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

                                   Regular Institutional Dialogue           

                               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

Regular Institutional Dialogue

  • The Netherlands sees in the Regular Institutional Dialogue one of the most important step forward in the international discussion to ensure stability in cyber space.
  • As stated in this first draft, the OEWG has offered, for the first time and under the auspices of the United Nations, a dedicated platform for dialogue among all States on developments in ICTs in the context of international security. The PoA offers for the first time the opportunity for UN Member States to agree on a permanent, inclusive, open, action-driven and consensus-based platform. We warmly welcome it being included in the first draft.
  • The scope and modalities of such a PoA should be discussed and further developed. If we are serious about creating a permanent regular institutional dialogue, its further elaboration needs greater and more serious commitment than one dedicated annual session of the new OEWG, we therefore support the revision of paragraph 75 from the joint contribution circulated last night. We should all agree that this is only achievable through a dedicated work stream in the First Committee, in an inclusive, open, transparent and consensus-driven format. As stated in our earlier discussion, we are flexible on the platform to discuss the exact mandate and modalities of the PoA. But all of this should happen with a sense of urgency. We have to concentrate our energy and capacity to make sure we create an effective mechanism within a year.
  • The Netherlands is of the view that paragraph 113 provides some substantive elements defining the PoA that have been agreed upon and we would like to see those moved to the recommendation part.
  • On a different note, the Netherlands does not see paragraph 74 as fitted in the context of the recommendation on a regular institutional dialogue. Firstly, restricting an institutional dialogue to a “negotiation process” is not helpful and significantly removes important added-values of any future process.
  • Secondly, the new OEWG is not in our view a “regular” institutional dialogue given its temporary character. Thirdly, the new OEWG, which was not agreed upon by consensus, has never been discussed in the context of this OEWG. But in the spirit of consensus, we would be ready to accept a paragraph noting its establishment with similar language as used in paragraph 114.
  • That being said, we do realize that for policy coherence and efficiency reasons it makes sense to look at mechanisms to have a logical link between the PoA and the new OEWG. A dedicated session between First committee processes could be explored in order to improve coherence and synergies.
  • To conclude: we probably would not have thought in February last time in NY that we would still be working on our report more than a year later. But this unfortunate delay has offered us the opportunity to advance so much on the creation of a permanent regular institutional dialogue. The idea of a PoA has indeed come a long way since then, and I hope we can all agree that it should be a central piece of our upcoming report.