Seventy-Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly First Committee in New York
Statement on Other Disarmament Measures and International Security
Delivered by H.E. Robert in den Bosch, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Conference on Disarmament and Ambassador at large
In addition to the statement delivered by the EU, the Netherlands would like to make the following remarks in its national capacity.
In light of the rapid developments in the technological field, the Netherlands would like to emphasize the importance of responsible use of new technologies, and in particular of Artificial Intelligence. Rapid advances of this technology will have far-reaching (geo)political consequences and represents the next frontier in arms control.
As an international community, we need to strengthen the international governance around the development, deployment and use of AI in the military domain. For this reason, the Netherlands will host the REAIM Summit, a high-level meeting on the Responsible AI in the Military domain on 15 and 16 February in The Hague. The purpose of the meeting is to agree on a common international agenda that will ensure the responsible development, deployment and use of AI in the military domain, within the parameters of existing international (humanitarian) law. We intend to invite ministers and other stakeholders from all over the world to engage with us and address this rapidly increasing challenge for international peace and security. In addition, the Netherlands underlines the importance of the existing security frameworks for technology transfers for peaceful uses.
ICTs are a tremendous driver of sustainable development worldwide. But as our reliance on these technologies grows, so does the threat of disruptive, coercive and destabilizing cyber activities by state and non-state actors. The Netherlands continues to be deeply concerned by the ever-growing risk to international peace and security posed by the malicious use of ICTs.
At the UN, we have a shared responsibility to promote an open, free, secure, stable, accessible and interoperable ICT environment.
The Netherlands therefore reaffirms its commitment to the consensus outcomes of the intergovernmental processes under UN-auspices, endorsed by all Member States. In particular, we underline that international law, including human rights law and IHL, is applicable to cyberspace.
The Netherlands welcomes the adoption by consensus of the 2022 Annual Progress report of the OEWG on “security of and in the use of ICTs.” The report reaffirms the cumulative and evolving framework for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace and provides several concrete recommendations for future work, including in the area of confidence-building measures.
We strongly support the draft decision tabled by Singapore that endorses the Annual Progress Report. The draft decision cements the important consensus achieved, and its adoption without a vote would strengthen the positive momentum going forward.
The Netherlands remains committed to the work of the current OEWG. We will continue our active and constructive engagement in the process with the aim of reaching further common understandings and building trust and confidence among all States. In particular, we are strongly encouraged by the increasing number of women representing their countries in the OEWG and support the further promotion of gender perspectives in its work.
The current geopolitical environment further underlines the urgency to put our consensus agreements into practice and increase our cyber resilience. All States agreed to be guided by the consensus reports in their use of ICTs. Doing so requires international cooperation, sharing of best practices and improving our capacities.
To that end, the Netherlands co-sponsors the resolution tabled by France on the Programme of Action to advance responsible state behaviour in the use of ICTs in the context of international security. In our view, the PoA, which will be established after the completion of the current OEWG, will serve as an inclusive, action-oriented mechanism to support States’ capacities and efforts to implement their commitments in this area.
We appreciate the broad and open consultations so far and believe the proposed prudent, incremental approach will lay out an inclusive and transparent path towards the establishment of the PoA.
Thank you, Chair.