website, or directly to government participants in the cyber dialogues, many of which are welcoming such contributions.