Open Ended Working Group in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security

                         Discussion Section – Written Comments

                              Statement by H.E. Nathalie Jaarsma
                         Ambassador-at-Large Security Policy & Cyber

               of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

                                        NEW YORK, 10 March 2021

Discussion part (written comments)

  • The Netherlands believes that the discussion section reflects in the substantive and rich discussions in the OEWG. We would prefer to keep it in the report. However we will follow the consensus for the possible decision not to include it and attach it as an annex or a Chair’s summery.
  • I will not repeat points previously made on the paragraphs in the discussion section we would like to move to the conclusions and recommendations.
  • In our view the section is not yet perfect, but in the light of the limited time available and to help find consensus, we will limit our comments.


  • We have no editorial comments on the threat section. However, we attach great importance in acknowledging that the threat to international peace and security lies in a  use of cyber capabilities contrary to  their obligations under international law.

International Law

  • (On IL), in line with our suggestions to the conclusions and recommendations part of the draft report, and with a view to be consistent in our wording, the Netherlands wishes to propose three amendments in the IL section of Part C.
  • Firstly, we propose a reference to the fundamental importance of an open, free, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment for the enjoyment of human rights throughout the report, by adding the word ‘free’ throughout the document, including in par. 82 and 83.
  • Secondly, in par. 83 in the second sentence, ‘avoid and refrain from’ should be replaced by ‘comply with the obligation’ to bring this sentence in line with the obligation it refers to.
  • Lastly, in paragraph 88 the final sentence should be amended by adding the word ‘some’ at the beginning of the sentence.

Rules, Norms and Principles

  • Regarding paragraph 93, we wish to add the word ‘some’ in the second sentence of the paragraph. The new sentence will be Some States also noted etc.
  • Regarding paragraph 94, we wish to add the word ‘some’ in the first sentence of the paragraph. The new sentence will be Some States recalled etc.
  • Regarding paragraph 97, we noted the discussion on vulnerabilities and supply chain security and support addressing this topic. However, we feel that at this time it can better reflected by amending the text after “In addition” by making use of the consensus text from the GGE 2015 report on this topic.


  • On CBMs we would like to stress the importance of regional organizations as well as multistakeholder initiatives which now is mentioned in para 104 only. This may be added to para 46 as well.

Capacity Building

  • On capacity building, we fully support para 105 and 109 which mentions the empowering function of capacity building in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the importance to address gender equality.

Regular Institutional Dialogue

  • Under the discussion on Regular institutional dialogue, we are overall fine with the reflection it provides but would like to make a few remarks.
  • Paragraph 112 gives the impression that prioritizing implementation excludes further discussion on further developments of existing commitments and development of new ones. We don’t think it fully reflect the discussion. Indeed we are of the view that one does not necessarily exclude and that it was clearly stated in the discussions.
  • Finally in paragraph 115, I don’t think that the 2 last sentences are shared by all member states. And therefore would like to be clear that the ideas expressed after “In this regard” are not shared by all member states, so it should read “some states”.