UN / CYBER SECURITY

29-Jun-2021 00:03:12
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said, “As advances in digital technologies continue to revolutionize human life, we must remain vigilant in our understanding of malicious use of such technologies that could imperil the security of future generations.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / CYBER SECURITY
TRT: 3:12
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

29 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
“As advances in digital technologies continue to revolutionize human life, we must remain vigilant in our understanding of malicious use of such technologies that could imperil the security of future generations.”
4. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
“While the digital space has come to underpin almost every aspect of our daily lives, the scale and pervasiveness of ICT “insecurity” is also now recognized as a major concern. The political and technical difficulty of attributing and assigning responsibility for ICT attacks could result in significant consequences, including in unintended armed responses and escalation.”
6. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United States:
“We all share this responsibility. As President Biden recently noted, and I quote, “countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory.” So, let me be clear: when a state is notified of harmful activity emanating from its own territory, it must take reasonable steps to address it. Given the transnational nature of cyberspace, this cooperation is essential.”
8. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations:
“We should promote security through the maintenance of peace and prevent cyberspace from becoming a new battlefield. The international community should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, in particular the principles of sovereign equality, prohibition of the use of force, non-interference in internal affairs, and peaceful settlements of disputes. It is essential to respect the rights of all countries to independently choose the path of internet development, internet management model, and to participate in the governance of cyberspace on an equal footing. Countries should refrain from undertaking cyber activities that endanger the security of other countries. The application of the laws of armed conflict in cyberspace should be dealt with cautiously, and arms races in cyberspace should be prevented.”
10. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Vasily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“Of particular concern is the stance of a number of technologically advanced states to militarize the information space by advancing the concept of so-called preventive- military cyber strikes, including against critically important infrastructure. These confrontational doctrines contradict their stated commitment to preventing conflicts in the use of ICTs, which have also been repeated today. We see this as an attempt to use their position of strength to impose their own rules of the game in the information sphere.”
12. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
STORYLINE
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said, “As advances in digital technologies continue to revolutionize human life, we must remain vigilant in our understanding of malicious use of such technologies that could imperil the security of future generations.”


Speaking today (29 Jun) at a virtual meeting of the Security Council on cybersecurity, Nakamitsu said, as of January this year, there are over 4.6 billion active users of the internet worldwide and an estimated 28.5 billion networked devices will be connected to the internet by 2022.

She said digital technologies are increasingly straining existing legal, humanitarian and ethical norms, non-proliferation, international stability, and peace and security. They are also lowering barriers to access and opening new potential domains for conflict and the ability of both State and non-State actors to carry out attacks, including across international borders.

Nakamitsu there has been a dramatic increase in the frequency of malicious incidents in recent years ranging from disinformation to the disruption of computer networks, adding that such acts contribute to a diminishing trust and confidence among States.

The UN official said Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) threats are increasing, but efforts are also underway to address them at the international and regional, and there have been many excellent private-sector-led cyber initiatives.

Nakamitsu said the UN stands ready to support States together with other stakeholders in promoting a peaceful ICT environment. She added, “While the digital space has come to underpin almost every aspect of our daily lives, the scale and pervasiveness of ICT ‘insecurity’ is also now recognized as a major concern. The political and technical difficulty of attributing and assigning responsibility for ICT attacks could result in significant consequences, including in unintended armed responses and escalation.”

Given these implications for the maintenance of international peace and security resulting from cyber threats, she concluded, engagement by the Security Council is paramount.

United States ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, in her country, separate high-profile ransomware incidents disrupted JBS, a major food processing company, and Colonial Pipeline, a company that provides fuel to much of our East Coast. She said these incidents demonstrate the serious and the unacceptable risk that cybercrime poses to critical infrastructure.

Greenfield said the effects of these malicious activities are often not contained within borders, adding that infrastructure, both online and off, is at stake.
The US ambassador said, despite ideological differences, UN Member States have repeatedly come together over the past decade to try to prevent conflict stemming from cyber capabilities and agreed on a framework of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace through the Group of Governmental Experts process. She said the framework makes it clear that international law applies to cyberspace and considers how states should cooperate to mitigate the effects of significant malicious cyber activity emanating from a particular state’s territory, including those activities undertaken by criminals.
Greenfield said, “We all share this responsibility. As President Biden recently noted, and I quote, “countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory.” So, let me be clear: when a state is notified of harmful activity emanating from its own territory, it must take reasonable steps to address it. Given the transnational nature of cyberspace, this cooperation is essential.”

Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said today a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is unfolding. Meanwhile, he said cyber surveillance, attacks, crimes and terrorism have become global public hazards, adding that cyberspace is also becoming increasingly militarized and politicized.

Zhang said, in cyberspace, countries not only enjoy shared opportunities and common interests, but also face common challenges and assume shared responsibilities. He said China always believes the international community should work together in a joint effort to protect cybersecurity and maintain international peace.

The Chinese ambassador said, “We should promote security through the maintenance of peace and prevent cyberspace from becoming a new battlefield. The international community should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, in particular the principles of sovereign equality, prohibition of the use of force, non-interference in internal affairs, and peaceful settlements of disputes. It is essential to respect the rights of all countries to independently choose the path of internet development, internet management model, and to participate in the governance of cyberspace on an equal footing. Countries should refrain from undertaking cyber activities that endanger the security of other countries. The application of the laws of armed conflict in cyberspace should be dealt with cautiously, and arms races in cyberspace should be prevented.”

Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said both the Group of Government Experts (GGEs) and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), which operated under the auspices of the General Assembly, were able to agree on their outcome reports by consensus. He said this demonstrated that the international community could reach agreement on key issues when the dialogue is pragmatic, depoliticized and constructive.

Nebenzia said effective multilateral diplomacy on international information security in the UN compliments the bilateral interaction of states in this area and provide a constant example on how these issues should be resolved to reduce mutual mistrust and alleviate concerns. However, he said there are unfortunate unilateral attempts to impose interpretations of the agreements the GGEs and OEWG on the Security Council, essentially proposing that they be supported or worse that the outcomes be revised.
The Russian ambassador said some countries are trying to distort the agreements reached to justify unilateral pressure and sanctions against other member states, and the possible use of force against them.
He added, “Of particular concern is the stance of a number of technologically advanced states to militarize the information space by advancing the concept of so-called preventive- military cyber strikes, including against critically important infrastructure. These confrontational doctrines contradict their stated commitment to preventing conflicts in the use of ICTs, which have also been repeated today. We see this as an attempt to use their position of strength to impose their own rules of the game in the information sphere.”

Nebenzia said, although the digital sphere is not unregulated, discussions on how exactly international law can apply to it are far from over and will need to be discussed for at least another five years at the relevant UN General Assembly body, the new OEPW. He said Russia will oppose any attempt to revise the balanced agreements reached at General Assembly bodies through the Security Council.
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