IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #131 Programme of Action (PoA) for advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace – why do we need it?

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (13:45 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (14:45 UTC)
Conference Room 4

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Participants :

Chile - Mr. Pablo Castro, Cybersecurity Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

France - Mr. Henri Verdier, Ambassador for Digital Affairs, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

United Kingdom - Ms. Kathryn Jones, Head of International Cyber Governance I Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

EU Institute for Security Studies - Dr. Patryk Pawlak, Brussels Executive Officer


Online Moderator

Miroslaw Broilo, Minister-Counsellor, MFA, Pioland


Panel - interview


No one is questioning an urgent need for the international community to address challenges of the use of ICTs in the context of international peace nad security. The discussion on the UN level has resulted to date with four important reports out of six Groups of Governmental Experts (GGE) (2010,2013, 2015, 2021) which have agreed to define norms of responsible behaviour, to providea framework for developing a confidence building measures (CBMs) and to recognize the full applicability of International Law to cyberspace. In 2021 also Open-ended Wroking Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) has adopted its report confirming the acquis that has been worked out by previous GGEs. The next phase of the OEWG will be continued in the years 2021-2025. All participants of abovementioned processes agree that the United Nations should play a leading role in promoting dialogue among Member States.

The sponsors of PoA (currently 54 states), an initiative launched by France and Egypt, want to establish a permanent platform for international debate on responsible behaviour in cyberspace with main focus on concrete actions, notably within the capacity building. In the time when malicious cyber activities are spreading so quickly, many states need political and technical assistance to be more resilient against cyber threats. The important factor than is that unlike in case of GGEs and OEWGs, the Programme of Action has no ending date. It gives much longer perspective, reduces time pressure and ensures that the debate on cyber stability remains within the United Nations. The remaining question is how to operationalize this initiative and what should be done in order to make PoA fully useful as soon as possible.