International security and cyberspace at the UN

In December 2018, the United National General Assembly (UNGA) established two processes to discuss responsible state behaviour in cyberspace: an inaugural OEWG (A/Res/73/27); and, a sixth Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) ((A/Res/73/266). The groups present an important opportunity to generate a meaningful impact on international peace and stability. Australia is a member of both groups. This website will provide updates on Australia's engagement in both processes.

Framework for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace

The UNGA resolution establishing the OEWG and the UNGA resolution establishing the UNGGE both welcomed the effective work of earlier UNGGEs and the 2010, 2013, 2015 UNGGE outcome reports (A/65/201; A/68/98; A/70/174). The UNGA had previously considered and endorsed, by consensus – the outcome reports of the UNGGE (A/RES/65/41; A/RES/68/243; A/RES/70/237) and, in 2015, the UNGA called on all UN Members states 'to be guided in their use of information and communications technologies by the [UNGGE's] 2015 report'. Many regional groups and leaders meetings have subsequently welcomed the reports of the GGE (for example, but not limited to: G20 2015; CHOGM Declaration 2018; ASEAN Leaders' Statement 2018; ASEAN Communications Ministers 2018; and, EAS Leaders' Statement 2018).

Cumulatively the 2010, 2013 and 2015 UNGGE outcome reports affirm that existing international law – and in particular, the charter of the United Nations in its entirety – is applicable and essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment. The reports also articulate voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behaviour, while recognising the need for confidence building measures (CBMs), and coordinated capacity building. Combined, these measures (international law, norms, CBMs and capacity building) provide the basis for a secure, stable and prosperous cyberspace, and are often referred to as a Framework for Responsible State Behaviour (the Framework).

Australia reaffirms its commitment to act in accordance with the cumulative UNGGE reports from 2010, 2013 and 2015 (A/65/201; A/68/98; A/70/174). Recalling that in 2015 the UNGA called on all UN Members states 'to be guided in their use of information and communications technologies by the [UNGGE's] 2015 report' (A/RES/70/237), the links below provide an overview of how Australia observes and implements the four key pillars of the 2015 UNGGE Report.

See also: Overview of the key Australian Government departments and agencies and bodies, organisations and independent statutory offices with cyber, digital and technology related responsibilities [PDF 620 KB]

Last Updated: 9 September 2019